Their Lives (And Some Of Ours Too)

My life. My life is usually the focus of my blog. It consumes me and exhausts me under the weight of excess self centeredness. That is why, today, I want to dedicate my thoughts, energies, prayers and petitions to those weighing heavily on my heart. Their lives are worthy of celebration and at the end of the day, these individuals are champions in this thing called life.

* * * *

The Dugger 17:

It’s not just the Duggers-there are many families out there raising large families. But how many are able to say they love and nurture 17 children, are debt free, and are by all accounts an incredible unit despite all odds? Yes, they home school and at first, may easily be shrugged off as homeschooling, weirdo freaks who are sick to have so many children. How can they love that many, provide for their needs, keep control, have a life, etc?

I don’t know them but all I can say is that, as a mother of one who frequently feels deeply inadequate and devoid of the control I’d like over different areas, I was so inspired by Mrs. Dugger (forget her name!). There is no doubt she has control over her brood and she must live practicality out to an almost unfathomable degree. Yet, the love she has for each one of them literally exuded from her spirit and I honestly have seldom seen such a sincere devotion to both children and husband.

I had to open my mind tonight. I told myself, “just forget your prideful assumptions and look at this family with fresh eyes. ” No, I would never choose to have 17 children but I do want to have as many as God would desire us to have and to see a mother who joys in the birth of each child and sees all 17 as uniquely given to her as a treasure is truly beautiful.

I hope you will see the Duggers and other similar families with a fresh perspective as well! (If nothing else, start donating your gently worn clothes to the local thrift store ’cause you never know when a family like the Duggers, who rely on purchasing their clothes second hand, may be stopping in!)

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Our friend, Paul Fidero:

Almost three years ago, Paul was a groomsman at our wedding and played a beautiful rendition on the guitar of “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.” I never really felt I knew Paul very well in the relatively short time I knew him but Rick knew him…and like a brother. Rick and his younger brother Nathan grew up playing in the woods with Paul and his three brothers. They shot pool, went camping, sailing and just did guy stuff. Paul had a love for music and the talent to match. He began majoring in music at Georgia State University.

More than a year ago, in November 2005, Paul’s young life hung in the balance. I remember sitting in the waiting room with Rick at the hospital, wondering if he was going to be able to see one of his closest friends ever again. Hours before, Paul and his younger brother had been involved in a freak car crash which left his red SUV demolished and Paul’s body in an uncertain, comedic state. They doubted he’d live and that morning as we were in the waiting room, the doctors had told his family to prepare for the worst.

Yet, 18 months later, There’s no stopping Paul and there’s no stopping his mom, her faith, and her unbeatable commitment to serving Paul with joy and thankfulness. No doubt Paul has a long, long road of recovery ahead and he continues to endure constant head aches and other physical disabilities as a result of the accident. But his life is a miracle in every sense of the word and his mom has shown herself to be the very essence of a hero, loving her son at all costs.

Please read her frequent updates of Paul’s progress at and be inspired!

The Military:

For some reason, in a way I can not describe, I have been feeling a longing to reach out to those in the military in the only way I know how at this point; by blogging and giving them some very deserved written praise.

I wrote about my friend Jen last week and her husband Peter who is in Iraq. There are so many of them though. Nameless faces. Uniform in every external way; matching outfits and hair cuts…but these men and women have gone out on a limb for the good of our country and world.

NO matter how you look at it-conservative or liberal-they’re gone, they’re in a hot, God forsaken, non Westernized country. They’re away from their families and friends. They’re young and many have barely begun their adult lives. Most of all, they have whether consciously or not, decided to choose the good of others above them selves. They’re not having fun over there folks. The adds on T.V. give an aura of appeal to joining military that is meant to reach the hero instinct in every American male. Adds are quite successful but nothing can provide adequate preparation for the uncertainty of war and Iraq.

When I hear politicians say “the war is a huge mistake”, “bring the troops home”, etc, I think: You obviously can not fathom the true meaning of selflessness. They have limited the strength of the human spirit to such a degree that every one else is degraded to the self-seeking, corrupt characteristics that define them. Furthermore, I think the sacrifice and heroism the military ? threatens them beyond what they can stand.

No matter what the media says, we need the military and they need us.

* * * *

Now, A Little Of Our Life……….

Some questions we are frequently asked:

  1. When are you moving? Well, Rick begins at Npower New York July 3rd so we’ve got to be there by then!

  2. Do you have an apartment yet? Let me get back to you on that question in about 2 or 3 weeks, in which time, my answer should be “yes and here it is!”
  3. Are you going to have a car? Well, we thought we would sell our Honda and bring our station wagon but now, we’re thinking it would be best to sell both. A car will just be an expensive, annoying burden if we bring it. We’ll seldom drive it and will constantly be stressed out about getting tickets. Plus, since they clean the streets there once or twice a week, we would have to remember to move move it to the other side of the street on those days.
  4. Isn’t every thing so expensive there? Okay, this is a question everyone asks us. Yes, some grocery items are more expensive. Rent is undeniably much more than what we currently pay but thankfully, Rick’s salary will also be taking a climb to coincide. Car insurance and gas is a killer on the pocket book and thus much of the reason we will join the majority of New Yorkers who walk. I can assure you it really does not appear to be as bad as many claim.
  5. Am I excited? Yes, yes and yes! Don’t let my apprehension fool you. I am just not very good at letting go and expressing excitement!
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7 Responses to Their Lives (And Some Of Ours Too)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi Susanna,I am happy to hear that things are moving forward and that you will be moving soon. I wish you the best of luck! It will be an exciting time.I like your post on ‘other’ people. Too often these days we get so absorbed in our own business and issues and we easily forget about others. It is important to take the time to look around and notice what is going on elsewhere. It often helps putting our own ‘issues’ into perspective. And it is even nicer to let people know that you appreciate what they do, that you care and have a thought for them.Have a nice day.Maud

  2. rick says:

    Question #6 – no we are not going to have 17 kids =)It is amazing that they have 17 and are debt free. How many out there with two or one or NONE are shoulder deep in dept? I do think they need to go for 18 and then they can field a whole baseball game, both teams.

  3. bchallies says:

    Good, interesting post, Susanna. Thanks!

  4. Neo says:

    Rose – I knew a family that had 13 kids. All I could think was the father could probably populate a small country if he choose too. LOLMan, I can’t even get my mind around that kind of responsibility.Peace & Hugs,- Neo

  5. Jeph and Heidi says:

    Susanna-I loved this post…so sweet of you to think of others’ lives and recognize them. We tend to think of our blogs as a forum to rightly talk about ourselves everyday if we want to! I know people do want the updates, but you’re right…we need to focus on other people in our life as well, which we don’t do often enough :) We’ll be praying for you as all the little moving details need to start falling into place!

  6. Anonymous says:

    17 kids! Wow. That women must have the heart of a super hero. And I agree with you on your points about military personel. They sacrifice a lot for us.

  7. Bobbi Jo Brooks says:

    Looking forward to hanging out with you in the Big Apple this summer!

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