Sunday, September 29, 2013


If you are a personal friend, you know it's been a long month for me. I can't and won't go into every circumstance, but if you're reading this, say a prayer for me... a prayer that my dependence, approval and happiness is in the Lord.

Two stories I will share with you are about treasures. Last weekend Boss and I went to the CMH Burgundy Ball. It was fantastic like always! I picked my dress and once again Boss AMAZED me with his ability to pick-out my shoes. If you've never heard, he's quite the fashion/color expert. Someday I plan on doing a whole blog around his hidden talent.

ANYWAYS, after about an hour of being home I realized the diamond from my wedding ring was missing. Correction: not just the diamond but the whole "head" - diamond, prongs and 2 tier diamond halo around the diamond. UGH, we have looked and looked, including using a metal detector. As Jase on Duck Dynasty says "He Gone" I will tell ya "It Gone!"
Twice Boss had offered to replace my wedding ring with new and bigger. Twice we both agreed the original diamond he had chosen was special and perfect. Now, sadly, we have no choice.

Story #2: When I was 12, I lost my precious Grandma to cancer. Less than a year after that my Grandpa married Carol. Carol and Grandpa immediately "re-did" my Grandma's house. All new things, all new furniture, it was Carol's house now (and rightfully so.)

Nothing in the house was familiar. Nothing was Grandma's.

Carol had a style about her, she still does. She had expensive furniture and designer decor, it was NOT child-friendly. Carol wasn't mean but she wasn't use to kids, she had never had any of her own.

There was one thing of Carol's I was drawn to, one thing I loved and looked forward to seeing, one thing I could count on to make me feel "at home" and that was a big, fat Aunt Jemima cookie jar. Aunt Jemima wore a red, polka-dot dress and she had warm, friendly, loving eyes. She seemed like a real Grandma to me. She hardly ever held cookies, but it was always fun to hope. Over the years, Aunt Jemima helped Carol seem like a Grandma to me.

And over the years, my love for Carol grew. She has taken amazing care of my Grandpa, she has taught me spiritually, she allowed me to stay with them some through college. Recently she has taught me a lesson on loving others, even when they seem un-love-able. When having a bad day, I love to stop by her assisted living apartment in Bolivar and get a hug, she always has a kind, Godly word for me... and guess who else I got to see??? Aunt Jemima!

Yesterday, my mom and dad came to town and we were helping Carol move some more things from her house to her apartment. Upon leaving, I noticed something was gone. "Carol, where is Aunt Jemima??" She quickly replied "Oh I want you to take her if you want her, she doesn't really match in here (still stylish), goodness knows you've earned her with all the help you give me." Carol produced my Aunt Jemima from under the counter.

My mind immediately started racing about where I would proudly display her, also wondered if she would be offensive to anyone? As soon as I got home, I placed her on the counter. Chapel had to go to a party so mom and I rushed out the door with him. We hadn't gotten to the party yet when my phone rang,

(long silent pause)
"I dropped your lady"

My heart sunk (and still does). Aunt Jemima sat safely in Carol's house for YEARS. She didn't make it in my for longer than an hour.
So what is the moral to these stories? I keep thinking of the verses

"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."

And they are true! Somehow though, and maybe you can help me, I don't feel like they apply in these situations. Our world, and especially me, is so guilty of not valuing anything. Everything seems replaceable, throwaway and get new. 

I'm thinking the lesson for me is to value and appreciate things more, not to make them a god, but to take care of things, appreciate the memories and especially the people that are tied to them.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Winning Isn't Everything... or Is IT???

I have always claimed to be non-competitive, which drives Boss (Dwain) crazy. Every time I say it, he cringes, he corrects me and he hopes to goodness none of his Banner boys inherit that attitude from me.

So last year after deciding to run a local 5K, he started preparing me. Now keep in mind, he doesn't run... AT ALL.  So his preparation consisted of "coaching" me on something he had little knowledge of, "but why even run a race if you're not gonna try and win???"

"Game Day" was here and on the way to the race he was planning my strategy: "You're gonna be able to run WAY faster because of your adrenaline, so find Mrs. Bandy (whose goal was 21 minutes!!!) and stay right behind her. You got this!!!"

Bo was running the mile the in the same race, we were pumped up, coached up and ready to run.

Being the people-pleaser I am, I wanted to make Boss proud. I had set a personal goal of 24 minutes although I knew he expected better... and I secretly wanted that too. I took off strong and somewhere around 2 miles I DIED. Now I don't mean I slowed to a 9 min pace... NO, I WAS GOING TO PASS OUT if I didn't walk.

Finally, a long time later, I crossed the finish line. Boss had a stunned look on his face??? What happened? Where did you go?

I started explaining "I started too fast, I tried to stay up, I'm not use to this heat (treadmill runner), I should have eaten."

Nothing I could say made sense to Boss, he doesn't understand "losing."

(Mrs. Bandy in the pink shirt won the race, of course! My smile was fake.)

Now before you get mad at him like my friends did, before you remind him how often he races (or even exercises for that matter) PLEASE know, he has the best intentions, he seeks the best out of everyone. At least he had Bo to be proud of, he won his race :) We now laugh about this, about how I choked, and how Boss thinks you have to win to be successful. If you see him, remind him otherwise please.

A couple weeks ago another local race rolled around. Considering I had my wisdom teeth removed that week, there was no hope for redeeming myself (I'll try that out-of-town with my friends & no coach, heehee). Bo & Chapel were however, ready to compete.

Once again, Boss coached them up and I encouraged them to have fun. 

Bo won his 5k, beating his friend by a millisecond. As soon as he crossed the finish line, he threw up. Boss was SOOOO proud, "now that's a sign he gave it his all!!!" 

Chapel (with dad's prompting) made the "Mile Fun Walk" a race. He beat all those sucka's, they didn't realize it was competitive... they don't have Dwain Banner on their side. 

(Chapel & Boss on the front page, Bolivar Free Herald)

Thankfully, the Banner boys don't take after their mother when it comes to competitiveness. They share their dad's urgency to WIN...

to be #1!

So for now, I'll stay in MY role as cheerleader, and grandparent/fan entertainer...
on the sidelines, reminding my boys to have fun... WHILE WINNING of course.

(Small member of People of Wal-Mart, looking down at the medal he earned as well as the toy dad bribed him with to win the race.)

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