Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Story of Us

This is my favorite real life story......
This is the story of how I met my husband.

The week started out with a conversation between my dad and I. I was sharing with him how I felt discouraged about how all my friends were getting married and how I just didn't think God had someone out there for me. "L'Ray, trust in God, He's never let you down before. Sometimes you just have to be patient, God's timing is not our timing." Which at the time I agreed with him out loud but my heart was still filled with longing.
Later in the week, I had just gotten home from work. My dad had gone out of town and so my mom asked me if I wanted to go out for dinner. Now normally when my mother or anyone in my family goes out to eat we always have to go through the "where do you want to eat?" "I don't know, where do you want to eat?" for at least 30 minutes until someone finally gets frustrated enough to just blurt out somewhere. But this night was different. My mom immediately says, let's go to Red Lobster since we never get to eat seafood. (not my dad's favorite) For some reason that night I was unusually tired and wanted to just go pick it up and bring it home. My mom however was determined to go out. (which is crazy, normally I want to go out and I have to drag her kicking and screaming) Anyway, we arrive at Red Lobster and after being seated began to look over the menu. "Hi, my name is Rustin and I'll be your server tonight." Rustin was a great waiter, very attentive and was joking with us throughout the night. As my mom began taking her credit card from her purse she looked and me and said with a smile, "He sure is cute." "Yeah he is" I said really not thinking anything about it. "He sure has been flirty with you," she continued. "Oh mom he's just trying to get a good tip." Rustin came over and took mom's card and brought it back and said thank you for our business (or whatever waiters say) and then walked away. My mom and I got up and began to leave, my mom a little ahead of me. Just as I turned to walk away from the table Rustin came back over to get the signed receipt, "Thanks, be sure and come back and see me," he said and then flashed me his little one dimpled smile. I remember literally thinking, "OK, I'm so coming back tomorrow!!"
I got to the car and told my mom what he had said. "We should have left him your phone number!!" she very seriously said. Just then we remembered that we had seen a good friend of our family's also at Red Lobster and decided we would call him and have him give Rustin my phone number. As we both reached for our purses we realized neither one of us had brought our phones with us!! Mom drove like a mad woman home and we immediately ran inside and grabbed the phone to call Brad, praying he would still be at the restaurant. He wasn't, they were already in the car almost home. I decided it would be ok, I would just have one of my friends go back up there to eat sometime the next week.
I left my mom's house and went to my friend Lora's. I could not stop talking to her about how cute and funny I thought this waiter was and how she was going to have to go back there with me. Lora being an adventurous said, " of course, let's go now!"
"NOW!?!?!?", "Yes now, I'll go in and ask the hostess to give him your number." I was mortified!! I had never done anything like that in my entire life. How was he going to know who I was? What if he WAS just trying to get a good tip? A million of these questions started going through my head, but finally, I gave in.
I wrote my name and my phone number and placed it in Lora's hand. In she went and I sat in the car barely able to breath I was so anxious! After what seemed like an eternity (but according to the clock on the radio was only two minutes) Lora came walking back out.
"Did you give it to him?" "Yes." "Well.....tell me everything!" She said she walked in and asked the hostess if Rustin was still working. She said yes he was, did you want me to get him for you. To which Lora blurted back "NO!! just give this to him" and she walked back out. I would like to say he called me back that night....but he didn't. It was the worst night ever thinking of the millions of reasons he wasn't going to call. I honestly don't remember much of the next day, but I know I was gone somewhere because when I got back home there was a message on my machine that went something like this....
"Uh, hi. this is Rustin. I was your waiter the other night. Uh, call me back, I'd love to talk to you" followed by his number. (By the way that was totally L'Ray Paraphrased, I don't remember his exact words) ;)
So the next couple of days was basically us playing phone tag, but not actually getting to talk to each other. Finally, Sunday night, I called and he answered. To my surprise even though we were total strangers our conversation came easily. Yes he remembered who I was, and he was glad I came back to give him my number. We ended up talking for almost two hours. Before getting off the phone he asked me if I would be willing to go out with him sometime. He said we could go with a bunch of friends if it would be more comfortable for me , to which I quickly replied "No, it's ok, we can go by ourselves".
Of course my mom was so excited, being as how "SHE had found him for me" and she just knew we were going to have a great time. So anyway, date night came and I remember thinking, "Am I crazy? I know nothing about this guy! He could be a serial killer" I knew when I met him I thought he was cute but now I couldn't even really remember specifics.
All my doubts went away when I answered the door and was greeted by that same one dimple smile.
He took me to dinner and then to get coffee. I was so nervous the whole date but everything just seemed to go perfect. Conversation came natural, he was a gentlemen and even had his bible in his truck. I asked him if it was just there to impress me, and he replied no, why, does it? Which I thought was cute.
At the end of the night, I told him what a wonderful time I had had and hoped we could do it again. I gave him a hug (sorry ladies, no kiss on the first date) and went inside. Of course my mom was there "How was it? Do you like him? Tell me everything," to which I responded, "Mom, I'm going to marry him!" (and I meant it!)

Three months later, we were engaged.

A year later we were married.

I am continually blessed by my relationship with my husband and am so thankful for his love, his friendship, his values, his heart and his partnership.
And I am truly thankful for God's timing....

He's never early...
But He's never late.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Stop and Let Go

Bitterness, I hate the word Bitterness.

Bitterness is a frozen form of latent anger and resentment. Bitterness grows out of our refusal, to let go when someone or something is taken from us. Bitterness is being constantly hurt by a memory and is holding onto a hurt until it has a hold on you.

It's interesting that bitterness hinges on US not on the "people or things" we feel are creating bitterness.
Only we can create bitterness. Listen to the meaning again...

Bitterness is a frozen form of latent anger and resentment. Bitterness grows out of OUR REFUSAL, TO LET GO when someone or something is taken from us. Bitterness is being constantly hurt by a memory and is HOLDING ONTO A HURT until it has a hold on you.

When I think Bitterness I think of Tom Nesbitt, a revivalist who traveled in the ministry with me who powerfully spoke on the issue of bitterness. He referred to bitterness like being stuck in tar.

At first, you think it's not that big of an issue...

Then you find the more you try to fight your way out...

the more tangled and trapped you are.

I would like to say, guess what friends, I've figured it all out! I will be bitter free for the rest of my life! However that dear friends would be a lie. You see I think of Bitterness more as quick sand. It's not until we stop wrestling that we can be free. The thing is even knowing all the answers, hearing all the sermons, knowing the scriptures to read, sometimes bitterness can be complicated. I say complicated because until we are ready to stop and deal with the root of our bitterness all the other stuff doesn't even scratch the surface.
I know all of us deal with bitterness in some shape or form. But sometimes for me I would rather just be bitter than dealing with the root problem.
I laugh at my son Kye because he more than anything he hates taking a bath. It's not that he hates to be clean, it's that a bath takes time out of his playing to do something that he doesn't think is fun. At least I did laugh about the situation until this morning when God found me in the same place, not wanting to stop and be cleansed from all the things I harbor in my heart. For me the hard part even more than taking time to deal with bitterness is the emotions and situations and memories you have to work through to get to the root of the problem. I'm a stuffer, and in the word's of one of my favorite characters Scarlett O'Hara, I can't think about that right now. If I do, I'll go crazy. I'll think about that tomorrow. (I know I'm horrible)
Well my tomorrow has become today. I'm choosing to get on my face in front of the Almighty God and say, here I am, ready and willing. I'm not just leaving the bitterness at the cross but all the little things I harbor that cause the bitterness and yes it will be a battle not to want to pick them back up again, but I am trusting them to You. I'm letting go! Willing to do whatever it takes to start the healing process.
I encourage you to search your heart for the "little things" that could be rooting your life with bitterness.

There is FREEDOM in the cross.
Just stop wrestling and let go.

Whiter Than Snow
By: James Nicholson, 1872

Lord Jesus, I long to be perfectly whole;
I want Thee forever to live in my soul;
Break down every idol, cast out every foe;
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Whiter than snow, yes, whiter than snow;
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Lord Jesus, look down from Thy throne in the skies,
And help me to make a complete sacrifice;
I give up myself, and whatever I know;
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Whiter than snow, yes, whiter than snow;
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Lord Jesus, for this I most humbly entreat;
I wait, blessed Lord, at Thy crucified feet,
By faith, for my cleansing; I see Thy blood flow;
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Whiter than snow, yes, whiter than snow;
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Lord Jesus, Thou seest I patiently wait;
Come now, and within me a new heart create;
To those who have sought Thee,
Thou never said'st No;
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Whiter than snow, yes, whiter than snow;
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
- Psalm 51:10

Monday, September 20, 2010


I was sent this email this morning and wanted to share it with all you moms out there. Enjoy!

Answers given by elementary school age children to the following questions:

Why did God make mothers?
1. She's the only one who knows where the scotch tape is.
2. Mostly to clean the house.
3. To help us out of there when we were getting born.

How did God make mothers?
1. He used dirt, just like for the rest of us.
2. Magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring.
3. God made my Mom just the same like he made me. He just used bigger

What ingredients are mothers made of?
1. God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in
the world and one dab of mean.
2. They had to get their start from men's bones. Then they mostly use
string, I think.

Why did God give you your mother and not some other Mom?
1. We're related.
2. God knew she likes me a lot more than other people's moms like me.

What kind of little girl was your Mom?
1. My Mom has always been my Mom and none of that other stuff.
2. I don't know because I wasn't there, but my guess would be pretty
3 They say she used to be nice.

What did Mom need to know about dad before she married him?
1. His last name.
2. She had to know his background. Like is he a crook? Does he get drunk
on beer?
3. Does he make at least $800 a year? Did he say NO to drugs and YES to

Why did your Mom marry your dad?
1. My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world. And my Mom eats a lot
2. She got too old to do anything else with him.
3. My grandma says that Mom didn't have her thinking cap on.

Who's the boss at your house?
1. Mom doesn't want to be boss, but she has to because dad's such a goof
2. Mom. You can tell by room inspection. She sees the stuff under the
3. I guess Mom is, but only because she has a lot more to do than dad.

What's the difference between moms and dads?
1. Moms work at work & work at home, & dads just go to work at work.
2. Moms know how to talk to teachers without scaring them.
3. Dads are taller & stronger, but moms have all the real power 'cause
that's who you got to ask if you want to sleep over at your friend's.
Moms have magic, they make you feel better without medicine.

What does your Mom do in her spare time?
1. Mothers don't do spare time.
2. To hear her tell it, she pays bills all day long.

What would it take to make your Mom perfect?
1. On the inside she's already perfect. Outside, I think some kind of
plastic surgery.
2. Diet. You know, her hair. I'd diet, maybe blue.

If you could change one thing about your Mom, what would it be?
1. She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean. I'd get rid
of that.
2. I'd make my Mom smarter. Then she would know it was my sister who
it and not me.
3. I would like for her to get rid of those invisible eyes on her back.
I was out walking with my 4 year old daughter. She picked up
something off the ground and started to put it in her mouth. I took the
item away from her and I asked her not to do that.
"Why?" my daughter asked.
"Because it's been laying outside, you don't know where it's been,
it's dirty and probably has germs" I replied.
At this point, my daughter looked at me with total admiration and
asked, "Wow! How do you know all this stuff?"
"Uh," ...I was thinking quickly,"All moms know this stuff. It's on
the Mommy Test. You have to know it, or they don't let you be a Mommy."
We walked along in silence for 2 or 3 minutes, but she was
evidently pondering this new information.
"OH...I get it!" she beamed, "So if you don't pass the test you
have to be the daddy"
"Exactly" I replied back with a big smile on my face and joy in my

Friday, September 3, 2010

Ok Ok

So for all of you who have asked, "Why did you stop blogging?" I'm sorry, I haven't stopped blogging, I've just been a little crazy. But I'm going to try to get back into the swing of things. So here we go...
Things are going well for the Klafka family. We are finally out of my parents house. Rustin is back teaching school full-time and his photography business has taken off. And of course I am at home being the world's most awesome mom ever :) (If you know me well you know that last statement is total sarcasm) The kids are growing like weeds. I literally laugh every day at the things that come out of their mouth.
As I have said many times before, Haygen, is my little drama momma. She loves shoes, clothes, and sunglasses and is all about eating. She tells me (and everyone else) "I cue-te!" or " I pi-tty!". She loves to dance and sing. (She loves to sing her ABC's and counting to ten with brother) One of her new sayings is, "Did you hear dat puppy?" when the dog next door barks.

Kye is my big boy now. (and reminds me of it everyday) "MyMom, I'm a big boy!" He loves cars, and trains, and planes. He is artistic like his dad. He's my little sweetheart. "I sure do love you Mymom."
They are picking up everything we say. Which is not always a good thing! So as a reminder to myself to watch what you say, I'll end with my latest experience.

While riding in the car I hear Kye yell from the back seat, "Holy Moly, Crap!" I immediately look at my mom who was in the car with me and asked, "what did he just say!" to which Kye responds, "I said Holy, Moly, Crap! Mymom." Now the Holy Moly, I have no idea who says that, but the crap, I know exactly where he gets that.....ME! I was mortified! Of course my mom and I immediately begin telling him that crap is a bad word and he shouldn't say it, blah, blah, blah. Which I know the whole time he was thinking if it's so bad why does MyMom say it. But luckily he's too young to really argue on that level (Thank goodness!). So later that day while we were coloring I see Kye getting frustrated with his picture. Then I hear "Dad-Moly!". Again I look at my mom and say, "what did he just say?" and again Kye answers me and says, "MyMom, I said Dad-Moly!". After a couple of minutes and blank stares from my mom and me he finally explains "you know Dad-Moly like Dadburnit". We laughed til we almost cried and praised Kye for using nicer words than before. So as you can see he's got that creative side. And I am watching what I say!

Here he is saying Dad-Moly! and I sure do love you.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


The weather on Tuesday was absolutely gorgeous so the kids and I headed outside for a ride in the wagon. The kids did great in the wagon. Kye would point out birds to Haygen. Then he would sing Patty Cake to her and die laughing when she would yell "Thow dem N Pan!" After the wagon ride I decided to let them play in the backyard for a little bit before Haygen went down for nap. Kye immediately went to play in the sandbox and Haygen went to kick the soccer ball in the grass. Now I would like to point out I turned my back for literally one minute to move a lawn chair. When I turned back around I noticed Haygen was nowhere to be seen. I called out "Haygen, where are you?" and out she comes from the side of the house. "I ere'', she calls back to me which I can barely understand because of the huge mouthful of something she is chewing on. I should mention that ever since Easter, there have been a couple of times where Kye would find a stray Easter Egg he hadn't found yet, open it up and eat it before we could do anything about it. (I know most parents actually go back and pick up the unfound Easter Eggs but who has time for that?)
Seeing that she had chocolate all over her mouth I yelled to her "Haygen spit that nasty chocolate out!" Which she did... right before she stepped on it. It was not until she was standing right in front of me that I noticed, what I thought was old Easter candy was not....yep you guessed it, Dog Poop!! My sweet little angel had eaten dog poop! So I did the first thing any absolutely grossed out person would do... I screamed "HAYGEN!!!! YUCKY!!!!!!" Which I didn't think sounded too harsh but apparently in one year old language it translates into, Mommy doesn't love you anymore and you're a complete failure, because she started screaming and crying at the top of her lungs while trying to climb up the chair onto my lap. This would be a good time to tell you that the stepped on "chocolate" she had spit out of her mouth had not only been stepped on but was now wedged in between her first and second toe. Not only was it wedged between her toes but now it was embedded in the lawn chair and all over my pants. Outside time was OVER!! In an attempt to calm her down, I placed her head on my chest not even thinking about the "chocolate" that was smeared all over her face (which was now all over my shirt). She finally calmed down and looked up at me with those sweet blue eyes and asked, "Sugars?"
Thankfully I got away with just a kiss on the cheek. Two baths, the biggest tooth brushing session you've ever seen, a couple loads of laundry...
Lesson learned... pick up your unfound Easter Eggs, toilet train your dogs, and never assume anything is just chocolate!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Leggo My Eggo

Being the awesome mom that I am, I decided to make pancakes for the kids this morning. I should have known from the beginning it was a bad idea. But being that Kye never eats ANYTHING, I thought surely he would love "cake" with syrup on it.
As I was beating the batter I called to Kye who was watching old Disney cartoons in the livingroom. "Kye, do you want pancakes for breakfast?" I asked. "Pancakes? Yeah, I want Pancakes!" Then he began dancing around the kitchen singing about pancakes. Haygen joined in, following Kye around dancing and yelling about pancakes (even though she has no idea what pancakes are).
Thinking I was the best mom in the world I began putting the batter on the griddle. All of a sudden I realized, my sweet children were no longer singing but screaming at the top of their lungs, "PANCAKES! PANCAKES! PANCAKES!" and were infuriated that the pancakes were not ready yet. I tried to reassure them that the pancakes would be ready in a couple of minutes. Screaming became crying and crying became an all out temper tantrum meltdown. Now I'm sure most of you have dealt with temper tantrums, as have I, but never had I dealt with two simultaneous, full blown out, inconsolable tantrums like these (and if I have, I've blocked it out of my memory).
My first thought was to put Haygen in the highchair and Kye at the bar so they would calm down knowing it was almost time to eat. With Kye attached to my leg still screaming and crying I picked up Haygen and walked over to her highchair. Just as I was about to get her in the chair I realized that Kye was not only screaming and crying while attached to my leg, but he was now pulling so hard he was pulling down my pants. (This would be a good time to mention that as all of this was happening my dad and two of his college aged guys that work for him, were standing outside, right in front of the kitchen window that all of this was taking place!) So, as I reached for my pants my sweet daughter decided that she had not been putting up a good enough fight for these pancakes and began to kick and scream with all of her might. The hand that was reaching for my pants quickly went back up to save me from dropping Haygen on the floor. Then, everything went into S-L-O-W M-O-T-I-O-N, it was like the last thread in the rope broke. All at once, Kye and my pants fell to the ground, causing him to bump his head on the floor, I in an attempt to catch my pants and Kye, did this bend/squat move causing Haygen to bang her head on the highchair before we fell to the ground as well. Laying on the floor with both kids screaming while frantically trying to pull my pants up it hit me, "THE PANCAKES!!". (Seriously, you can't even make this stuff up!) I'm sure I don't even have to tell you what color that pancake was. (BLACK!) I turned to my kids who were no longer crying but intrigued by the black smoking pancake. "MyMom, you burn it?" Kye asked. "Yes baby, Mommy burned it." He then rushed over hugged my leg and said "Aww, that's ok MyMom, you make nother one."
After making sure no one outside had seen what had just happened, I sat Kye at the bar and Haygen in the highchair and began pancakes take 2. In no time at all the pancakes were ready. I placed them in front of the kids and poured myself a much needed glass of tea. While putting the tea back in the refridgerator I thought to myself, I am such a good mom for getting through all of that and still getting my kids the pancakes they so desparately wanted. As I began to turn back to the kids I noticed Haygen's plate was still sitting in front of her untouched. I looked up and saw Haygen, fast asleep in her highchair! I then looked over to Kye who pushed his plate away, started crying and said, " I DON'T WANT PANCAKES MYMOM, I WANT TEA!!!"

Needless to say, I have learned a very valuable lesson from all this...
from here on out, it's EGGO TOASTER WAFFLES!!!!!!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Monday Morning

Have you ever looked at a recent picture of yourself and cringed at the person you see. No longer are you the young, thin, teenager (or even twenty year old) you used to be. You immediately tell your husband "don't post any of those pictures on facebook or I'll hurt you!!" Then you make sure from then on you're the one behind the camera. For me that day came about two months ago. It was Haygen's first birthday and we had just got home from her party at Rustin's parents house. After walking in the door I couldn't wait to see the pictures Rustin had taken. I grabbed his camera, flipped it on and began looking through all the pictures. Then it happened...the moment!!
Now I will be the first person to tell you, I'm an emotional eater! I love to eat and more than that I LOVE to drink cokes! I'm an addict. Not a three or four cokes a day addict. A seven to eight cokes a day addict. (seriously I know, ADDICTED!) Add that with two pregnancies and I'm starting to realize why I'm having my "moment".
Last Monday I decided it was time for a new moment. The moment where I start taking control of body again. I started my super strict eating plan last week. I like the term eating plan better than diet. As soon as I utter the word diet my brain sends my stomach a hunger signal and I want to eat any and everything in site . So my "eating plan" in a nutshell consists of protein, fruits, and veggies. No sugar and No cokes!
So far it's been easy and I feel great! Ok that's a total lie. I hope the people who created this diet never ask me to sponsor them because I'm going to sing like a bird. I'm grouchy, tired, and to be honest I would cut off my right arm for a coke and something fried!
Ok, maybe it's not that bad. I just never realized how much of an idol I have made food. When I go run errands I want to go get a coke. When we get out of the house as a family, I want to go out to eat. It's like my life revolves around it, so you can imagine how hard this "eating plan" has been so far. It's not the fact that I'm eating less, it's the fact that I have to eat clean food (no fried, no oil, no butter, no sugar, basically all the good stuff). Don't get me wrong, I like the clean food but I'd be lying if I said I'd rather have it than Chick-fil-a everyday. I mean come on if I was eating clean to begin with I wouldn't be on this eating plan. (YUM chick-fil-a) (Oh! Sorry I was thinking about waffle fries) Back to the eating plan, the caffeine headaches are starting to get better and I have lost 4lbs which is awesome and motivation to keep it up. I'm excited to see the end results. So keep watching cause you never know when you might see an updated picture. Have a wonderful Monday!!!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

I Got It All Wrong

While talking to my mom tonight I realized how different my life has turned out than what I once thought. At the age of 20 I specifically told God, "I will not marry a minister!" (which I did)At the age of 16 I told my mom "I will never get a tattoo" (Fast forward 1 year to me with a Chinese symbol on my hip). At the age of 8 I knew for sure that my life's calling was to be a "famous" (that word was important) singer. (Still waiting on Nashville to call) At the age of 5 I told my grandmother I was going to marry Michael Jackson. (But he never returned my phone calls) But the thing that stands out the most is the story my mother told me tonight...

At the age of 2 I was riding in the car with my mother on the way to my grandmother's house. I looked over to my mother and very seriously said, "Momma, I don't want to go to Heaven."
"Why?" my mother asked sweetly. "I don't want to go to Heaven because I don't want to see Jesus." "L'Ray, why wouldn't you want to see Jesus?" To which I replied, "I don't want to see Jesus because he has a deard." (Now for all of you who do not speak 2 year old, deard translates to beard) My mother then tried to explain to me that we did not know what Jesus truly looked like and that pictures I might have seen were just what people thought He might look like. I stared out the window in deep thought for several minutes in silence. "Mom, it's ok I'll just go and talk to Mary instead."

I tell that story to say God must have some sense of humor and even though I hate beards to this very day, I love the man that is under it :)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Here We Go

These are my crazy kids. My son Kye will be turning 3 in May and my daughter Haygen (also known as, Miss Priss, or Drama Momma) turned 1 in January. My husband and I have been married almost 5 years and have been extremely blessed with an amazing family. After becoming a mom I soon realized that my life had changed forever. I'm not talking about the fact that now I had someone that was totally dependant on me and that everything for the next 18 years would revolve around them. I'm talking about the part when you turn in your identity for the shared identity of women all over the world. No longer would I be L'Ray Klafka. I now and forever more would be MOM. Don't get me wrong, I love being a mother but I feel like somewhere in all the craziness I have lost a piece (let's be real, a HUGE chunk) of myself. So as my first attempt to regain some of those lost pieces I am doing something I said I would never do...starting a blog.

If you have ever read anything my husband has written you know that he is an incredible writer. I would just like to say in advance that I am the complete opposite of him, he is an incredible intellect who writes about extremely deep issues that plague his heart. My writing on the other hand will probably consist of things that are going on in my everyday life. You know, laundry, boogers, dirty diapers, lack of sleep, fighting children, diet, potty training, Sesame Street, the things that really matter in life :) Let the adventure begin!