Sunday, December 21, 2008
It’s funny how often we get the things we wish for, but not in the way and circumstance that we wanted them. The snow showed up, but so did a nasty sore throat and sub-zero temperatures. We have three feet of snow, but there’s definitely no sledding going on.
It happened again a couple of days ago. I desperately longed for a day off to putter around my house, wrap presents, and bake cookies. With Christmas being a prime time of year for overload freak-outs, there are times when I feel like if the world doesn’t stop spinning and let me off, I’m going to…well, I don’t know what I would do, but it would be ugly. So I badly wanted a day off. I got it off alright….I spent it lying on the couch sick as a dog, looking at our Christmas tree with nothing under it and wishing I felt good enough to get up and wrap some packages.
Sometimes it’s the same with my faith. I want God to answer my requests and then I’m confused or upset when he doesn’t do it exactly like I expected. Yet when I stop to think about it, I’m so glad he doesn’t! I, for one, can’t even count the times I’ve profusely thanked him for not giving me what I asked for in the way I thought I wanted it. Isn’t it wonderful that He thinks outside our tiny, narrow-minded boxes and gives us just what we need and in the very way we need it?
Before the beginning of time, God knew I needed a savior and he sent one in the most unlikely and unexpected form, a baby. This week, as you think about your Christmas expectations and the gifts you might receive; pause, take a deep breath, and thank God for the one he’s already given you.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
If you're easily distracted (like me), and often prefer the fake to the real...I hope that as you enjoy this holiday season, you keep the real meaning of Christmas in focus.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Now fast forward to Black Friday. The TV blares constant adds about all the sales starting at 5am (no scratch that...they started at 4am this year) for things you "Must Have", radio stations start their "all holiday music" extravaganzas, count-downs to "The Big Day" begin, parties are scheduled, every weekend on the calendar instantly fills up, and on and on it goes. It feels like someone just fired the starter pistol and if you don't hit the ground running, you're going to get trampled before you ever leave the starter blocks. (Speaking of trampled... It doesn't help my thoughts on the subject any to see the story on the news about the Wal-mart worker who was trampled to death on Friday morning by an impatient mob of early morning shoppers.)
But now that the initial surge is over, I've taken a deep breath, bought a few gifts, pulled the decorations down from the attic and I'm ready to see if I can survive another holiday season. Oh yeah, in case nobody has reminded you today....it's 27 days until Christmas.
Friday, November 28, 2008
We had Thanksgiving dinner at our church. It was a wonderful meal with 25 or so people gathered. After dinner, The Pastor's son was eating pie with the Youth Pastor (When he's being adorable he's my son. On days like this, he's The Pastor's son.) and I was in the kitchen helping to clean up. A small clarification here, my son....oops, I mean The Pastor's son didn't really want any pie, so he asked me if he could just eat whip cream. I kind of felt sorry for him (first mistake) and because it was a holiday, I squirted a pile of whipping cream on a dessert plate and turned him loose with a spoon.
OK, so anyway, I was in the kitchen and he wanders over to me with his plate of whip cream.
"Yes?" I answered.
"I think this whip cream smells funny." He held the plate up for me to examine.
"I'm sure it's fine" I said, bending down to get a closer look.
Then my one and only son....oops, I mean The Pastor's one and only son, in front of God and everyone...on Thanksgiving day, nonetheless, smashed the plate of whip cream into my face and up my nose.
I don't think I've ever heard him laugh that hard. I don't think I've ever heard his father laugh that hard. He's only six, but I have this funny feeling that he's going to be grounded from going to Youth Group for a long time to come.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Like Fox News, I try for the most part to make this blog "Fair and Balanced", but I'm afraid that you men might not fully understand this post. Sorry. I can't help it. I can only look at this from a woman's perspective. However, later this week, I'll post a picture of The Pastor with the bloody, dead dear he shot and that should satisfy my "Manly Post" quota for the month.
In a recent post, I mentioned a bad hairdo. It was one of those days where I was feeling vulnerable. I had gone on a business trip to Las Vegas and when I returned, all you-know-what was breaking loose at the office. Being gone for a week, even if it's for the sake of the company, always has huge paybacks. Anyway, it was a lousy week with many factors against me.
As a personal policy, I ALWAYS, get my hair cut at a late afternoon appointment. The lady who cuts my hair does an amazing job with the shears, but she has this uncanny ability to make me look like....well I don't know who, but let's just say it's bad. I get teased relentlessly, so I always go straight home after a haircut.
Lately though, she's been cutting my hair without washing it or getting it wet. This turns out to be in my favor because she can cut it and it retains the shape I gave it in the morning, instead of the Cyndi Lauper look she likes to give it. Because of this, I've let my morals slip and for the last several haircuts, I've let her cut it at lunch. Since I'd been out of town and also on vacation, I was desperate for a haircut, so this day I compromised my values again and made a lunch appointment.
My day at work was terrible, the weather was gloomy and dark and I was vulnerable and looking for something to make me feel better. I'm going to sum up this post by encouraging you gals...if you find yourself in this mood; if life is pressing in on you, and certainly if you are getting your hair done at lunch and must go back to work, your problems can't be solved by the words...
"Sure, you can color my hair."
Trust me. I know.
Saturday, November 08, 2008
This week was a bit tough. There's something about "falling back" that messes with me. While it was nice to wake up and have it a little more light than before we changed the clocks, it's definitely not worth the trade off when it's dark at 4:30 in the afternoon.
Some people might think it's a bunch of hooey, but up north here in Idaho, the days get very short and Seasonal Affective Disorder (being SAD) is a very real condition. Not having enough light can make you feel strange in all sorts of ways. I know because I happen to have it. I'd like to sugar coat it for you all, so you don't think less of me, but basically...I turn into a crazy woman when I don't see enough daylight.
My Jeep has automatic headlights. They come on when it's getting dark and I've often wondered if the sensor is broken or something, because it's got to be pretty dark before they come on. On Wednesday my headlights came on as I drove both to and from work. My heart sank. Here we go, I thought, knowing this is only the beginning of a long, dark winter.
If I let myself, I can get extremely bummed out by the fact that I spend my days in an office with only a small view to the outside light, or I can be downright depressed that I might not stand in my own kitchen and see the sun spill through the windows until the next weekend rolls around, and even then, only if it happens to be sunny that day.
However, when I feel myself sliding down that icy slope of despair, I try to remind myself of one thing...
"I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12
Christ is my light. With him I'm never in darkness. Armed with that (and a full spectrum-light therapy lamp...just kidding - I don't own one) I should make it through these dark winter months just fine.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Whether your candidate won or lost last night, let's remember to pray for our nation. Isn't it comforting to know that regardless of who we voted for for President, we know who really holds the future of our country in his hands?
Monday, November 03, 2008
On the flip side of that, there are some days when I just feel like I need something new. I don't know what it is, but I definitely need something. No advertising has been forced upon me, there's nothing in particular that I have in mind, but I'm sure that if I go find myself something, I'll feel better.
Sunday morning at church, we sang a song that was new to me. Now, I've grown up in church, been a Christian since I was very young, and married to the pastor for nearly 20 years. Let me tell ya, I know a few songs. But, I didn't know this one.
The downside to knowing so many songs for so many years is that I often sing them without really letting the words soak in. Sundays are busy for pastors and their families. It's a work day. Sometimes it's very hard to turn our minds from "work" to worship, so I end up singing, "I love you, Lord" while thinking, "Where are the Jones' this morning? I haven't seen Jane in several weeks. I should remember to pray for her and give her a call. I hope she's not mad after what happened at the last business meeting..." and on and on.
The words caught me off guard. It was a simple song and I've sung a million like it before. But for some reason, that morning, as I stared at the overhead screen, God and I had a quiet moment together. Because I didn't know the song, I just stood there, looking at the words and soaking in their truth. Try as I might to soothe my soul with some thing, I can really only do it with some one. God spoke to me clearly that morning, assuring and reminding me that he is enough for me and drawing near to him is the only thing I need to satisfy those longings in my soul.
That catalog is going in the trash.
Saturday, November 01, 2008
I looked at him dumbfounded as he beamed with pride at his vast car-guy knowledge. After a minute or two of silence I finally asked him the question that had been plaguing my mind while he spoke...
"How can you know all that and not know how to work the remote for the TV?"
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
This has been a whopper of a month. It started off with a family vacation which included the flu and a doozie of a head cold for me, continued into a 40th Anniversary party for my parents, and finished off with an unplanned business trip to Las Vegas. Thinking about everything that's gone on in October, I thought my month was pretty insane, but thankfully done (for all intents and purposes). But I was painfully reminded yesterday and today by a software crisis at work and an extremely bad and expensive hairdo (more on that later) that the month isn't over yet.
It's good to be back.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Not long ago, I caught my mom with a kleenex in her hand and as she began to wad it up, I gasped, "You better not be getting ready to tuck that in your sleeve!" She laughed and assured me that she was only putting it in her pocket. I chided her that the pocket is only the first step. Next stop....sleeve. In a similar scene, while she was visiting, my son asked for a tissue. Mom whipped one out from her pocket and I began to tease her for becoming her mother. Relentlessly.
No matter how much you love your family, you don't want to become your mother. I don't know why that is. I admire my Mom and she has many great qualities. Yet, when my brother chides that I'm becoming her, I go into battle mode. (of course, he is turning into a little "mini-me" of my Dad, so there's not much room for him to talk).
My office is in the basement and this morning, before I came down to my computer, I remembered that I hadn't taken my Allegra last night. My allergies were killing me! As I grabbed a couple kleenexes and stuck them into the pocket of my sweatshirt. I stopped dead in my tracks and looked around to see if anyone was looking. Luckily for me, in my own house at 5:20am, everyone is in bed and there is nobody around but me.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Usually when I attempt to grow things like flowers, I get results like you see in the picture above.
This spring, in the name of simplicity, I planted flowers in large pots, rather than make flower beds. I figure the less dirt, the less chance that weeds can grow and the less chance of weeds growing, the better the chance that flowers might actually grow. So you can imagine my delight when my flowers took off and bloomed like crazy. (well, most of them...)
I had flowers that looked like this....
So not fair.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Sunday, September 07, 2008
Let's just say, I don't have that same philosophy. It's my goal to keep all my new stuff as new looking as possible. I want to protect and preserve. I like things shiny, intact, and most importantly...working.
In my last post, I showed some pictures of our new travel trailer on it's maiden voyage. This trailer is a bit longer than our last one, so I've been extremely nervous about dragging the thing around for fear of smashing into something with it. (Of course, this does not reflect at all, my confidence in The Pastor to handle the trailer...I'm just an inherently nervous person) Much to my pleasure, my skilled husband was able to manuever the trailer around with no problems. We came back home, backed the trailer into the driveway and had nothing to report except a weekend of fun.
Once the trailer was safely set in place, we all got to work on our respective unpacking jobs. When we were done unloading, I went into the house and started the laundry. From the house, I heard our riding lawn-mower (which we also recently bought) fire up. I laundered, The Pastor mowed. After awhile, I looked out the window and and saw our truck parked in a strange spot. Worried that the pastor might be loading or lifting something he shouldn't, I went out into the yard. The truck had a tow-chain hooked to the lawn mower. Hmm, strange, I thought.
Right then, The Pastor came walking around the corner. He looked a little shaken. Just as I asked him what was going on, I noticed the dent in the trailer...then the one in the lawn mower.
Apparently, I should have worried less about the maiden voyage of the trailer and more about its safety while parked in the driveway. Somehow, The Pastor lost control of the riding mower and it took off down the hill (with him on it)...where it smashed into the side of the new trailer.
I know things can't stay "new" forever...but I was hoping for longer than two weeks.
Monday, September 01, 2008
Sunday, August 17, 2008
When we came through the door of Mom and Dad's at 10PM, there was a fresh plate of Snickerdoodles and a pan of blonde brownies sitting on the counter… right next to where Mom keeps her Weight Watchers book. I polished off three cookies while The Pastor dug into the brownies.
For breakfast, Mom and I carefully chose and ate low-fat, low-calorie granola bars…and the rest of the Snickerdoodles. (well, maybe not the whole plate, but you get my drift).
The rest of the weekend was full of conversations such as how terrible we look in our swimsuits, how many Weight Watcher points certain foods have, and making sure our lattes were made with sugar free syrup. The funny thing is that in between those conversations, were others such as, “Hey….that was my brownie!”, “I need some gummy bears.” and “Wow! Is this a five or seven layer chocolate-fudge cake? Can I have another piece?”
Please understand these conversations are not just between Mom and me. It’s all of us, right down to the last cousin. We are an odd bunch. We count carbs and eat caramel in the same moment. No wonder I can’t figure out if I should drink an Atkins shake or a triple-thick milkshake. Oh well, what’s a girl to do? I suppose when in Rome, do as the Romans, so I think I’ll go have a snack of Sparkle Cherry Laffy Taffy and a diet coke.
This past Sunday was different, however. Actually, the topic was divorce, not so much marriage, but it’s pretty hard to talk about God’s view of divorce without mentioning the marriage part. But as The Pastor spoke, I found myself pondering years past and the times I thought it might just be easier to walk out the door and never look back. I felt a strange blend of humility and thankfulness for the ways God has grown our marriage. I thought about how grateful I was to hear The Pastor preaching on this topic and not have any negative feelings, only those of love and respect toward him.
I was especially glad to hear him talking about the importance of giving grace to each other because halfway through the sermon I remembered that I left my kayak gear in his truck and I promised him I would take it out 4 days ago. Oops. Good thing we have grace in our marriage.
Another topic of the sermon was “two becoming one flesh”. Of course this has obvious meaning for the physical part of a marriage, but The Pastor was speaking of it on a different level. It touched me to hear him talking about two people really becoming a part of each other and melding into one. I figure if we’ve been married almost 19 years, we should be making good strides in the “oneness” area. Maybe that means we begin more and more to like the same things, to have the same hobbies, to enjoy the same pastimes. That sounds good to me as long as we’re talking about him coming shopping with me, but definitely not me going deer hunting with him. On second thought… maybe a little “separateness” is healthy. This one of us is going to the sale at Kohl’s.
Thursday, August 07, 2008
As is often the case, I was a little stressed about having guests that I've never met stay with us for almost a week. These particular guests were supposed to stay with another family from our church, and I have to admit, I was pretty happy with that arrangement. The Pastor was still (and is still) healing from his bypass surgery. Life had been stressful and emotionally draining and as excited as I was that they were coming to speak at our church, I was equally excited that I didn’t have to bear the burden of housing them.
The guests were two young men from Uganda, Mugwanya Francis and his travelling companion, Martin. Francis was the victim of a severe case of polio when he was three years old. It left him crippled for life and in a wheelchair. That coupled with our long flight of stairs down to the guest bedroom, is another reason I figured it would be best if they stayed with someone else.
However, because of a family emergency, at the last minute, plans changed. Francis and Martin now needed to stay with us. My stress level was on the roof! I had too much to deal with, too much to think about, and too much self-pity to take on one more thing. I gritted my teeth and prepared the guest room.
This was the first trip out of Uganda for both Francis and Martin. The reason they came is that Francis has a ministry called “The Father’s Heart” that distributes wheelchairs and preaches the gospel to the handicapped people of Uganda. He partners with organizations such as “Free Wheelchair Mission” and “Joni and Friends” to acquire and distribute the wheelchairs. Along with the wheelchairs, Francis gives hope to handicapped Ugandans who have been taught to believe that they are worthless. Martin is an evangelist who preaches the gospel and travels with Francis to help with his own wheelchair and his needs as they speak to churches about the ministry.
After spending only a short amount of time with these men, my heart was truly convicted at my bad attitude and selfishness. How quickly I forget how privileged we are in American and how privileged I am here in my own home. Our time with Francis and Martin was truly amazing and humbling.
I don’t know why it always catches me by surprise, but I’m astonished at how quickly, if I let him, God can take me from stressed to blessed.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Friday, July 11, 2008
In the long hours that I waited around the hospital while the pastor had open heart surgery, I have to admit, I felt pretty young. There weren't very many other 37 year old wives sitting around the cardiac waiting room (actually none). I felt proud of myself each time I climbed the 60 stairs to the 3rd floor where his room was, rather than ride the elevator with everyone else. (When you hang around ICU with a loved one who has just had heart surgery, you have this sudden and overwhelming urge to do healthy things like "take the stairs".)
Since we've returned home, the chores have fallen mostly to me (and any help I can scrounge up). One thing we're very excited about around our house is the arrival of what passes for a lawn. It's not perfect; It has some weeds mixed in, but hey, it's green and we mow it and we're thrilled after 2 years of mud and dirt in the yard. However, this new, exciting lawn is large and needs to be mowed often, so I've found myself pushing a mower quite a bit (which I really haven't done much of since my little brother got old enough to run the lawn mower for my Dad and I was relieved of my mowing duties in about 1985).
In the midst of all this stair climbing, lawn mowing, and filling in for my husband as my son's wrestling partner while Daddy is healing, I've noticed something strange. My left hip hurts. Those words sting, even as I write them. "My HIP hurts". That's something I didn't figure would be coming out of my mouth for another 20 years, at least! This can't be happening. I'm young. There's no way my hip can hurt. I can have sore muscles, I can be tired, I'm even okay with an achy lower back...but my hip....no way!
I guess I'll have to take some Tylenol Arthritis along with my cholesterol medicine from now on. I might as well add Geritol to the growing list of pills I take. Getting old stinks.
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Sunday, June 22, 2008
When the boys returned from town, I heard commotion as they came through the front door. I thought maybe my son had been in trouble in the car or something because he was crying. Turns out that immediately after he left the house with Dad, he began to have some sort of stomach cramps. Apparently he wailed all the way to town and back. He was pretty pathetic. I found him lying on his bed crying, “I don’t want to go golfing today.” Hmmm, I knew this must be some serious pain.
We cancelled all plans and hung around the house while every 15 minutes, my son cried out in pain. It was a sad sight to watch, but we had the feeling that he just had some gas and eventually it would pass (pardon the pun.)
However, as the hours wore on, we began to get a little worried. I knew that in addition to stomach pain, the symptoms of appendicitis also include fever and nausea. He didn’t have any of that but I decided to call the doctor and make sure we shouldn’t bring him in to be checked. It had been about 3 or 4 hours and the wailing continued. The nurse said unless he had more symptoms or the pains were worse, that we should just watch him and wait.
Another hour or two of carrying on and things were getting bad. The crying spells were coming every 30 seconds, rather than every 5-15 minutes. He began to moan, “Mommy, please, someone make it stop!” It was getting late in the afternoon by now and we were really starting to worry, so we packed him in the car and headed for Urgent Care. All the way to town, the screaming continued. In the waiting room, the screaming continued. Then, they led us into the examining room. My son’s stomach was hurting so badly, he could barely climb onto the exam table. The nurse talked to us and left. My son was quiet.
Then he started to crack jokes. No screaming. Then he was singing. No screaming. Then he was jumping around the room. No screaming! I could not believe my eyes. This kid had been in writhing pain all day and now a miraculous recovery. Suddenly, an odor wafted through the room. My earlier prediction had come true. One hour and a $20 co-pay later, we were heading back home. Thankful that nothing serious was wrong with him. So much for the day-o-fun.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
"Whenever I tense up and feel nauseated, I meditate and breathe deeply."
Monday, June 09, 2008
All that being said, in a moment of weakness, this weekend I agreed to go with my husband to a farm auction. I guess it wasn’t really so much a moment of weakness, as it was me not understanding exactly what a farm auction is. In case you’re not familiar, let me enlighten you. A farm auction is like a yard sale on steroids, with a few exceptions. Exception number one, you can’t actually buy anything until the item you want comes up for bid. Therefore, you must stay at the auction all day in order to get your two dollar pair of hedge clippers. Exception number two, it really is an auction, therefore, there’s no guarantee that after waiting all day to purchase said hedge clippers, that you will actually be able to buy them. Finally, exception number three, a farm auction is full of rusty, old, tools, car parts, ropes, gears, tractors, and other such gadgets. Rarely have I seen such a vast amount of stuff that I had absolutely no use for.
This particular auction was at a beautiful country farm. There were several out outbuildings; little sheds and barns and such. The auctioneer moved from place to place around the farm; in and out of the barns and lean-tos, and a crowd of people followed. We’ve been having unseasonably cold weather and the day was about 50 degrees, at most, and there was a steady pouring rain. Not helping.
About two or three hours into this thing, as we entered one of the barns, I saw something that caught my eye. A very new looking, Maytag double oven. Mom and I had just been having a conversation about how cool it would be to have a double oven for hosting parties and large holiday meals. Of course, I have no place to put one, but I eyed the oven anyway. It was the only thing that remotely interested me in that barn. I stood in amazement as bales of old wire sold for 25 bucks, mismatched window panes were argued about, and highest bidder got their choice of pitch forks. Then the auctioneer turned to the double oven. All right, I thought, now we’ll see some real action. I suppose those who attend farm auctions are more interested in tools and wire and tractors…the double oven went for five bucks. I was dumbfounded that these people would pay $40 for a box of rusty screws, but barely give one bid on a cool double oven. At that moment I knew if I didn’t get out of there quickly, my sanity, like the other people’s there, would be going…going…gone.
Thursday, June 05, 2008
As impatience takes over, I find myself drawn into the myth that my problems can and should be solved quickly. I expect to have a revelation from God and instantly make every needed change in my life. I want an immediate turning point.
The turning point is a concept I love. I see it happen in movies. I read it in novels. I watch the illusion of it happen on Dr. Phil and Oprah as guests leave the stage with their relationships mended or their will power bolstered. The lights come on and immediately the necessary changes are made. And so for myself, I expect the same.
I delight in the idea of realizing a change that needs to be made in my life and then actually having the spiritual maturity to immediately implement my new found wisdom. I love it when the lights come on to my own blindness, the truth is revealed, and I’m quickly able to act on it. Sadly though, that’s not usually the case.
Instead, I wrestle with God about why the process of change is so slow. Why, even though I recognize the change to be made, I feel powerless to act on it. I want a closer marriage relationship, to be a better mom, to eat less carbs and exercise more. I often know what I need to do to obtain these goals, but the changes come slowly. I identify with the apostle Paul where he says in Romans chapter 7, “For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.” I chase after my turning point and feel I catch glimpses of it, but can’t quite reach it. It’s elusive, intangible, and anything but instant.
In Mark, chapter 8, Mark tells the story of Jesus healing the blind man at Bethsaida. “When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, ‘Do you see anything?’
He looked up and said, ‘I see people; they look like trees walking around.’”
Although, he certainly could have, Jesus didn’t completely heal the first time. We’re not sure why, but he chose to do this miracle in stages, rather than instantaneously. However, in the end, he did finish his work. The next verse tells us, “Once more, Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored and he saw everything clearly.”
Whether we are talking about learning, healing, or our spiritual maturity, we need to understand that God is going through a deliberate process with us. He wants us to be mature and complete, not comfortable and mediocre (James 1:3-4). His interest is not in taking us down the shortest path, but in our ultimate good. God leads and we must choose to follow, even when the way seems murky and we can’t see our own feet on the path we are walking. No shortcuts allowed.
The Bible speaks over and over of God’s ongoing work in our lives; how he is making us into a perfect image of him. We are a work in progress. When I’m aware of this work and that it’s a process that takes time; when I realize that my life will be a slow progression of maturity and when I remember that “he who began a good work in me, will carry it on to completion”…that’s my real turning point.
Monday, June 02, 2008
Saturday, May 17, 2008
“Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his Holy name.
Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.
Who forgives all your sins;
Who heals all your diseases;
Who redeems your life from the pit;
And crowns you with love and compassion.
Who satisfies your desires with good things,
So that your youth is renewed.”
Friday, May 16, 2008
Sunday, May 11, 2008
I don’t say this because I think that Mom did or could or should learn anything from me. The thought honestly never crossed my mind. I always consider myself to be the “student” in our relationship. Rather, I say it because the idea struck me recently when I started to make a mental list of all the things I am learning from my son.
I heard Dr. David Jeremiah speaking on his radio show, Turning Point, earlier this week. He was talking about how it was most often the case that when people in the bible were unable to have children early in their marriages, that when they finally did have a child, that child was used in a special way by God. My husband and I looked knowingly at each other. We waited 11 years for our family to arrive and I know without a shadow of a doubt that God, in his perfect plan, will use my son in a mighty way.
Last week a few things happened that got my attention about the character and depth of my son. Please don’t get me wrong… He’s six and he drives me nuts most of the time. He’s normal. He constantly spills his drinks, leaves toys everywhere, and loves to watch Spongebob. He argues, whines, and complains, and I have no visions of grandeur that he’s perfect. I am convinced, however, that he is special.
I watched him in church last week as we sang. He closed his eyes, lifted his head to the sky and sang his little heart out for the Lord. Unlike his mom, oblivious to what was going on around him, he focused solely on God and worship. During prayer time, he prayed out loud for our missionaries (his friends) who are ministering in Swaziland. Monday morning I took him to school. As he was saying good bye to me and climbing out of the car, a little girl was also getting out of her mom’s car. Although happy enough, her hair was unkempt; her face and clothes dirty. My son’s face lit up. “Hi, Mary!” he called and jumped out of the car to skip into the school with her. No pretense. No judgment. I was immediately convicted.
My husband, the pastor, frequently visits shut-ins in the afternoon and often takes my son with him. I don’t think the recipients of the visits care at all if my husband shows up. They wait to see my son. Instead of being disinterested and bored, as most his age would be, he sits on the bed beside them and sings them songs. He holds their bony, aged hands and talks to them like they’ve been old friends for years. He tells them bible verses and prays for them. He ministers more effectively than most of the rest of us could do.
Yes, I believe he is special. I suppose there’s a minute possibility that my mom learned something from me while I was growing up, but knowing myself, I’m sure it was nothing like the lessons and gifts I get from my son. Worship, acceptance, servant hood; who could want anything more for Mother’s Day.
Friday, May 02, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Only if you had witnessed the morning battles in my house over the simple act of getting clothes on, would you understand the magnitude of this event.
"Now can I have five bucks?"
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Monday, April 21, 2008
Saturday, April 12, 2008
"Mom" my son says, "Hillary is sort of pretty."
"Yes, I suppose she is."
"You would be prettier if you were blonde."
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Saturday, April 05, 2008
Monday, March 31, 2008
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Life hasn’t been terribly carefree for me this week and being “Stuck With You” took on a whole new meaning this morning (Although, it was more like “Stuck On You”). I suppose I better back up a few days. Last weekend, I ran down to Kohl’s for a big sale they were having. I bought a couple of shirts (for work, of course), brought them home, and clipped the tags. I left the tags, along with those little baggies with the extra buttons in them, on the edge of the bathroom sink.
I usually try to tidy up the bathroom each day, but as I said, it was an especially bad week. I had a server crash at work and put in some long, stressful days while trying to recover everything. Needless to say, cleaning up the bathroom wasn’t my highest priority. So, the tags and baggies were left to sit. This morning, while blow drying my hair, the air from the dryer unknowingly blew one of the button baggies right onto my extra hot flat iron. The baggie stuck and melted on to the flat iron. (Have you ever accidentally got the bread bad too close to your toaster or stove? You get the idea.) In addition to a gooey, sticky, mess, I had a really bad hair day.
I guess it’s not completely fair, but I’m going to blame the whole incident on the fact that I was “Workin’ for a Living.”
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Last night I was driving home from work (with my seat heaters on and my sunroof open, of course). The sun was shining and I actually saw robins flitting around. When I got home, I cooked dinner as the light from outside spilled into the dining room and kitchen. After dinner, I watched my husband do the dishes (take notes, ladies) and still the sky was light.
I figure that just about now you’re asking yourself what in the world Barry Manilow and long sunny days could have to do with each other. Yesterday, as I observed the sunshine, I caught myself doing what I do each and every year when Daylight Savings time starts… I spontaneously broke into a rendition of “I Made it Through the Rain.”
Sunday, March 09, 2008
I think, though, that the coup de grace, the grand-daddy of all my offenses is when I drive with the air conditioner on “high” and the windows rolled down. On a beautiful, summer day, that’s my favorite way to ride. It makes perfect sense to me. I get all the benefit of the fresh air, yet keep myself perfectly cooled. I love it. It’s bliss.
With the coming of spring and a new Jeep to be cruising in, however, I’ve discovered a new bliss. When I break this one to my husband, he’s going to come uncorked. I suppose I could just try to cover my tracks, but I know I’ll be forced to share my secret, as he regularly reads this blog and so it cannot be both kept and blogged. It’s probably better I break it to him myself anyway, because sooner or later, my son is going to spill the beans.
My new bliss… Heater blasting, seat warmers on high, sunroof wide open. That’s springtime driving at its finest!
Sunday, March 02, 2008
As I have observed my baby becoming a toddler, my toddler a little boy, and my little boy a bigger one, I’m tempted to view each step, not as a normal childhood development, but instead small pieces of him that are being slowly taken away from me. I suppose it's a little of both.
I'm happy to see him growing and maturing, but the thoughts of seeing him with those jagged, too-big-for-his-mouth teeth that are characteristic of so many 6 year olds, makes me cringe. Not only do I have to endure this "growing up" process, but to rub salt in my wounds, I have to cough up the money to pay for it!
(Kudos to you if you get the reference to "The Molenator" in the title of this post!)
Saturday, February 23, 2008
But lately, it's different. I'm not sure if it's physiological (body) or psychological (mind), but I wake up. I feel strange. My heart beats fast, my arms feel flushed. It's truly weird. I'm starting to wonder if it's not some manifestation of anxiety or stress and it's very strange to admit that on my blog, but doing so is the whole point of this blog...to make an honest effort at admitting struggles and successes and sharing the work of God in my life. (at least I think that's my point; I'm not accustomed to blogging at 1:25 in the morning, and at this hour it's hard to tell if I'm even putting complete sentences together. I really hope this doesn't become my habit)
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Sunday, February 17, 2008
I didn’t intend to buy a big purse, but somehow it happened. It’s sort of like picking out your Christmas tree or a big screen TV…it looked smaller at the store. After I got it home, I realized it was quite huge, and it didn’t help when one of my husband’s friends, who is an avid hunter, told me that it looked like I could pack half an elk in it.
Nonetheless, I faithfully started carrying the purse. What transpired over the following days was amazing! Rather than carefully file away each item, receipt, and dollar, I began to stuff everything into the one large cavity of my new bag. The resulting feeling was euphoric! No more organizing. No more orderly compartments! No more conserving space. I pay, I stuff, I go. Who knew life could be this easy? Well, actually, my Mom probably knew, because she’s operated this way for a number of years (sorry, Mom). So I guess I must come by it naturally, or maybe this is the beginning of my mid-life, purse crisis. Whatever the reason, my purse-onality is definitely changing!
Thursday, February 07, 2008
There were tall boots, short boots, black boots, brown boots. It was a boot lover's paradise. Here's the thing...I didn't really need a pair of boots. Of course, you know I bought some. How do you pass up $70 boots for $10? Who cares that they were not my exact size...close enough. It wouldn't matter if I were an eskimo and it was ice on that clearance table. I would have definitely bought it! It was too good of a deal to pass up.
Saturday, February 02, 2008
Our pain eases with the passing of each year, but there are still those moments of sorrow that catch me by surprise; little things that sear my heart when I least expect them. In a strange sort of way, I've grown to welcome those moments, as they remind me of the love I have for Halee, even though I didn't have her long.
2 Samuel 12:23b "I will go to him, but he will not return to me."
I know that Halee will not return to me, but one day, I will go to her. What a day that will be!