Tuesday, December 15, 2009

When Daddy Smiles

Getting a lesson from God in the middle of children's Christmas program at their Christian school, may not seem like a big deal, and maybe it's not. But, I did see God in such a real way and different way last Thursday night, I've got to share it with you.

Each year since our oldest was in Kindergarten, we've attended the schools annual Christmas program. Each year, I'm moved and tear up at their sweet little faces and little voices singing about the new born King. Always sweet, always adorable, always worshipful.

This year there was added excitement as our 2nd son was going to make his debut on stage. He's been practicing for weeks and has enjoyed the three songs his class was going to sing so much. It has been so fun to watch him enjoy his music so thoroughly!

A couple things you should know about #2. He's passionate about life, he's- shall we say. . .loud, and he throws his heart, mind and body into everything he does.
All very fine and noble qualities. Also all traits that can often (O F T E N) land you in some serious trouble as you push your momma right to the edge!!

So, there we were Thursday night, all in our places. Grandma and Grandpa right there too, of course, along with little sister. Camera's ready to go.

Big brothers class was up first and they and he did a great job. ( One down, one to go).

Then here come the Kindergartner's . The little ones always make everyone smile.
As they took the stage with their solemn faces, you could tell they had practiced much, and been lectured about standing straight and tall.
The music began (which I immediately recognized from all that practicing) and they were singing away.
At this point something unexpected happened. #2 stepped up to the mic with 2 of his friends. Seems he had a special in the middle of the song. Never ONCE did he tell us this. I reached over to grab The Hubs hand, and my heart went to my throat.
Sing and sing away they did. LOUDLY, very LOUDLY and adorably. To Jesus, they sang.
I'll admit it, I was so proud. Beaming, really and crying all at the same time.
And, as I pondered the evenings events, I began to think about how God looks at me, His child.
His child who can be stubborn, loud and disobedient. Trouble with a capital T. (#2 is a bit more like me than I care to admit sometimes) But, even with all the trouble I can cause, when I do something for His glory, I believe He smiles. Smiles and delights, might I even suggest beams with pride as I do something solely to bring honor to Him.
No matter how many time outs or spankings I've had ( and trust me, He's had to give me my share!) His love and delight in me never changes.
A father loving his daughter unconditionally, no matter how many mistakes have come before.
So, maybe not the lesson you'd think I'd learn at Christmas concert, but a wonderful one none the less.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Clumps and Lumps

My lovely city has a blanket of white this morning.
Nothing says 'it's almost Christmas', like a fresh snow. Not enough for a snow day for the big boys, so it's little girl and I at home today snuggling with hot cocoa and a little Dora Christmas. What a great way to spend a morning!

The house is decked in our Christmas best. I love traditions, so getting out boxes and looking at each well loved ornament and telling the story behind it is so much fun for me!
I've noticed my kiddos are developing this sentimental side too, as they pull out their special ornaments and tell stories about them and listen to the stories of some our favorites. ( I have a ornament on our tree I made in the 1st grade-complete with year, I don't think the 6 year old knew there were years with 19's in them!)

Listening to their giggles and stories this year as they pulled each decoration and ornament out warmed my heart so much. Reminded me once again how privileged I am to have these three people call me mom. God is so gracious!
Of course, having little helpers means your tree doesn't exactly turn out like something that would be photographed for Southern Living. You can tell which child put on which ornaments by how high they are clumped and lumped together.
I don't have the heart to 'fix' them and spread them out. We had so much fun putting them on together.
The day will come, sooner than I'd like to think about, were we'll be singing 'I'll be home for Christmas' missing one of them who couldn't make it home to Mom and Dad's that year, that I'll leave the clumps. I'll leave them and remember.
Not pretty to others, but to this Momma another memory to tuck away until next year.
Thursday, December 3, 2009

God Rest Ye Merry Gentelmen

WOW! Long time no writing. Like you, things are continuously busy around here.

We had a great Thanksgiving weekend at my parents house. Lots of yummy food and even better company. We spent the weekend putting up decorations and enjoying the beginning of the season. Friday evening we spent the evening at our local arboretum which sponsored a luminary walk.
It was absolutely beautiful. We were out in God's spectacular creation walking among candle light stopping along the way to listen to some very adorable boy scouts do a sing a long, a Native American play some flutes and then listen to some amazing Dickens carolers.
As we stopped to listen to them, I looked around and wondered how many people were actually hearing the words being sung so beautifully. The carol that struck me the most that they sang was God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. If you've never paid attention to the words, you should. Basically, the gospel summed in a few lines.

Like many of you, I get annoyed with the whole 'Happy Holidays' instead of 'Merry Christmas' agenda that seems so prevalent these days. And I have been concerned that Jesus is being taken out of this global celebration. But, as I pondered these things this weekend, I began to wonder can Jesus be taken out of the Christmas season?
From the tree to the stars, the angels and lights and carols we sing, He is there. Even the X in Xmas has in origin in Biblical meanings.
I am certainly NOT saying Jesus can't be forgotten during the Christmas season as we became overwhelmed with gifts, baking, decorating, parties and political correctness. Yes He can certainly be forgotten, but He cannot be removed. Whether we acknowledge him or not is something completely different. Each decoration we place, each gift we give should be an act of worship to our Saviour born in a manger so long ago, who still saves the world and us today.

So, Merry Christmas to you! Jesus is why we celebrate-so celebrate BIG!

And -God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen let NOTHING you dismay
REMEMBER Christ our Savior was born on Christmas Day
To save us all from Satan's power
When we were gone astray
OH Tidings of Comfort and Joy
Comfort and Joy
OH Tidings of Comfort and Joy
Wednesday, November 18, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. . ..

Hello Christmas, where did you come from? Weren't the kids and I just in the pool??
But, yet here you are with your cousin Thanksgiving coming over next week, you aren't far behind are you?

Yes, that time of year is coming quickly upon us!
We LOVE Christmas at our house! Lots of music, parties, trees, cookies and the like.
I will confess right up front that we are a Santa house (please don't judge!) and although my oldest knows who fills his stocking and brings the 'good gifts' my two littles are full fledged believers in the chunky guy in the big red suit. Last year my then 5 year old asked if Santa was really, really real. My response, "There was a real man named St. Nicholas who did some really neat things for some special boys and girls." I'll let you know if it comes up again.

But, I'm not writing this little diddy to debate the shoulds or should nots of Santa.

I am wondering, Internet friends what you do to keep Christ as the front and center of your holiday celebrations. With three kiddos its always fun to look for new ways of reminding them why the whole world is celebrating (even if the whole world can't remember why!).

Here are some things we currently do:
Fill shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child. Helps them focus on others instead of the gimmes.
Our advent calender is a nativity scene instead of a countdown to presents.
Each child has a nativity scene in their room.
We bake a birthday cake for Jesus on Christmas day.
Christmas Eve service at church, followed by reading Luke 2 before bedtime on Christmas Eve.
LOTS of age appropriate books that tell the true Christmas story.

But, I know there is more we could be doing. What does your family do?
Feel free to share one or more ideas with me, I'd LOVE to hear what your family does to keep Christ front and center of your celebrations!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Welcome to My Kingdom

That's what she said. (There's a little Office humor for you)

But really, that is what my little girl said a couple of nights ago as she placed a crown she'd made at church upon her head.

"Welcome to my kingdom"
We were on our way to the grocery store and it's a miracle I didn't crash the car from laughing so hard! She said it with such sincerity too.
"Welcome to MY kingdom"
She's a delight that little person (as are the big and medium ones) and typically not the type of girl you'd say ruled the kingdom.
Oh, don't act like you don't know who I'm talking about. You know the little girl who has to have everything and everyone just so, or she can't function. She grows up to become that woman who still thinks all must bow down in her kingdom.

I think, I was a little bit that girl, and I know I was allot that woman.

Thankfully, parenthood has changed most of that, but there are defiantly occasions when I like to pick my crown back up and demand things my way.

The other major thing that has changed that attitude, is remembering who created the kingdom and my place in it.
God, creator of the universe has allowed the wretched likes of my me to be a servant in His grand and glorious kingdom! (Can I get an Amen!)
What a blissful and glorious thought!

But, there are days when I act like I've forgotten that and try, once again to pick that crown up and put it back on.
And, I must be taught once again who is really in charge. Sometimes those lessons are easy, sometimes difficult--but always full of grace!

So, I will happily take my place in the kingdom, serving the One who created me and everything in it. . .
And, put this silly homemade crown down and someday see it replaced with one I can't even imagine!
Friday, November 13, 2009

A little perspective please

I live in a very affluent part of the country.
Although poverty can be found all around me, I don't have to work to hard to avoid it and the effects of it.

And while things may be hard here at home and we think times are tough, the poorest of the poor can't really compare with those in other countries.
Sometimes, I think we really just have no idea at all.
We try to teach our children to give their time and resources to others who have so much less.
One way we do that is, we partner with Compassion International.
Here's a recent blog by one of the members on their trip to El Salvador.

If nothing else, it will give you a little perspective on your day.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Parenting FAIL and Grace

This weekend we had some friends over for a big Bonfire at Mimi and Poppies.
Always lots of fun and my kiddos look forward to it every year. How many nights do you get permission to stay out late and run around in the dark??

Well, we had great time, except for what will now and forever more be known as 'the incident'.
I won't got into details, but involved the brothers, rocks and hot chocolate.
It wasn't pretty. It was loud, mean (on both ends) and painful, for one more than the other.

I was embarrassed and mad. Never a heart warming, godly picture of parenthood.

So, once you figure out everyone is fine and no physical damage has been done, next come the lecture to end all lectures. And some major punishment is doled out.

But, as I had time to calm down and reflect (why oh WHY must I do these things after the fact??) I am so thankful that the Lord has so much more patience for me! I can't tell you how many times I've embarrassed the Lord and He remains ever the calm and loving parent.

Things at home are back to normal. I've apologized for the way I reacted, the boys have made amends.
But a lesson to me; that I've got so far to go, and that I am so thankful that he Lord doesn't parent me the way I deserve. Not that he doesn't discipline me and that I haven't had my share of 'time outs' and some spankings.
But, never out of anger never out of embarrassment, just love for my well being.

Hope that doesn't freak anybody out. Just me being honest. Sometimes this life journey isn't pretty but Praise His name-always full of Grace!
Monday, November 9, 2009

What and Why

I was recently asked what Lessons from Aisle 12 is.

So, I thought I'd post the first thing I'd ever written with this title.
Basically, it's about my journey as a woman, wife, mom and how God shows himself to me in what appears to be the ordinary moments of my life.
(Please, don't be mistaken, God has shown Himself in BIG and MIGHTY ways in my life too! But, not everyday is a crisis or a mountain top. Sometimes, you've got to go the store, do the laundry and clean the bathroom!)

Without further words :) The very first Lessons from Aisle 12-almost 1 year ago (and WOW doesn't that seem to have flown by?!?!)

Today, after picking up Jude from preschool, we headed over to Aldi. For those of you who've never experienced the joy of the Aldi shopping adventure. . .well, it's hard to explain.
As our groceries were being rung up, Jude headed over to the counter where you bag your groceries, with his lunchable(ok let's call it his bribery--I'm so NOT above a little bribery). He was waiting for us very nicely and quietly, 'reading' the back of his box. Now for the fun part of Aldi, sacking up your groceries. . it's a nice little work out. Anyway, I digress. . .shocking I know!
A family of five children was heading our way as I was finishing up. They ranged from 8 to baby in a carrier. Three boys and two girls (one of the girls was the baby).
Two of the boys and the oldest girl sat down near Jude and they all struck up a conversation.
Talking about Star Wars, Christmas, the snow. It was really quite cute to listen to them chatting.
And it struck me as I watched them, when do we change? When do we go from just accepting how someone is and chat like we know each other. Because, going through my mind as I first saw them was
WOW five kids, she's so skinny and ones a baby! WOW five kids, I'll bet she home schools them, because how else are the oldest ones here. She must be a better mom/wife/woman fill in the blank than me, because she: has more kids, is thinner, home schools and is buying more fresh produce. (You know it didn't have to be those things that just what is was today).
So, when in our lives do we get so beat up by the world/Satan, we can't just enjoy talking with someone?
No comparing, no labeling,no judging (them or ourselves).
When do we stop seeing ourselves as the treasure God made us? His creation, created for His Glory!
The sweet acceptance of my five year old as he talked and laughed with these children. Never thinking for a moment what would someone else think about that, or maybe they wouldn't like him.
What a gift I was given today! A beautiful reminder to love and accept others and myself just the way Jesus does.
Wonder what I'll learn at Wal Mart tomorrow?
Friday, November 6, 2009

Disturb Us

Read this poem recently and it spoke to me, thought you might enjoy it also.

Disturb us, Lord, when
We are too well pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we have dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, Lord, when
With the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.

Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wider seas
Where storms will show your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.
We ask You to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push into the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.
[Sir Francis Drake]
Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Dora, Dora the --Theologian???

With a three year old little girl in the house, you can imagine we watch quite a bit of Dora.

(If you just unwilling started humming the theme song in your head, I am so sorry!)

Little Dora is always off on one adventure or another, keeping the preschool set entertained along the way. Today she was helping some people get away from a mean, greedy king.

At this point we might be wondering if I've completely lost my mind and why in the world I am explaining Dora the Explorer. Don't worry, I often have been accused of that very thing!

The past few days ( ok well it comes in waves or seasons of my life, but recently it's just been the past few days) I have been wondering if perhaps God didn't overlook a couple of things.
Like didn't he mean to make me blonder? Thinner? Smarter? and Independently Wealthy ? He certainly meant for my children little people Dr. Dobson would write books about and use them as examples of the PERFECT child? and for them never to struggle with school, friends or health! He really meant to do those things. . . .
After all, wouldn't my life be so much easier if He would grant me all those wishes, like a genie in a bottle? And, if He did all those things, of course-I mean OF COURSE I would give Him the praise and devote my life to paying it forward. Right? Please, be honest and tell me you've thought at least one of those things before!?!

So back to Dora. . . being the heroine that she is, was of course, saving everyone from the mean King who only wanted MORE MORE MORE, which of course lead him to being mean and cranky and sneaky. And while, my little girl was waiting with baited breath to see what would happen next, I was just struck with the thought-I am SO THAT GUY (yes I know it's a cartoon) this week!

Why must I insist life to be easy for my happiness? Haven't I learned by now, that I am never more on my knees and in a closer walk with Him when I am dependent on Him for everything? How many times must I be taught the same lessons over and over??

Then I get an email from Compassion International or get a letter from the little girl we sponsor and I am struck in the face with how wealthy I am, how no matter how sick my kids get I can be at several hospitals within moments and can receive quality care for them. I have a mind that can learn, a body that can exercise and hair that can be colored ;) And children who are loved by a heavenly father so deeply I can see His fingerprints on every part of each of their lives.

So, thank you Dora and your annoying theme song for the being the catalyst to bring be back to the reality of being loved and cared for by the King of Kings.
And Satan no swiping, Satan swiping, SATAN NO SWIPING- you cannot take my joy!
Friday, October 30, 2009

The Very First Time. . .

Three children equals LOTS of conversations about the dreaded 'O' word. . .

We talk quite a bit in our house about obeying the first time. . .delayed obedience is not obedience. . .IF I HAVE TO ASK YOU ONE MORE TIME YOU'RE GETTING YOU'LL BE SORRY!!!!!!!!! Not that I have ever resorted to yelling. *Please note the sarcasm *

It seems this is one of life's hardest lessons for those of us who might be, shall we say, slightly strong willed. I have NO IDEA where these children of mine get that particular trait.
Let's just say, probably not from their laid back Daddy.

Well, two of the little blessings were playing outside the other day on a crisp fall day-so gorgeous and rarer (is that a word) to come by with each passing day- that I gave them some extra time, but finally it was time for the Little's to come in for lunch then take their naps.
So, I called to them (secretly dreading what was about to come, KNOWING neither wanted to come inside) so I took a deep breath remembered that IN FACT I am the mom (seriously when did that happen??) and called them in from the stunning fall day.
Low and behold two little bodies came running! Praise the Lord and Glory!!

I began praising and praising them. " Great job coming the first time I called Guys, I am so proud of you! Treats after lunch because you obeyed the first time, even when it was hard!!"

Then my beautiful little daughter stopped 2 feet from the door. Just stopped. Looked at me and stopped. Two feet from the door.
No fit, no ugly attitudes, just stopped.
Big brother had run past us both by now and was inside waiting at the table.

I called her name again. ." Come on in, Honey. Remember we obey the first time Mommy says." Still just looking at me.
I took a few steps to her took her by the hand and lead her the rest of the way inside.

Now there are tears. . no not mine, but don't think that hasn't happened before!

Reassuring words. " Mommy always loves you but you aren't getting a treat after lunch like Brother. He obeyed the first time, you needed Mommy to help you obey."

Eventually, all was well and we had a peaceful afternoon. But, I couldn't help but thinking about my behavior when the Lord asks me to do something. How many times do I start strong but stop just inches from doing what He asked of me? How many times has He had to firmly take me by the hand and lead me to what He's asked of me?
How many rewards have I missed out on from not obeying the first time? Yes, I can still rest in the peace that I am loved and cared for by my Saviour, for that NEVER changes but how much better off would I be if I'd just do the thing the first time??

I'm so glad He never stops asking things of me and allows me the choice to obey the first time!
Thursday, October 15, 2009

To Everything There Is A Season

Fall is in full swing here in my part of the country!

Leaves are turning beautiful colors, pumpkins and scarecrows abound and hot chocolate is in order when you come in from out side. Winter is quickly nipping at Falls heels this year!

As I was driving into our weekly Bible study at church, I was thinking about the seasons.
But, I wasn't thinking about the weather patterns here in middle America, I was thinking about the seasons of life.

Let me start by saying, Thursday mornings are a bit, shall we say HECTIC around here.
Things are on a tight clock Bible study mornings. In fact, my boys know on Thursdays you DO NOT mess around when it's time to get ready for school!
Typically, the two boys go off to school for the day and baby girl and I head to class.
I like to be there an hour before it's time to begin so I can get any last minute things set up make any copies and pray a prayer of dedication and blessing over our room.

Today was not a typical day.

The boys are out of school and a certain someone who is supposed to be potty trained chose this morning to not be.
And then there was the decision . .. is my 11 year old, old enough to stay at home by himself for the 4 hours I would be gone?!?

So, as we were making the 20 minute drive in I asked my 6 year old to 'please, sit quietly this is when Mommy prays and gathers her thoughts to Jesus on the way to Bible study.' He looked at me like I was crazy, but complied for as much as a little wild 6 year old boy can.

But, I must say the thought went through my head. . .I bet Beth Moore doesn't have to deal with all this in her way to teach Bible study!

And then as I looked around at the red and orange trees, the thought struck me.
It's only for a season.

Just like that there will be no chattering in the back seat, no calls to look at the picture being drawn, no chocolate milk to pour, no boo boos to kiss, so perhaps I should just sit back and enjoy the splendor before me. For that is what these little creatures are God has so daringly entrusted me with for this season.

So, we turned our praise on, sang a little louder and laughed at the sights we saw along the way.

And, I'm not sure, but I think perhaps I was a little better Bible study teacher today.

Thank you, Lord for the seasons. Help to embrace each one of them and to know that they are only here for a short time.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009

You just don't understand. . .. .

I was recently reading Psalm 139.

It is such a beautiful passage and each part has meant different things to me over the years.

But, one of the neatest (that is the theological term- from the Greek, meaning Awesome) and greatest things about the Bible is that it is alive and active! So, even reading a passage you've had memorized or have heard many times over can speak a fresh word to you. How cool is that?!

So, as I was reading, this verse struck me:
2 You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.
3 You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.
(New King James Version)

I was just stuck by the second part of verse two.. .You understand my thoughts afar off.

It seems to me that women ( maybe men feel this way too, but I can only speak to the girls here) are forever trying to be understood or to make their Man understand them. Or their girlfriends, boss, children, Mom. You name it and we are forever trying to explain ourselves.
Why we do the things we do, why we feel the way we feel.

I found this verse so freeing.
Girls, we've got to let them off the hook. Hard I know, because we so desperately want someone (especial our man) to 'get us'.
BUT, you will be understood. Your creator understands you, He knows why you're doing what you're doing. And, might I be so bold to suggest that He loves and adores you for all your quirky ways?

Maybe, I am the only one that needs the reminder that he didn't just make this body
13 For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;b]" style="font-size: 0.75em; line-height: 0.5em; ">[b]
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.

But, He also made this mind, these emotions.
So freeing to know the Creator of the Universe understands my silly, scatterbrained, sensitive mind!
For me and those around me.

Let's stop trying to explain ourselves every 5 minutes and glory in the fact that the ONE who made us- knows and LOVES us--Yes, just the way we are!

Monday, October 5, 2009

That's What I Like About You

In honor of my firstborns birthday, eleven things that make him a great kid.

C, thanks for letting me be your mom and for putting up with being our 'practice kid'!

1) You love Jesus and aren't afraid to show it!

2) You love music and want to use to bring worship and honor to the Lord!

3) You have the best smile, it lights up your whole face!

4) You devourer books. I love the way you look at a new book like a treasure and can't hardly put it down!

5) You don't ever notice the color of people's skin! I've never once heard you refer to someone by the color of their skin!

6) You always try and include everyone and you hate to see someone feel left out or excluded!

7) You are so encouraging to Me about my Bible study & writing and the blog!

8) You love to dress up and go to new places!

9) You look at a vacation as an adventure and you enjoy the journey as much as the destination!

10) You like to smell good!

11) You love your Grandparents and spending time with them!

I could name lots more but those are 11 great reasons, I'm glad you are YOU!!

God blessed me beyond measure with my children. Being C's mom has been one roller coaster adventure after another. . . and I wouldn't trade it for the world!

Thank you, Lord for making me have to hold on to You on this wild and crazy ride!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


My lesson this week didn't come from the aisle of the grocery store, it come from the waiting room of a hospital.

My family has spent quite a bit of time in waiting rooms.

I've got three kiddos with asthma and some other significant things that makes waiting a part of our lives.

This past week our 6 year old had his tonsils removed, so back to the waiting room again.
We've been in various waiting rooms for small things and very large things.

(Please, don't miss understand, God has blessed us with our kids and we KNOW their problems are minor compared with some!)

But, while we were waiting YET again for the doctors to come out and tell everything is fine (there is no minor surgery when it's your child-can I get an Amen??) I began looking around and observing.

There are different kinds of 'waiters'. There are those who stare numbly at whatever happens to be on the waiting room TV, there are the readers, the nappers, the chatters, the pacers and the snackers. And yes, at one time or another, for one child or another, I've fallen into all of those categories.

Waiting rooms are really all about the same. Dull magazines, tv in the corner, uncomfortable chairs, coffee maker and people who are anxious, trying to appear calm and in control.

I've felt the range of emotions from, nervous and anxious to calm and at peace. Which got me to thinking what changes about waiting in the waiting room?
The room doesn't change, my emotions about the person I love who's being seen doesn't change. What changes. . God tells us and I believe He never changes, so what is it?
I soon realized, it's me. I change. I forget, or worse yet, don't bother to give my emotions and controlling ways over to Him.
I've felt the presence of the Lord so tangible in the midst of a waiting room, like I've never felt him before and I felt He was so far away at other times.

But, He is there waiting.
Waiting on me to realize He loves my precious children more than I ever could.
He is waiting on me to realize He and He ALONE is in control, my worry will change nothing.
He is waiting on me, to come to Him and tell my troubles to Him and then stand back and watch Him do His thing. And, OH! How I have seen Him do HIS thing! The mighty saving power that only He can produce!

It is so comforting to know that how I feel may change, but He never does.

And while I'm am waiting, He is there right beside me, whether I acknowledge Him or not. But, Oh the peace that comes when I do choose to Believe!

Thank You, Lord for waiting on me!
Wednesday, September 16, 2009

How Far Can I Go?

We are blessed to have our kiddos school in our backyard, complete with soccer field. Endless hours of entertainment!
Our boys often go over and play together, but last night Big Brother had homework and Little Brother was desperately wanting to go over to the soccer field. The Hubs and I were moving furniture around, cleaning up the kitchen and helping with homework so we very reluctantly said he go over by himself. (Little Brother can often find trouble in the most unlikely of places!)
We told him he had to stay only at the goal closest to our yard and could go no where else.
So, off he went soccer ball in tow, when he ran back and said 'Mom, how far can I go?'
I restated the previous answer, 'You MUST stay by the goal closest to the yard.' To which he replied, 'I know I can't all the way to the other end of the field but how far CAN I go?'
Realizing what he meant, I showed him a water cooler that was just shy of mid field and told him that was his boundary. All that cleared up and off he went.
I turned to the Hubs and said,' That is my next blog!!'

Really isn't that EXACTLY what we do with God? He has given us the privilege of playing and showed exactly where we could go, but we want to know just how far we can push the limits and still not be in the wrong. Oh we don't want to go all the way down to the other goal, but we want to get just far enough away from the house that we feel like we're doing things all by ourselves.

About 20 minutes later Little Brother came running into the house all out of breath saying that one of his friends had come up to the school and could I come and play too.
( An invite, no Momma can usually resist.) As we were walking back, he also said how tired he was from needing to run so far to get back to the house. I pointed out, he'd also lost some good playing time by needing to run farther to get to me.

Help Lord, not to get to far from Your house. I know you'll still be able to hear me and help when I'm far away, but the blessings will be so much greater when You don't need to reach so far to answer me. Help me stay in Your shadow so I am refreshed and ready to enjoy our time together instead of tired and worn out from running back to you.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009

What I Wish President Obama Would Have Said

I have tried very hard to keep politics off the blog.
Not because I don't have opinions, those who know me KNOW I have me some opinions-STRONG ONES, but because that's not really what this blog is about.

But, with all the speech hoopla I'm having a hard time biting my tongue and finally just gave up.
So, here is my two cents-for what they are worth. . perhaps not even two cents.

**For the record, it didn't bother me that the President wanted to speak to America's children, but here is what I wish he would've said.

You are important. You are special. No matter your size, color, gender or abilities. I'm sorry my position on any abortion at anytime, doesn't convey that.

Don't do drugs. I shouldn't have done them and I'm sorry that I've glamorized the use of them.

America is a blessed nation. Freedom is what all men and women long for. Although not perfect, by far the greatest system the world has known.
I'm sorry that I haven't conveyed that message, but instead I've gone to foreign countries and bemoaned this great countries flaws, even though in most others countries I wouldn't have stood a chance at becoming their leader. And I have ignored the thousands of lives that have been liberated because men and women have chosen to fight for liberty and our country. America, although not perfect, doesn't need to be wholly changed.

Surround yourselves with people of integrity. Listen to what they say. If they are saying reproachable, vile things, be a person of conviction and stand apart from them.

Work hard, study hard, know that others can't always bail you out.
I know it doesn't seem like that's true, but the world would be a much better place if all people, from CEO's to the average Joe lived that way, not expecting others to pay their way or clean up their messes.

Government can't save you and I'm not the Messiah and I shouldn't have joked about that or let others say that on my behalf.

Help your fellow man, be kind and compassionate. Develop new technologies and medicines, and business. Don't be afraid of success-We NEED people like that to help those who can't-not won't- help themselves.

Thank you and God Bless America.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

When God's People Pray

This past week our family was hit with a tragedy.
Huge, out of no where, tragedy. The kind that makes the clock stop and changes everything.
Car wreck- death, brain injuries. Stunning, shocking, knee buckling tragedy.
I got the phone call from my Daddy and right after he told me the news, he said 'Can you call church, so they can get this on the prayer chain?' Of course, the answer was YES! Our poor church secretary had to listen to me try and talk through my tears. Then I put the word out on facebook that our family needed prayer, and my Mother and husband asked fellow believers at their offices.
Prayer, we need, Prayer. Lives hung in the balance. We needed to cry out before Our Father.
As the hours passed and calls came that folks were praying, I was struck by this grand vision of God's people all uniting in prayer.
So, many times we are fractured into our groups: The Frozen Chosen, The Holy Rollers, Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical. But, for these few hours and days, those petty (for the most part) differences were put aside and we united in a cause under the banner of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
I wonder if that makes God rejoice or saddens Him. Rejoice, that His children are uniting together and sadden because it takes a tragedy for that to happen. As believers, we segregate ourselves over things that mean so little.
Oh, I know there are profound differences that need to be talked about and I hold my beliefs in high regard. But, I'm not talking about those. I'm talking about things like who wears what to church, who sings what type of song, who lets a woman pray from the pulpit, which translation of the Bible we use.
But, this week, through our tragedy, we were able to see the Family of God come together in ways that must be a glimpse of what heaven will be like.

I was reminded of this old gospel song we used to sing:

      I'm so glad I'm a part of the Family of God,
      I've been washed in the fountain, cleansed by His Blood!
      Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod,
      For I'm part of the family,
      The Family of God

    You will notice we say "brother and sister" 'round here,
    It's because we're a family and these are so near;
    When one has a heartache, we all share the tears,
    And rejoice in each victory in this family so dear.

Glimpses into heaven are a beautiful thing even through of tears of tragedy.
And I can give an account that indeed God does hear the prayers of His children and He so graciously answers them!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Back When I Knew Everything

The backpacks are full, the pencils are sharpened, the notebooks are still neat and tidy.
The smell of fresh boxes of crayons is in the air. OH, how I love the beginning of the school year!
So much possibility and potential! Whatever, happened last year is gone and you get to start over. Every year I was in school, I made the Aug. vow that this would be the year I got all A's.
By, Sept.1 that dream was usually gone.

Today, I had the fun of watching one of my boys on the playground. I love to do that when they don't know I'm there!
I remember when I first found out we were having a boy and the day he was born. All the dreams we had for him. And there were LOTS of them. Because, that was back when I knew everything.
Seems like you know so much about kids and parenting before God actually entrusts you with the little people.

And then reality hits.

My big boy has been through much in his short life. Some major, some with the potential of being major and then God steps in and shows once again that He and He alone is in charge.
Big boy is a gifted kid; smart, fun, extremely deep thinker, loves technology, loves to laugh, LOVES Jesus.
But, as I was secretly watching him, I found my mind wondering, wishing his road didn't have to be so hard. Wishing he was a bit different in some areas, just so his life would be a bit easier.
Big boy is the kid who will be president of the Debate and Math club. I, who struggled in school (I was all about the fun part of school-learning was a distant second for me-shocking I know!) sometimes doesn't know what to do with that or how to relate. So, sometimes I wish things , ok he was different. He is ridiculously smart and sometimes that makes life harder not easier.

But, as I walked home a thought struck me like a lighting bolt. Never once, has the Lord tried to change who I am at the core. Yes, there are things-lots of things-He has changed, is trying to change. Sinful things, but not who I am. That's who he created in His image. This crazy, flighty, chubby girl. He loves and adores just the way she is.
The thought made me laugh and cry at the same time.
My boy, my beautiful boy, who I love so dearly, Lord, let me let him be the kid you created him to be, help me learn to not just love, but appreciate, the things that make him uniquely him, just like you do in me!
Thank you, Jesus for being the ultimate loving parent and for loving me even when I thought I knew everything.
Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sometimes I can't hear the siriens

We began a little family thing a long time ago, that when we heard a police siren or firetruck we would stop and pray. Pray for safety of the officers, safety for who they were going to help and a safe trip to get where they needed to go. It takes all of about 30 seconds.

But, I must confess sometimes I don't hear the sirens. Oh, I can literally hear them, it's just my brain is so wrapped up in what I have going on, what needs to be done next that- I don't HEAR them.
Today was one of those days. We were on a little picnic after school today when baby girl came RUNNING full speed over to me saying Stop and pray Mama, Stop and pray!! Her little hands were already folded before she had even stopped running. I had must confess, I had heard them as background noise and had felt no sense of urgency to pray until that face came running at me.

Thirty seconds and I couldn't be bothered. Well, it's not even bothered so much as just didn't even think of it. Wrapped up in my own selfish thoughts and lists of things to do-I couldn't hear the sirens. My three year old baby girl, however jumped off her little riding toy and ran to me thinking of others before her own desires or wants.

I want to be like that, because there are sirens that go off around me all the time. A friend who needs encouraged, a marriage in trouble, kids just looking for someone to talk to-to notice they are there. But, like today, sometimes I get so caught up in my needs, wants I can't hear the sirens.
Some days when I hear them it calls for prayer but sometimes when I hear them they call for prayer and ACTION! How dangerous for us all if we don't hear them( or worse yet, pretend like we don't hear them).

Sunday, August 16, 2009

I had a little argument with God. . guess who won

This has been a crazy week! Our boys were gone for a get- a -way with the grandparents, the hubby was home for a long weekend-needless to say the TO DO list was a long one! Complete with garage sale. I had no time for dilly dallyng and certainly no time for arguments. Especially, with God.
It all began Wednesday evening at choir practice when our Worship Pastor asked me to participate in a video tape series of short segments for an some upcoming sermons our Pastor is doing.
Let me say right up front, that I KNOW I'm irrational-let's just get that out of the way. Moving on to the unique insight that is the inner workings of my brain, I don't mind being up in front of people for teaching Bible study or singing on the praise team. In my mind, I can't really be seen-we're focusing on either study or worshiping. This case would be different. I DO NOT enjoy having my picture taken at ALL! So, while our Worship Pastor was asking me, in my mind I was saying-I don't think so, that is way worse than a picture and there certainly isn't time to lose 50 lbs. before Sunday. But, at the same time I was thinking those thoughts, I could hear the Holy Spirit (no not audibly) saying, " Yes, you are going to do it". Ok, Ok. Yes, I'll do it.
Thursday I began thinking about what I would like to say and when in all the craziness shaping up in our weekend, I could get my hair cut and colored. Let's just say, there might be a few, gulp, gray hairs poking through. So, I had some time carved out for Friday night.
When God said NO. Can you believe it? No, just like that! He's never really spoken to me about my hair before ( although, goodness knows I would like for Him too!) so why, WHY was He starting now??? Now, is when I needed to look as good as possible. Since I didn't have time to lose the 50 lbs, having good hair was supposed to distract from that!!
I would like to say, that I said "Of course, Lord! Have your way, I'll do whatever you want me to do!" Instead the conversation went something like--WHAT? I can't do WHAT? Why! WHY! WHY! You've never cared before, why would you care now???
It wasn't pretty folks, I'll admit, I threw a fit! So much so, my hubby asked what was wrong ( he was baring the brunt of the attitude problem.) Of course, I said the ever popular, 'Nothing'! I mean who is admitting that they are arguing with God about their hair???
Well, Saturday night, when I'd stopped whining enough to listen, God told me why He'd chosen this road for me this week.
And, are you ready for this?? Because, it's not about me! (Say What?!?) My testimony, the things He asks me to do for His name sake, are for Him and Him alone. My vanity, and seriously that is ALL this week was about, was getting in the way of the mission- telling others about Jesus being the Lord of my life.

I pray the next time He asks me to something, I can get out of the way faster, not put up a fuss and just say, Yes, Lord!

And for the record, I don't think God is against highlights-PTL!

I'll be getting some next week, and it's Ok, I have permission.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

From Extraodinary to Ordinary and Back Again

It would be a rare occasion in our house to not hear music coming from somewhere. Car, a room a voice-somewhere.
Music has been a huge part of my life since I was a little girl. From show tunes to horribly produced 80's rock , old hymns to the newest praise and worship-I've got it all tucked away forever in my head. And in many ways, it speaks to my soul, makes me feel- it also gets stuck in my head and rolls around in there for long periods of time. A blessing or a curse depending on what song it is, that's for sure!

One that has been rolling around in there the past few days is a Mercy Me song that I just adore.
But the line I can't over is this:
Who are we that you that you would be mindful of us?
What do you see that's worth looking our way?
What a beautiful picture of Grace! Sometimes the weight of grace can feel so crushing. Who are we? Who do I think I am? To call the creator of the universe Abba-Daddy?
For those of us who believe in the complete sovereignty of God, we understand that not only are we saved, but that we were chosen. Think about THAT for a minute. He choose you. He choose ME. Trust me, I KNOW how rotten I am and what evil things I have done!
But, this is where the grace part kicks in. . God doesn't see me when He looks at me. He sees the cross of Christ. Overwhelming isn't it, and yet if you've been a believer for any length of time it can become quite ordinary. Or maybe that's just me. Digging out from under the laundry pile, putting up the groceries, breaking up arguments, cleaning the bathroom, fixing dinner ( and breakfast and lunch). Ordinary life and change our outlook on the extraordinary. When we get so caught up in the ordinary it takes our zest of the extraordinary away one chip at a time.

Maybe that is another gift of music. I can be reminded of these extraordinary things in brief 3 minute clips, then they get stuck there and roll around for days, forcing me to focus on them.
Grace once again, not letting me go, even in the midst of the ordinary-yet another gift.

Thank You, Lord, for not only caring about my salvation and the vastness of that, but caring about the ordinary moments of my life! For making a way to remind me, even in those moments, of who You are and what You have done for this wayward child.
Saturday, August 8, 2009

Getting to the Good Stuff

This week I had the joy of hanging out by the pool with some dear friends I don't get to see nearly enough, Oh how I love these girls! They've been a part of my life for many years and we have some wonderful memories together!
Our kiddos were playing together, which always makes me so happy to see these guys growing up together just like we did, creating their own memories.
One thing that struck me once again, is how big the Kingdom of God is- and, how thankful I am that He's included so many of us of various stripes.
We can sing different music in church, choose different activities to attended or not. . all sorts of things Christians like to fight about and get caught up in- of which I'm sure Satan enjoys all too much! And in the end, we are all still part of the family of God.
Sitting there on the porch, laughing and catching up with old friends I was reminded once again how much we all need each other. How, if the body of Christ is working together, we can get past the trivial and get to the good stuff of life.

There isn't much better than hanging with people who've known you most of your life and getting to the good stuff!
Thursday, August 6, 2009
I was reading today and came across this question and thought it might be fun for us!

When you were 16 what did you want to be? And what are you doing now?
When/if did your passion change?

I'll get us started. . .

I had two dreams at 16: One- to be a lawyer and Two-to be the next Amy Grant.

My dreams of being a lawyer changed when I realized how much schooling was involved-I was way more interested in 'having fun' then going to school and working hard for that long!! And my dreams of going to Nashville changed when I met Jerry-and also realized I was a bit delusional that I could be the next Amy. .and I didn't so much want to be the next Amy as to BE Amy, so you know someone already had that job, and she was quite good at it!
Being a stay at home mom-way harder job than both of those btw!

Ok, now it's your turn. . .can't wait to read your answers !
Monday, August 3, 2009

Fun in the Sun

The three monkeys and I went to a local water park today. There was excitement in the air!! We've been wanting to go for a while, but the weather hasn't been cooperating. So, today was the BIG DAY!
Normally, we would have friends with us, but for various reasons, today it was just us. And, I must confess, I was a little leery of that.
There is a pretty wide age gap with my kiddos and there is a HUGE personality gap with my boys. Night and Day. One is a thinker, one is a doer. One is laid back, one is a ball of energy. Thankfully, the baby girl is right in the middle. But, you can imagine that those differences often bring-shall we say, challenges?!?!
BUT, today-TODAY I watched this lovely thing unfold before my eyes. A coming together- a meeting of the minds. Watching Mr. Go Getter let Mr. Laid Back take his hand while waiting their turn , and then go down the water slides together with Sister in between. Sharing, concern for one another,cheering each other on, encouraging each other to do the Biggest Cannon Ball Ever. Genuine love passing back and forth.
This is a day a mother holds in her heart for years to come! One you look back on and reflect on how perfect it was, how good God is.
Now, I'm not naive, I know there will be fights again this week and a hurt feelings again tomorrow.
But, for today- today was a glimpse of the all the things we've been working on- paying off.

Thank You, Jesus, for answering prayer and giving us hope to hold on- a glimmer of the finish line, so we can keep pursuing the prize.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Will the Circle Be Unbroken

What a beautiful day here in sunny Kansas!
Baby Girl and I spent the morning running errands, while the two boys spent the day with the grandparents.
Then tonight the Hubs and I went to hear some music at our local Christian coffee house. Some friends from church play in a band and they were having a tribute tonight for one of their band members who had recently passed away.
The place was packed! Wall to wall people everywhere-having a great time, listening to some great musicians.
Several bands played and at the end they had a jam session where they sung the old gospel song
Will the Circle Be Unbroken. I feel the need to say here (and I don't know why) that this isn't my favorite kind of music but I certainly could appreciate the talent in the room. But, what struck me as I looked around coffeehouse at the eclectic group of people singing and clapping along was something greater than good music or even good friends. It was our faith that this isn't the end. That one day we will cross over and see Jesus. That no matter the pain and sorrow we face here on earth there is something better coming. When our REAL life will begin.
It overwhelmed me for a moment. To be reminded once again, that this world isn't my home and whether it's tomorrow or 40 years now, someday I'll see Jesus and all those I've loved who left so soon. Oh, how I can't wait to dance with them at the feet of Jesus!
A beautiful ending to a beautiful day!
Friday, July 31, 2009

Here We Go

Well, here we go, my first attempt at blogging!
How excited am I?? VERY!
One thing you should know about me right up front--I LOVE exclamation points!!! I can't help it, I'm usually excited about something!!

Yes, I'm a Mom and a wife, but before all of those things-I'm a follower of Jesus!
I grew up in church, and came to Jesus at a young age, though I didn't really find freedom in Christ until my late 20's-and Oh what a freedom it has been!
And what a wild, wild ride it's been.
The hubs and I have been married for 17+ years and have three beautiful, fun loving children. Our oldest son is 10, our next son is 6 and our baby girl is 3. Needless to say, they keep us hopping. But, after years of trying to have children and then one day having our prayers answered, we wouldn't change it for anything!
I'm certainly a work in progress and the Lord is constantly teaching me things: which is where the name of the this blog comes in. . .Often, I'm being taught or shown something in the middle of the aisle at the grocery store. So that's how the name came to be.
Thanks for joining me on this journey-I think we're going to have lots of fun on this crazy roller coaster of life.