Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Hand of God

I always set myself up for failure at Christmas. Lofty goals, dreams and too, too many images of what Christmas *should* be for our family. Happens every year. Something doesn’t go the way I want it to, something doesn’t get done (or done on time)…it’s always *something* pushing me over the edge. I prepare for this and plan to make things better each year, but somehow, my holiday disappointment always takes me by surprise.

And I struggle. Struggle to remember the WHY of the season. Platitudes and pithy sayings are all fine and good, but when you are wrestling with 18 teacher gifts (none of which can mention Christ!), 10 events to bake for (don’t forget that Susie is allergic to nuts), a mountain of presents to wrap and mail (preferably by mule train), a Christmas card list to maintain (did Bob & Jane move this year, or was that last year?)…and don’t forget the usual day to day business of running a family (did you know that they still need clean clothes & warm food at Christmas?)! Those pithy sayings are for the birds. (Just telling it like it is, folks!) I KNOW Jesus is the reason for the season, now get out of my way and let me get all this stuff done so I can celebrate, dagnabbit!!

Awhile ago, I stumbled on a much needed oasis, a local Christian radio station, WGTS. During the holiday season, they play all Christmas music. LOVE IT! And what a wonderful variety. I really enjoy hearing my favorite contemporary Christian artists singing Christmas classics: Jars of Clay’s version of Little Drummer Boy and Nichole Nordeman’s Do You Hear What I Hear? are among my new faves. For all the times I’m in my car, this station plays and gives me an opportunity to really hear and appreciate the gift of His son. Now that the Christmas cards are in the mail, I’ve got a chance to really reflect on what some of the music MEANS…

I think we all have our versions of God’s image. Snapshots, if you will, of God in His various forms. One that has always touched me is Michelangelo’s painting from the Sistine Chapel, the Hand of God, giving life to man. I have always loved this image, though I can’t really say why. Just something at the core of me that calls out acknowledging His breath of life to men, I suppose.

Today, on the radio, WGTS played a song by the Newsboys called Adoration. I’ve heard the song before (love it!), but never really paid much attention to the verses. This one caught my ear and the image has been with me ever since:

And with barely open eyes
He takes my finger
And He won’t let go
And He won’t let go
It’s nothing like I knew before
And it’s all I need to know

The Baby Jesus, God Incarnate, grasping my finger and holding fast.

I’m a mom who has cherished each and every time one of my beasties did this, but somehow, I never envisioned this moment between my Creator and me.

Beyond the manger and the Christmas season, I’ve never dwelt on the person of Christ as a baby. I know the story, so do you….but what does it mean when a baby—THE baby—chooses you? Clings to you. WOW.

He called me to choose Him, to turn my life over to His control. But here’s the part that I’m finding brought home to me with each day…and today through this song….He chooses me right back and pulls me to His side when I lack the strength to stay there on my own.

Casting Crowns, in their song East to West, says it oh so well:
I know You've washed me white, turned my darkness into light
I need Your peace to get me through, to get me through this night
I can't live by what I feel, but by the truth Your word reveals
I'm not holding on to You, but You're holding on to me
You're holding on to me

Why, in all the time I’ve been a Christian has this not come to me before? NO clue…except that maybe I’ve been relying on myself too much?

I know He gives me everything I need—and always so much more. What I didn’t know—duh!—is that “everything” includes the strength to constantly rely on Him.

Creator, Father God gave me life, breath and a soul that cries out to know Him. The Holy Spirit has opened my heart, interceded for me in prayer, given a voice and an audience when there were no words. And the Baby Jesus sent a summons in the grasping of a finger…"come and stay near.”


Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I'm conflicted today.

I WANT to be hopeful, happy and confident; I do NOT want to this election's results to become bitterness festering & wreaking havoc in my soul.

But what I am is shocked, disappointed and amazed.

What was SO clear to me evidently wasn't to so many.

Hopefully, the my usual optimism will return to me when the shock wears off.

Now, I'm not buying this "mandate from the people" thing, though, since the popular vote was fairly close. But, I will buck up and handle things as they come....eventually.

Thank God that my hope is in HIM and not in some human being. On the radio this morning, the DJ offered up this quote: "Hope is FAITH holding out it's hand in the darkness."

Today, I think I'll take a little time to grieve....and pray.

Thank you, God, for keeping this country always in the palm of Your mighty hand. Thank you that, although we can't see or know the future, You do and that You are ever in control. Amen & Allelujah.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Get off Your Butt!

I’m holding on to hope today--the hope that comes from faith in God. And from confidence in my fellow Americans to choose wisely. Just say NO!! to socialism.

I’m praying for the future of my country.

This moment, this choice, is bigger than just one candidate for president. THIS is what makes us unique in all the world… Democracy only works when each and every one of us takes our opinion voicing privilege seriously, thoughtfully and responsibly. But here’s the thing…no matter which side of the fence you are on…don’t complain if you don’t vote.

If you are legally eligible, get your butt to your polling place and cast your ballot.

And may God guide the hands of those that pull the levers.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Monday, Monday

This morning I got to work earlier than usual, thanks to an early meeting and the desire to trash a co-worker’s cube for her birthday. Finished the cube trashing and ran downstairs for a cup of coffee before my meeting. (which was later postponed, due to a VERY late arriving fellow attendee-aaarrgghhh!)

Usually, I don’t hit the cafĂ© for coffee ‘til later in the week, so today I was struck by the fact that the coffee urns and their stands looked so sparkly and perky. By Thursday, they are usually spotted and covered in coffee drips. (Don’t get me started on my worries about what that means about the insides!) Anyway, I got to thinking…my Monday face is usually that way, too…if not well-rested, at least fresh-faced and ready to tackle the week. I’m usually more organized on Monday mornings, having laid out the clothes and lunches and paperwork the night before. I even aim for sparkle--miss it quite frequently, too! But hey, I try!

But by Thursday, I’m pretty droopy and VERY ready for the weekend.

I’m going to challenge myself this week to try to maintain my Monday sparkle. Now, I admit it’ll be easier this week, since vacation starts on Thursday, but I think I can do it.

What’s your challenge this week?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Facebook Rant

Okay, so I signed up for a Facebook account because one of my beloved friends has started posting her family photos on Facebook instead of the photo site she used to use. No worries, right? It's free, it's pretty easy...WRONG!

Darling beloved friends who use Facebook to contact me, don't take this the wrong way, but please take note of the following:
  • My *real life* garden is dying. Corn on the cob is turning to popped, tomatoes going unpicked and only God knows what's happening to my carrots & peas. DO NOT send me virtual plants for my virtual garden. Online plants only serve to stress me out as I gaze out upon the withering brown stuff that was once a lovely dream of fresh veggies for my family.
  • Please don't poke me. Don't super poke me. I'm not even sure what the point of it is! And, since I'm not home and/or logged into Facebook during the day, I WILL NOT POKE YOU BACK!!
  • I like the spur of the moment pillow fight as much as the next person (maybe even more!), but I am now moving about in a virtual cloud of white feathers and am completely unable to return fire.
  • When I need a beverage--of ANY sort--I'll head to my fridge. While the icons are cute, I have to confess that I'm not much for pomegranate-licorice-watermelon coolers. How 'bout we get together for coffee or happy hour instead? OR...feel free to send a 6-pack of Diet Coke my way, if you prefer!
Thank you for your patience and understanding while I use Facebook for only a smallish portion of it's possibilities...

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I was going to post a few recent vents, but today is not the day for that, so I will join the ranks of so many who consider the weight of today and feel compelled to share. Today I was tempted to stay home, staggering under the enormity of the meaning of today, curled up with myself and murmuring to my God...but that would give our enemies just one more small victory. So today, I push onward, dressing my children in the colors of our country's flag and remind them that today is an important day in our country's history. They are mostly too young to know why...Matthew was 15 months old, Ben in utero and Abbey just a plan in God's hands. So I try to tell them:

Today is a day for remembering those who perished 7 years ago, on a brilliantly blue-skied sunny Friday morning.

Today is a day to mourn the loss of more than 3000 souls, most with nothing more in common than a date on a death certificate…terrorism crossed all outward, man-made boundaries that day in an act of complete and total non-discrimination.

Today is a day to set aside those artificial boundaries ourselves and remember together…and hold fast to the bond we felt as a stricken nation.

Today is a day to remember that we are all one nation under God.

Today is a day to pray.

Today is a day for wearing red for valor, blue for vigilance and white for truth and grace.

Today is a day to thank a soldier.

God Bless America.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Wee Bit of Perspective

You know, even though hospitals aren't good places for healthy people, they can be good places to gain a little bit of perspective...those not-so-dark 3 ams aren't such bad moments to have a thought or two.

One evening, awash in a bit of an indulgent pity-party, I wandered down the hall in search of a diet Coke. (Keeping in mind, of course, that diet Coke is a VERY poor substitute for ice cream when wallowing in misery!) I crossed paths with two distraught parents following a teeny cribette, which carried their infant daughter. She was hooked up to all sorts of monitors and equipment. They settled in two doors down. A few minutes later, the father and I exchanged a few words while waiting for the nurse--you know, the usual chit-chat that passes for bonding among strangers in the same place. I returned to Patrick's bedside, muttering under my breath about kids who hog the remote control...

Not 10 minutes later, bells were ringing, alarms were sounding, a dad was running down the hall and a mom was screaming "NURSE!! NURSE!! She's blue, she's BLLLLUUUEEEEE!!!" Our sitter for the night raced out to help. The baby was fine...but these moments continued through much of the night. She was eventually airlifted to Hopkins. I'm not sure what happened from there, but have been praying for that family since the first alarm went off.

Now here's the revelation part. I don't think I could handle being those parents. For most of Patrick's life, hubby and I have struggled, muddled and braved our way through. And our circumstances tend to generate opportunities for us to rely on God and build our strengh ("if it don't kill ya, it makes ya stronger", right?).

We planned our trip to the hospital. We knew when we woke up on that Thursday, where we were going and pretty much what was going to happen that day. Sure, there were uncertainties--how long would we stay in the hospital, how would he behave, would it go better than last time--but, for the most part, we had pretty clear and reasonable expectations for our next few days. And, despite our to be expected worries, we were pretty confident that we'd be leaving the hospital with a recovering but otherwise healthy kid.

What would I do if, any minute, my kid could turn blue? My hat goes off to parents who deal with those kinds of issues daily, weekly, hourly. That kind of life on the edge takes a different kind of strength, I think.

Thank you, Lord, for knowing what we can handle...and for only giving us that which You know we can.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

THOSE Mommy-moments

Okay, I think all parents have those things they look back on and think "WHY did we make that choice for our child?" For me with Patrick, that was his entire kindergarten year.

More recently, it has been the surgery that we put him through last summer...a femoral osteotomy, the intention of which was to correct significant rotation in his right leg.

June 27th, 2007, 8 am

Initially, everything looked promising and seemed to have resolved his problem--what a wonderful thing it was to look at my boy with his toes pointed forward!! But...despite the best intentions of everyone involved, despite the therapy, despite his pretty good attitude...things just haven't worked out for him. A little more than a year later and he's still using a walker to hobble around. No more stealth mode for this boy-o. Rough year for him. Rough year for the family. All to the point where I'm staring down the face of one GIANT Mommy regret....

So....here we go again. After realizing that not only has his recovery NOT met our expectations, but also his hip is collapsing around the plate, we are going to give surgery another go. This time, the surgeon will be fixing the plate put in last summer, lengthening his right hamstrings AND shortening his left leg to match the right one (currently a 3 inch difference, but hopefully only an inch or so once the plate is fixed and the hams are longer!). BIG surgery, smallish kid.

Thursday, August 14th, 2008 10 am

As a mom, I can only pray that this won't be another of those moments. I can pray that he continues to show the energy and enthusiasm post-op that he's showing this week as he looks forward to his surgery. I can pray for the surgeon's skill & wisdom. I can pray for my family--that the other kids will understand and help and will be patient while I tend to him during his recovery. And I will pray that somehow the purpose of all this will be revealed in His time...because right now, well, it's not overwhelmingly clear why this guy has soooooo much to deal with in his life.

Today, though, I think I will rejoice that he is here with us, despite the odds, despite the doctors and their dire predictions, despite the scariness of his babyhood MRIs. I will enjoy his excitement for the surgery and for the preparations. Can you believe this booger is THRILLED that his bedroom is moving to the dining room?

And I can thank God, rejoicing that you are all out there praying for my boy, my family, our surgeon and me. I covet your prayers, my friends...please keep us lifted up!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Good Witness...Dilemma

So...I have a friend, who happens to also be a co-worker. She and I have worked together off and on for more than 6 years...and have been friends outside of work as well. She is well acquainted with my beliefs, but is not interested in developing a faith of her own. I wish she were...and she knows that I am more than willing to share at any time. Over the years, we have come to an understanding--I sadly respect that she doesn't want to hear about my Savior and she respects--for the most part--that I have a dependence on God. She was not raised to have any desire for fellowship with God, which baffles and saddens me.

That said...she's a nice lady, raising a cool kid. That cool kid has made friends with another cool kid--both of whom are headed to middle school in the fall. This cool new friend was allowed to enjoy the friendship--UNTIL New Friend's Christian Mom found out that these folks are unchurched AND (horror of horrors!) that my friend WORKS. (Yes, I know--can you believe it?) Yesterday, New Friend's Mom terminated the budding friendship, stating that they are "uncomfortable building relationships with people outside the church." Nothing happened, save the exchange of this tidbit of information.

At first blush, I can understand this. I can sympathize, even. Who doesn't want to surround their children with nothing but folks who share their belief systems?? But the more I think about it, the more angry I become. Aren't we called to love and to share our faith? This family had a WONDERFUL opportunity to reach a child (and through him, his family) and provide a witness--and maybe plant some seeds of faith. This gal didn't ask if my friend was open to church attendance or to her son participating in church activities (she is willing to encourage whatever belief systems her son wishes to investigate). In fact, he attends church often with his father. (oops...forgot that the other strike against 'em...this is my friend's second marriage...)

You know, I understand the "guilty by association" thing. The "garbage in, garbage out" theory. But what about "in the world but not OF the world"? Then I wonder...perhaps she is concerned that her son isn't strong enough in his own faith that he could be easily led astray. The bummer here is that he's not an astray leading type--not even close. But the actions of this mom have cemented my friend's view that Christianity is exclusionary and elitist...and has now left that impression on a young boy. What message are we sending, people???

I guess this situation frustrates me a lot because I've tried sooooo hard to show my friend a different kind of Christianity than she's been exposed to before. I don't know that I'll ever be blessed to lead her to the Lord, but I'm praying that I'm planting seeds. (I acknowledge the role of selfish pride here in the preceeding statements--just as I KNOW that God will use this experience in my friend's life as part of His plan!) And I have been blessed with small signs of God working in her heart... A few years ago, she laughed when I would offer to pray for her, now she *asks* for prayers for her family, she *asks* my opinion on religious matters, and when aforementioned cool kid was asking questions about God, she asked me to answer them.

As Christians, we walk a fine line...trying to exert a positive, Christ-like influence on a fallen world when we live in that fallen world ourselves. It's confusing and enough to make you crazy, isn't it???

Thoughts, my friends???

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Random Rants

Okay, so I haven't posted in awhile, but I'm feeling the need to get these couple of things out:
  • WHY do some people feel the need to politicize kid/family movies? Wall-E was cute, but a wee bit too politically over the top for me. Went over the kids' heads--mostly--but some of the social commentary just ticked me off. And, yes, I agree with some of it, but even so...if I want social commentary, I'll listen to talk radio or call my dad.
  • WHY do people who drive the same way EVERY day wait 'til the LAST POSSIBLE second to merge??...it's not like they don't know it's coming!! And then, they get annoyed and do the whole road rage thing on those of us who plan ahead. Sheesh.
  • WHY do I insist that the family use the upstairs bathrooms--reserving the powder room for company--but then I'm the one who is missing our non-functional powder room the most?? (Yes, the post-five-kids bladder + the limp = not working so well for the Mommy...)
  • WHY do we women let men run female product companies?? Bought bras the other day and paid and arm & a leg for 'em. Seriously. I think if women ran the lingerie industry, we'd be handing them out for not so much $$. That and *hygiene items*...those would be FREE with a box of chocolate and a bottle of wine. Whaddya say girls? I'm thinking revolution!
  • WHO decided that ladies don't need slips anymore?? Really. Tried to find one in a store lately? Looked in 3 major department stores & nary a slip to be found. Clerks in all three told me to try online. Aren't Mamas teaching their girls better anymore? I'm guessing not, since I see (through!) skirts & dresses at work all the time. Probably the same folks who brought us the ever-popular bra-strap baring spaghetti strap tank top? Or the delightful gals wearing strapless tops with strapped bras. Jiminy cricket (and just plain ICK!) ! Kinda making it a challenge for me to keep teaching my beasties about modesty. (no, no one said it would be easy...but really!)

*sigh* Okay...'nuf ranting for now. I think...

Friday, May 16, 2008


Just popped back into my hotel room after sitting on a beautiful white sand beach. Am in Clearwater, FL for a conference this week. While I have missed my family dreadfully, I am appreciating this time away to re-energize, to recharge to restore my being with the sounds of the ocean. This week, I've been realizing how much growing up close to the beach fed my soul...helped make me who I am. Helped shape my awe at the God we love and strive to serve. Two nights ago, I bobbed in the waves at sunset and just revelled in all that we've been given. You HAVE to know there is a loving God, Universal Designer...One after our own hearts, Giver of life and this Earth. How could you walk through even a small bit of this world and not? Think about it...
  • He could have made the sun just revolve around the Earth, night into day, day into night--with NO fanfare, no spectacle, no brilliant shades of pink & blue.
  • He could have made evergreens and said "This is a TREE" and it could have been the only kind of tree--no oaks, no maples, no elms, no dogwoods bursting into bloom.
  • He could have made daisies and said "These are FLOWERS." No fragrant roses, no lilacs, no lavender. Or maybe made only one color of each....
  • He could have made dachshunds and said "This is DOG."
Get my point? Which is that HE DIDN'T. He made our world in wondrous variety, amazing species, sights and features, and then populated our world with an amazingly similar variety of people.
WOW! How cool is that???
Thank you, God for the wonder that is the world around us. For the endless variety of all that dwells here with us...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Six Word Memoir

So...the pressure...the pressure! Shasta tagged me to come up with a memoir title in 6 words. I came up with a few options:

  • FAMILY always means I LOVE YOU.
  • Unexpected Blessings Come in All Sizes!
  • Family Adventures, Each and Every Day
  • Growing-Up Weird but Faithful and Strong (hyphenating growing up might be cheating...)
  • Just Trying to Make Some Lemonade

I'd imagine there are others...but this will have to do for now! Check out Shasta's blog for hers. (Which, by the way, I find EVER so much more creative than mine!)

Here's how it works:

1. Write the title to your own memoir using 6 words.
2. Post it on your blog.
3. Link to the person that tagged you.
4. Tag five more blogs.

Sadly, I'm not sure I can tag 5 more blogs that haven't been tagged yet...but here are a couple three:

Only Wanted to Comment
Mom of 5 (Like me!)

This was interesting...and I have to admit that I've been mulling it over since I saw the post!

Have fun!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Music as Inspiration

My favorite morning drive-time team on the radio (WGTS) was talking yesterday about songs that inspire us. Songs that spur us forward. Songs that change how we think. This whole week, too, they've been encouraging listeners to focus on God's healing in our lives. Both of those topics brought one song and one moment to mind...."Go Light Your World." I can't remember who wrote it originally, but I remember the moment I first heard the song...

It was 10 years ago.

We had just been told that our second child and first son was profoundly deaf, had cerebral palsy and may not survive to his 1st birthday. We were in the process of undergoing a lengthy series of genetic and metabolic testing to diagnose the root problem...it was grueling and things weren't looking very good. We were struggling with questions, longing for answers and oh so very weary.

I took a much needed weekend break and headed off to California to attend a Women of Faith Conference in Anaheim. Kathy Troccoli was the featured musician for the weekend. Such a talented performer!! Anyway, at one point during her afternoon concert, she asked the sign language interpreter to join her on the stage. Kathy sang that song with such heart. But it's the interpreter who did it for me. She was BEAUTIFUL, graceful and so powerfully evocative of the meaning of the song.

In those few moments of music, I realized that I had been feeling like an extinguished candle. That I had forgotten my flame. Lost my light. Forgotten that the fire inside comes from God. Forgotten that my flame should shine brighter in a storm. The song spoke to me...but the interpreter moved me. Moved me to think of the opportunities for Patrick rather than the losses. Moved me to CHOOSE laughter over sorrow. Moved me to look at his abilities and not his disabilities. Moved me to look forward to learning a new mode of communication rather than feeling cheated out of hearing "mommy" from this darling boy. Moved me to enjoy every day with him rather than counting down the days....

We celebrated his 10th birthday in November...and my *bonus featured* boy is an adventure at every turn. Did God miraculously heal him and make him like all the other kids? No. (But then again, I thank God each and every day that NONE of my kids are "normal!") Did He provide healing in ways that have doctors scratching their heads? You betcha! And for our family? well, I believe the best is yet to come....

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Finally finished my funny little attempt at a chipboard album. It's a departure for me from my usual scrap efforts...partly due to the format. Also due to the kinda self-indulgent theme. The idea came from the entertainment value and thought-provoking nature of notes in the Dove chocolate wrappers. Anyway...I had a good time creating this fun album. Take a peek at the slideshow to the right and tell me what you think!

Saturday, March 8, 2008


Okay...so I'm 183 pages into a *gripping* Patricia Cornwell novel...fairly new one, too!!...and I flip the page.

Next page doesn't make sense, so I double & triple check, thinking I've turned an extra page or two. Um, no. Instead of my page 184, I've got page 252.

Now, I'm not much for math, but I'm pretty sure that 252 DOES NOT come after 183. Pretty darned sure.

I've flipped through the rest of the book. Pages are still not there. *sigh*

So now it's after midnight, I'm missing pages, and so annoyed I can't sleep. AAARRGGGHHH. Maybe I can find the receipt and get a new copy.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Dontcha Love It

when you stumble upon something you love that you'd briefly forgotten??

Bits & pieces of an ee cummings poem that I love have been drifting in & out of my mind for a couple of days now. So, thanks to the wonder of google and the internet, I found the whole thing...and I love it more than I did before:

i thank You God for most this amazing day:
for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural
which is infinite
which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today, and this is the sun's birthday;
this is the birthday of life and love and wings: and of the gay great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing breathing any-lifted from the noof all nothing-human merely being doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

WOW! Pretty cool, huh?

Random Factoid: ee cummings didn't capitalize many words...but always referred to God that way!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Mixing it Up

As I sit at my desk working on charts and graphs and formulas and even more formulas, I'm pondering my snack food of choice today. Which begs the question:

Have I mentioned that I really don't like those little toasty things in Chex Mix? LOVE the rest of the stuff, really I do. But I can't stand those round toasty things-white or rye! *sigh* I mean, who thought of those things in the first place??? Have you EVER seen loaves of bread that size that just needed to be sliced?? Are they rejects from the crouton factory? Refugees from the salad bar? What is the real name for them? Chex, I get. Pretzels I get. Cracker bar bits, I get. Weird mini-toasts...from where?? Suggestions for a better name?

And WHY do I feel compelled, as a full-grown adult, to eat them rather than picking them out of my handful? Isn't semi-picky eating a perk of adulthood? But NO...rules oriented mommy that I am, I can't bring myself to just toss 'em. I'd save them and give 'em to someone who likes them, but I've never met such a person. Apparently their sole purpose in life is being the snack food alarm in Chex Mix. Chew one of those babies and EVERY one knows you're snacking. Three cubbies away, they can hear me chomping on my mid-afternoon snack. Have you ever tried chewing them quietly? And I'm sure my dentist has a love-hate relationship with this particular snack food! ;-)

I feel better now that I have that off my chest.

Monday, February 11, 2008

A gaggle of us girlies hit the road last night to see Chonda Pierce in concert. WOW! I haven’t laughed that hard for a LONG time. Too long a time, really. My cheeks and back STILL ache from the belly deep giggles. There is just something special about the commonality of humor that unites us as Christian women…no matter where we are in our walk, our talk or our lives, we share more than we don’t.

I had been looking forward to this outing for a LONG time, a chance to spend some time with some ladies I am only just beginning to get to know. Ladies I already appreciate and care for. We had some terrific talks last night, but have only just begun to scratch the surface of where we can go as friends and sisters in Christ…I’m excited about building those relationships.

In the midst of all that laughter and fun, it hit me—just how much I had missed that kind of fellowship, that sense of so many kindred spirits in the room.

I was (and still am today) sad that I’ve put finding a church home on the back burner for so long. How what was once such an integral part of my life is no more—at least of late. I can explain it away with any number of reasons, but there is no excuse that can even remotely justify me robbing my children of the same opportunity I had to grow up within the wonderful warmth of a church family. Time to get off my butt, light a fire under the hubby and GET TO CHURCH!!

So…getting back to Chonda…she had some great stuff to say. Tough stuff, too. Not getting too far into the whole depression thing, let’s just say that I was strongly reminded last night that God loves me. Has always loved me. Will always love me. That HE is the light at the end of the tunnel. I think Michael W. Smith said it WAAAAY better that I ever could, in his song “Never Been Unloved”:

I have been unfaithful

I have been unworthy
I have been unrighteous
And I have been unmerciful

I have been unreachable
I have been unteachable
I have been unwilling
And I have been undesirable

And sometimes I have unwise
I've been undone by what I'm unsure of
But because of You
And all that You went through
I know that I have never been unloved

I have been unbroken
I have been unmended
I have been uneasy
And I've been unapproachable

I've been unemotional
I've been unexceptional
I've been undecided
And I have been unqualified

UnawareI have been unfair
I've been unfit for blessings from above
But even I can see
The sacrifice You made for me
To show that I have never been unloved
It's because of You
And all that You went through
I know that I have never been unloved

This has always been one of my favorites and one I’ve clung to. Been listening to it all morning here at work, realizing that God loved me enough to remind me of it…and to remind me to take the help that He has made available to me… Time to get off my butt, call the doctor and get back on the program.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

On the Calendar

So...I was putting things on my calendar (*the book*) today and came across this quote pre-printed there during the week of Abbey's birthday:

"life consists not in holding good cards, but in playing those you hold well" Josh Billings

Got me to thinkin' 'bout my growing up years and playing card games with my mom, dad, and brothers. My dad used to call this "run what you brung" during family games of Hearts. After I learned the game, I loved that round! Guess I'm just Type A enough to prefer the *knowingness* of building a strategy with a known quantity. I hated those previous hands...you know, where you swap 3 cards across or around the table? Well, OK, it's probably more to the point to say that I hated the part where I didn't know which 3 cards I was going to get--didn't mind getting rid of the 3 that were going to cause me problems! But my baby bro was a PRO at managing to give me almost EXACTLY what I thought I'd rid myself of. And the other brother, well, he was just good at messing you up no matter what. Dad and Mom are card sharks and always handed over a pile of whatever that made you scratch your head...UNTIL you figured out what they were doing. (tee hee hee)

I mean, think about it...who couldn't find three things in their lives they'd love to trade away?


No, really. I think I'd still rather work with what I've got, thanks.

Thank you, God for giving me the chance to "run what I've brung" in this life...and the opportunity to see Your plan revealed as those cards are played.

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28 NIV

Thursday, January 10, 2008

UN-Resolutions ??

Okay, so now it’s 2008. A few days in, actually. And I am STILL wondering how this happened. “WHAT happened?” you ask.


Yes, how on earth did 2008 happen? I mean it seems like it was mere days ago that I was figuring out how old I’d be in the year 2000. (Yes, it was a dorky thing to do, but--for you youngsters out there who don’t remember--before the millennium hit, everyone was wondering random stuff like that about the year 2000.) Here I am, 8 years into the new era and scratching my head, agreeing with pithy statements like “gee, time flies.” GACK.

But I’ve decided to take a different tack. New Year’s Resolutions are great…everyone could stand to find SOMEthing to improve upon in their lives. Reflection is a wonderful thing—and societal acceptance and encouragement of said reflection is even more wonderful. And yes, there are things I hope to change this year—the usual lose weight, exercise more, spend less, yada, yada, yada.

But, I’m kinda tired of the negativity innate in the process of making those little personal improvement plans.

SO…I’m also thinking about things I DO NOT want to change this year…things that I like about who I am, where I’m going and how I’m getting there.

I know I’m a work in progress…but I LIKE that! I hope we all are…and I pray that I will continue to grow and change right up ‘til I meet Jesus. I like that I am (mostly) able to embrace the ‘in progress’ nature of myself and those around me. (Admittedly, not so much on the commute. *sigh*)

I like that my kids have learned to make creative messes. That we like to dabble with all sorts of art forms and expression. That they like to look beyond the basics of a task and think about more interesting approaches and are willing to explore.

I like using 50 cent words. I like that my kids are learning to use big words, too, and don’t back down from a pronunciation or spelling challenge!

Asking questions is a good thing. Asking thoughtful questions is even better…I like that the kiddles are good at asking about anything and everything. (except sometimes forgetting to ask for that cookie…)

It has taken me this long to acknowledge that I’m fine looking like I look. So I’m not a supermodel; statuesque ladies like me will never find positive images in the media. I’ve never been a petite flower and never will be. And guess what???! IT’S OK!!

I like that I still like to dance and enjoy “young music’…Heaven forbid I should start thinking Paul Sedaka is cool.

I like that this parenting thing is teaching me something new each day…and that we are a family open to learning from each other.

A challenge for you…what do you resolve NOT to change this year?

If you’re like me, that question is harder to answer, if only because we are sooooo conditioned to look for the flaws in our lives.