Jul 30, 2008

Wipeout Survival Guide

Tuesdays have become a night my all-male family looks forward to every week. Since I'm the only female in my house, I approach Tuesday night with particular caution.

Why Tuesday, you ask? Have you not seen? Have you not heard?

Tuesday on ABC is "Wipeout" of course. And my family, which is almost entirely built of testosterone, LOVES this show.

It's really rather peculiar no wonder why they love this show so much. It a weird combination of sport and silly. Competition and comedy. Rivalry and risibility.

In other words, it is downright funny. You know, if you like that sort of thing. So for you sophisticated ones who have remained unsoiled and unsullied, I have prepared a Survival Guide of sorts to prepare you for your moment of awakening:

Survival Guide

  1. Don't eat a heavy meal just before watching. You will regret it.

  2. Go easy on the stomach crunches on Monday; for same reason as #1.

  3. Potty break is highly recommended before the show. The hardest laughter will take place at the beginning (like at the beginning of the season of American Idol). However, do take advantage of all commercial breaks. They're not worth watching most of the time anyway.

  4. Apply a plethora of moisturizer on face to avoid permanent cracking in smile lines.

  5. Keep earplugs handy for obnoxious family members. (Unless you are the obnoxious family member.)

  6. Don't take your eyes off for a minute! Unless you have Tivo. But you'll still be behind other obnoxious family members and it's never as funny when everyone else is done laughing.

  7. Beware: your children and/or darling husband will have an overwhelming penchant to jump from couch to chair to ottoman to "stick the landing" on the kitchen tile.

  8. Change the channel before Japanese Game Show comes on. Trust me on this one.

If you haven't seen it yet, view at your own risk. But you can't say I didn't warn you.

Here's you a tasty sample; enjoy.

Jul 28, 2008

Believing God

Do you believe in God? Or do you believe God?

If you read my testimony from Saturday's post, one thing you know about me is how I believed in God but didn't really believe anything He said. I didn't believe Him. That would be because I didn't know Him.

I have a hunch there are a lot of people out there like that. Even people who know that they know they belong to Christ, but haven't yet gotten to know Him, and therefore haven't gotten to a point of really believing Him.

Then I think there are others who have walked with Him and have gotten to know Him intimately, but have either forgotten how trustworthy He is, or are so blinded by the day-to-day stuff or by the huge circumstance in front of them that they simply can't see His reliability.

I am convinced that most, if not all, believers find ourselves in both of those spiritual places at certain points in our walk. I know I've been there.

And I know I could use a refresher, a study that will help me understand more deeply who my God is and how much He wants for me as His child. That's why I'm going to be joining Linda at 2nd Cup of Coffee and Diane at Meyers on the Hood and many others through a 10-week Beth Moore Bible Study called "Believing God."

Linda and Diane are going to be taking turns posting about the lesson each week starting this Thursday, and I'm sure about a million others of us or so will be leaving comments in our little "discussion group." Grab yourself another cup of coffee this afternoon, sign up at the Bible study website, and watch your first video.

See you there!

Jul 26, 2008

One Great Question

Kim at the Internet Cafe is hosting this week's Cafe Chat. Her question is very thought-provoking, to say the least:

"What would be the title of a book about your life?"

Hmmm. I've never thought of that before. But I think the best title must convey the best moment of my life.

"Faith Comes by Hearing: Rescued Through Radio"

I was born into a "pseudo-religious" family. We all believed in "religion," and even believed in God, but had no idea that we could have a relationship with Him through faith in the Substitutionary Death of Jesus. Church was a twice-a-year-thing for me. Maybe a third time in a year for a wedding. The simple truth: Christ really had no place in my life.

As I became a young adult, God began trying to get my attention in various ways. He first roused my curiosity by placing me in a job working alongside a Christian man. This man exhausted much effort in explaining Biblical prophecy to me. This was an area of the Bible I had never heard of, so it did pique my interest; that was about all.

When that position concluded, the Lord then moved me to Houston, which was something I never saw coming. I was living my life for "me" and for the fun I could get out of it. My social life had been my main priority for several years -- at only 20 years old.

One beautiful Sunday, on my way back to Houston from visiting my parents, I found myself sailing through the vast space of flatland and cows outside of Victoria, Texas. I'm quite sure the word "panorama" was coined for this particular place, because you can see the horizon from a panoramic eye level for-what-seems-like-ever.

I was so far out in the middle of nowhere that I couldn't pick up any more than two radio stations at a time. Since I don't speak Spanish, my choice in entertainment for the moment was chosen for me...by Divine design.

The song that was on did catch my particular attention.

At first, it reminded me of a secular group I had previously heard. Their impeccable harmony reminded me of a girl band named Wilson Phillips; but I was sure this wasn't Wilson Phillips. These women were clearly singing about Jesus in a way that I had never heard before.

The group of women the Holy Spirit was using to capture my attention was none other than Point of Grace. The song is entitled, "I Have No Doubt." I have no doubt this was Providentially appointed.

I listened to the words carefully, amazed and quite frankly envious, that anyone else could see God the way they did. I didn't understand, but I was drawn.

That was the only song I listened to that day, but I heard the call letters for the radio station. It was being broadcast from Victoria, but it was a syndicated "sister station" from Houston. Actually, the station was outside Houston in a little town called Humble -- the town I lived in. I would find that out much later.

A few days after I got home, I believe the Holy Spirit reminded me of that song and how it affected me that Sunday. So I began looking for that station I had heard over a hundred miles away...and to my surprise I found it.

I also found myself attracted to this station when I was alone in my apartment. I would listen every now and then, allowing the unfamiliar sentiments to waft through my mind...right into my very soul.

Over time, I began to notice a different disposition about me when I was listening to this Christ-honoring music. I noticed that my thoughts were lighter, more gentle, more pleasant. At first, my favorite time to listen was in the morning getting ready for work. Then I noticed a difference in my day when I listened on my radio at work. Then it became my company on my commute. Literally before I knew it, I was listening to the "God Listens" radio station almost exclusively!

What I didn't fully comprehend at the time was that the Holy Spirit was communicating to me through the words of those songs. I was hearing the Gospel presented in a way that made sense to me. It may have been recorded over an upbeat tempo or a slow melody, but it was the Truth I was hearing. "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)

Late one night, I was alone in my apartment except the companionship of KSBJ on the radio and, more importantly, the presence of the Holy Spirit. The DJ began the most beautiful monologue I had ever heard: he explained the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus, with anyone who would listen. That cool night in November, that anyone was me.

I knew when he talked about the sinner, that was me. I had made a mess out of my life. I thought I had everything under control, but it was far from it. When he said that all sinners are in need of a Savior, and that Jesus is that One and Only Savior provided by a loving Father in Heaven, I knew I didn't want to walk this road alone anymore.

I had never heard the "sinner's prayer," or seen anyone walk down an aisle, or heard the term "ask Jesus in my heart." All I knew at that moment, that precious, precious moment, was that Jesus Christ wanted the reigns in my life, and I needed Him to take them.

So with tears streaming down my face, I audibly cried out to the Creator of the universe, and He stepped down from Heaven and into my heart, my life, my whole being. I don't remember everything I said to Him in that prayer, but I do specifically remember saying, "I don't know if I can do this, I'm afraid I'm going to fail. But I need You in my life and I trust what You're telling me."

It makes me smile to think of His expression when I said I don't think I can do it. I just picture Him saying, "I know My child, I know. I will do it through you."

Later that night, I pulled down my big, heavy Bible. I had never given it any attention before, but somehow that night, it seemed like an old friend. I began to pour over it, not sure where to start. Naturally, I thought, "How hard is this? It's a Book; I'll start at the beginning!"

Genesis was a bit over my head once I got past Adam and Eve. I had no idea how geneologies could apply to this new life I had just discovered! (Now I understand...but I needed some help back then!) So I called the only other person who had anything to do with that night: the DJ at KSBJ.

I told him about my conversion that very night, and that I knew I needed to read the Bible to learn more, but I had no idea where to start. He said, "I would suggest one of the Gospels, like the book of John. It's in the New Testament."

I said, "What's the New Testament?" It was going to be a long night for him. :-)

Shortly afterward, my sister (in the Lord; we are both "only children" by nature) sent me a letter filled with Scripture. She lived in a different state at the time, but she must have known somehow that the Lord was calling me because she was trying to win me over -- I was already there. But this was my confirmation that He is so much bigger and more involved than I had ever acknowledged.

I was going to stop there, but there is one small detail I just have to include. After I was saved, I knew I needed to get into a Bible-believing church. The problem with that was I didn't know ANYTHING about the Bible, so I didn't know what a Bible-believing church would look like! And I didn't know anyone around me that I could trust to lead me. So I prayed and asked.

And then I did it. I went one Sunday morning to a little church with three white crosses in the front yard. I had noticed it several times over the months before while the Lord was working on me. But I was scared to death, ya'll, I mean it. I didn't know a soul there, had no idea what to expect, and I was going by myself. (so to speak!)

As I parked and started walking toward the building, a very friendly man approached me, shook my hand and invited me in. He took a moment to show me around and then excused himself as he needed to get ready to preach. Preach? I thought they were like celebrities or something! He was talking to me???

After he told me his name and left, I thought to myself, "His name sounds familiar." Well it should have, because the Pastor of that little church with the three white crosses was also the newsman at KSBJ. Suddenly, I felt right at home. :-)

The rest, as we say, is HIStory.

Click to listen to the Point of Grace song "I Have No Doubt"

Jul 25, 2008

Friday's Feast...First Edition!

Okay, for those of you more seasoned bloggers who are all "on the ball" around here, I know that these questions actually come from an older-than-this-week Friday's Feast. BUT, I couldn't find the current questions, so I am getting started with these, okay? Okay. Thank you for understanding and showing some grace to your newbie friend.

When was the last time you had your hair cut/trimmed?

Seriously, I only get me haircut twice a year. I know, I know. But I pay out the nose for it because I LOVE what they do to it at Toni & Guy, and it's the two times a year I can go to the mall without my kiddos. The great disappointment here is that I missed my Spring cut. Fall is not that far away. You should see my hair right now. Blehh.

Name one thing you miss about being a child.

More time for artsy things.

Pick one: butter, margarine, olive oil.

Olive oil, although I cook with more butter than anybody I've ever known. Margarine never, ever takes its residency in my kitchen.

Main Course
If you could learn another language, which one would you pick, and why?

Italian, because I think it to be one of the most beautiful of the Romantic languages...and it's a small part of my heritage. My grandmother's family came from Sicily. You wouldn't guess that by looking at me, though. But the Italian language: Bellisimo!

Finish this sentence: In 5 years I expect to be…alive.

Even of that I can't be sure. I do know this: if I am alive, then my youngest son will be almost 9 and I will be in a type of world of which I cannot conceive at this moment. I just can't imagine! I just got through a SOLID 10-year stretch of constantly changing diapers, one kid after another! Wow. I will have a 16, 13, and 9 year old. Wow. Can I say it one more time?


Jul 24, 2008

God's So Funny Y'all

Okay, I have to admit. This next statement is SOOO much easier for me to say at 11:55 pm, when everybody has gone to bed and I am finally alone. But the fact is, God has really been very gracious to infuse a lot of His compassion and humor into my life with my kids in order to balance the aggravation that they can generate.

For example, have you ever noticed that baby poop doesn't really smell that bad when they're first born, but as they get closer and closer to their potty-training age, it gets worse and worse? I really think that's because God's saying, "They can't help themselves early on, so I'll cut ya some slack. But as they get older, you (mom) need to be motivated to get them trained!" What could be more motivating than an olfactory offense?

When they are first born, they sound so sweet and lovable when they cry. But a year later, we must be acclimated to a shrill that peels the paint off the walls...and sometimes in the most inappropriate places to boot.

Here's a biggie: They aren't mobile for a good while after they're born. I just KNOW this was by design, too. It's as if God said, "Okay, woman, you have this demanding little progeny that is totally dependant upon you...but at least you won't have to chase him...for a while."

See? God's grace is imparted.

Then they learn to talk. Oh boy. This is good and bad. It's good in that they can now tell you what they want; it's bad that they can now tell you what they want. Constantly.

But the other good thing about them learning to communicate is the process they go through. I have been keeping a journal of some of the things my kiddos have said over the years that have kept a smile on our faces as we go along. I think I'll share some with you now.

Mini me:
  • Liked to go look at books at "Barnes and Stables."

  • We would pass by the fire station, and if the door was closed, he would say the "fire truck is 'leepin?"

  • He liked roasting "smarshmallows"

  • More recently (like last week): I told him about the old Grey Poupon commercials. He said to me in his best English accent: "Pardon me, do you have any gray poop on?"
Brown Eyes:

  • Big things were "HUGE-MONGOUS!"

  • After he cut his finger, he went to his daddy and said, "My finger is cracking!"

  • He loved to eat "oitmeal"

  • Before he was 2 years old, he would try to eat his Grandpa's Starlight candies (red & white peppermints), but we would say, "Those are Grandpa's!" So he began to ask for "Grandpa's" (He thought we were telling him what they were instead of whose they were.)


  • Loves to eat "Chicken Little Soup" for lunch

  • Always asks at church: "Can I go to da PRAYground?"

  • Any cup with a handle holds "foffee"

  • He is FINALLY potty-trained...and wearing his big-boy "Wonderwears."

  • My personal favorite: "You're not a person, you're a Momma!" Yeah.

I love my God and His thoughtfulness towards us Mommas!

I think I'll head over to da prayground and drink some foffee tomorrow morning...after I eat my oitmeal and sausage with grey poop on.

Jul 23, 2008

Works For Me Wednesday -- First Edition!

My grandma and uncle got us this really awesome coffee pot for Christmas a couple of years ago.

It's a Hamilton Beach Brew Station. It's the best coffee maker we've ever owned! It brews the coffee directly into the heated, insulated cistern. There's no "burner" to scorch the bottom of the coffee as it heats from all around. It has a two hour timer, so for as long as you keep the thing on, it keeps your coffee piping hot!

The best part is that there is no glass carafe to drop or break. Or replace. Eh hem. You dispense the coffee directly into a cup in the front of the machine! (see picture again for complete illustration and for inciting deep quivers of delight in your soul.)

Okay, so I have a point. The following picture is the inside of the cistern after many, many uses. Many uses. Lots of coffee.

Pretty gruesome, huh? So I got my hands on this stuff:

I can't find it anywhere but online, and it's designed to be a commercial product, but let me just say this: I used less than half of the little package, and after a wipe of a paper towel, and running three pots of hot water through my machine, this is what I got:

Is that amazing or what?! I couldn't believe how easy it was to clean! You can click on the picture of the package to see about how to order...a pack of 3 is less than $5 and this website has free shipping! WOW!

No, I'm not working on commission! I'm just excited about the clean coffee maker, okay?

Of course, if there is some generous creature out there who has a strong desire, or some other vague inkling, to send me some commission, it shall not be turned away. I can assure you.

Undoubtedly, out of the four of you, there must be one of you...just an inkling??

Well, commission or not, this stuff works for me!

Jul 21, 2008

Christmas in July

You will never believe what happened to us today.

Okay, you might, but it wouldn't be as propelling if I said, "You're gonna believe this." So just hang with me a minute.

Yesterday, we spent a grand total of two hours driving back and forth to our church. Each leg is 30 minutes, and we went twice. The numbers are not as important as the amount of gas that was consumed from the tank of my obese, money-guzzling van.

Allow me to take this opportunity now to say that my darling husband drove all those miles. I repeat: the last time I saw the gas gauge was on Friday. Does everybody see where this is going?

Well then, fast forward to early this afternoon. A situation came up and I suddenly needed to rush out the door to take care of an errand for a dear friend. I hadn't planned on leaving today, so I had filled my plate with things to do around de casa. The important point of this paragraph: this was going to be a swift errand so I could presumably get back home and onto my proverbial plate of stuff to do.


After finally getting everybody ready to hit the streets (because ya'll know that's half the task) we all pile in, buckle up, take a breath, and head out.

The van was a little slow to start, but that's to be expected. It's an older classic behemoth, and it's slow to rouse sometimes. I immediately noticed the gas gauge on the infamous "e" but, I ask you, what could I do? Press on was my answer. Besides, the gas light warning thing isn't even on yet. I've got miles to go before I run out!

Famous last words, I tell you.

I turned off of our street and onto the highway...the winding, two-lane only with no shoulder, almost completely uphill for the first two miles, with drop-offs into tree tops on both sides highway.

Did you get that? Winding, no shoulder, uphill, drop-offs. I lived in Texas my whole life...we didn't have ANY of that where I'm from.

I turn onto the highway and begin to ascend up the back side of that altitudinous hill. And my van sputtered...and died. Right there.

No shoulder, no extra lane, no dirt to pull onto. Right in the middle of the lane with a curve behind me and a curve in front of me. On a 55 mph road. With all three kids in the van with me. And...going uphill, so pushing is totally out of the question.

Imagine if you are driving a vehicle around a curve and suddenly find an elephant parked in the lane in front of you! And you think you're going to get around it, only there is a curve up ahead and you can't tell if someone else is coming on the other side! Can you see the source of my fear and trembling? Would you want to be in the middle of that?

So I call roadside assistance (oh how I do praise God for cell phones!), and before I can even get them to pull up my account on the phone, this wonderful, very timely female Deputy Sheriff pulls up behind me with her lights flashing. She left her car in between my house-on-wheels and those who could be careening into the rear of it.

She approaches my door and leaning toward me says these excellent words: "Would you like for me to call another car so I can take you and your kids to the gas station?"

Would I.

My soul was soaring at this point! Here I hardly had time to even call for help, and she just "happens" to be less than 5 minutes behind me and has time to spare to take me to the gas station. If you don't remember anything else about this post, remember this: God is good, ya'll!

Once her backup arrived to the scene, the boys and I were then able to have a little bit of fun with this adventure! We crammed (and I do mean crammed...they don't say "cuffed and stuffed" for nothing!) the three kids in the back seat...car seat and all. Have you ever seen how little those back seats are in a squad car? The police department car manufacturers are not overly concerned for a criminal's leg room back there, to say the least.

She took me and three beaming little boys to the gas station to get my $6.00 saving grace:

You could wrap a bow around this thing and wish me Merry Christmas. I was never so happy to spend $14 on two gallons of gas in my life.
Tonight, I am thanking my God in heaven for cell phones, gas cans, and precious police men and women who have time to stop and help a family in need.

Jul 17, 2008

Jeepers Creepers!

(cue suspenseful music...)

Today I opened the curtain to take a shower, and found this evil villain staring me down, attempting to capture our bathing headquarters and rule the whole stinkin' world!!

(make your children look away! AAAAAHHHHHHH!) This week's episode: Captain Catch-All and Superboy

combat against Spider-man's alter ego...the Cricket Thing!

(loud shriek..."Help me, somebody! Come get this thing outta here!")

You know, I'm really not a big sissy. It doesn't bother me so much that there's a large, creepy, highly volatile insect staring me down in my own bathtub. The problem I have here is with the nauseating crunch that you hear and feel when you stomp a critter like this.

Washing it down the drain is out of the question, you see, because I would never wash my face again for fear that the thing would crawl back up the drain and be with me in the shower!


So of course, the most logical thing for me to do is to call on...

Captain Catch-All and Superboy!! (insert echo effect)

Easy does it, Superheroes...he's a jumpy little thing!

Look at the supreme display of teamwork, careful concentration, and discipline!

My heroes!

Saved the day, once again! Thanks guys. You're the best!

Jul 13, 2008

Was Blind But Now I See

Ever watched Extreme Makeover: Home Edition? That is quite possibly my favorite television program of all time. At the least, it ranks in the top 5.

I just finished watching tonight's episode. Oh.my.word. I was moved to tears once again.

The young man in the wheelchair, Patrick Henry Hughes, is now 19 years old, and has been blind since birth. He's been "confined" to his chair for most of his life because he's never been able to fully extend his arms and legs.

Here's an excerpt I found on a website dedicated to this special family:

"Patrick Henry is an amazing pianist. By the age of two, the toddler could play songs on the piano after hearing them only once. The gifted young man is not only a university student, but also plays a wide array of musical instruments, is an accomplished singer, and an exuberant trumpet player in the University of Louisville School of Music Marching and Pep Band. The remarkable Patrick Henry has commented in previous interviews he feels he’s “been blessed” and is grateful for his abilities." (emphasis mine)

So here's my question: What's my problem? Why is it when I have "issues," most of which are temporary, why do I sometimes tend to let it get to me? I'm talking small things, ya'll. I mean when one of my kids cops an attitude about doing school work or my dh comes home with a grumpy heart, or bills aren't working out the way I want them to. And of course, it's never just one thing; it's when they all pile up all around me and seem to come at me from every direction.

My "issues" of daily life seriously pale in comparison to young Patrick Henry. How do I get so wrapped up in "stuff" that I forget to remember the important things?

One thing Patrick Henry said was, "I'm just an ordinary guy living my life. I don't see blindness as being a disability; I see it as an ability, and sight as a disability." He went on to say that people with sight tend to look at the outer person, whereas he could only see the inner person. In other words, his blindness made him able to see...what's important.

Isn't that just like our Jesus? In the New Testament, He was able and merciful enough to make a blind man see. In fact, He did that on more than one occasion. He did allow them to physically see with their eyes, but He didn't leave them at just that. Because Jesus knew what Patrick later came to know: it is more important to see people on the inside.

Look at John 9:1-3:

"As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, 'Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?'

'Neither this man nor his parents sinned,' said Jesus, 'but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.'"

Oh Praise Jesus! That means when these difficult (and sometimes not that difficult) things come along and get me all flustered, they happen so that the work of God might be displayed in me!

Oh, Lord, help me remember that perspective!

Then look at what happens later in the Chapter (vs. 25-38). The Pharisees are questioning the used-to-be blind man about what Jesus did (trying to find fault in the Messiah). But look at this man's response; it's something beautiful:

"He [the man] replied, 'Whether he is a sinner or not, I don't know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!'

Then they asked him, 'What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?'

He answered, 'I have told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples, too?'

Then they hurled insults at him and said, 'You are this fellow's disciple! We are disciples of Moses! We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don't even know where he comes from.'

The man answered, 'Now that is remarkable! You don't know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly man who does his will. Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.'

To this they replied, 'You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!' And they threw him out.

Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, 'Do you believe in the Son of Man?' (Jesus is getting very poignant here!)

'Who is he, sir?' the man asked. 'Tell me so that I may believe in him.'
Jesus said, 'You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.'
Then the man said, 'Lord, I believe,' and he worshiped him.

So this man was made to see the Lord for who He is, and he's made to see himself as a blind sinner in need of a Savior! Neither of which did he need "eyes" to see. Only the eyes of his heart.

Seeing people from the inside seems to be important to Jesus, especially when we're looking at ourselves.

I know I am a lost cause without Christ. I mean, it's pitiful! I can't even clean my house with a clean heart unless He's filling me with Him continually! Let alone home school three boys and wear all the other hats I have on my rack at any given moment...

(resident nurse, lawyer, judge, motivator, textile manager (laundry...hee hee), food manager, chef, accountant, coach, writer (of sorts), scheduler, interior decorator, occasional groundskeeper...I'm sure there's more!)

Wow. I'm seriously underpaid.

Just kidding, just kidding...the rewards are intangible, and many will come much later.

I will close tonight with this: here is a link (sorry, I couldn't figure out how to post the actual YouTube video right in there...I'll get there!) to a video of a song that Mr. Patrick Henry Hughes sang at the end of the show. Enjoy!


Jul 12, 2008

Sir Marks-a-Lot

You know, I've always been kinda artsy. Not over the top, mind you, but it's there.

I used to draw and paint as a child and teenager. Somehow college and marriage derailed that hobby a long time ago. That's okay, because I'm sure I'll need something to pick up when they're all gone and the anaphylactic shock wears off from all the free time. Because it's quite evident that I have developed a severe allergy to free time.

Well that was an interesting tangent.

Anyway, here's what I actually intended to share:

I have a little bit of artsy in me. It should be no surprise that I would have at least one of my offspring who appreciates the fine arts. Rest assured, I have not been disappointed.

Praise the LORD! He's got some artsy in him. Leave it to Lil'bit. Because I was worried that he might have been shortchanged in the creative department.

Obviously, he has markers and deodorant confused.

Somebody please remind me again why I keep buying markers. Colored pencils are so much more practical, but it strikes terror in my heart to think of what he would do with those!

This is one of those opportunities for me to learn to love all the wonderful innate flair that God has graciously poured into my kids. Because even the difficult traits, the less attractive mannerisms, the unusual quirks...they all make up who they are. They are complicated individuals -- even at three and a half.

Everything God places in our lives is there to make us more like Christ. That includes my kids. And my husband. And all their weird idiosyncrasies. God has and will use them to shape me; and He'll use me and all my "stuff" to mold them. It's all part of the intricate, convoluted plan that He's had since before the beginning of time! How exciting is that?!

Today, I responded the way I should: a quick smile, a sound correction, and then an immediate picture for my post! *grin*

But I must admit there are times when I stress first, and then have this realization. I hate that. But I love that my God has everything I need, and is continuing to chisel away at my "self" until one Glorious Day, nothing will be left but the perfect reflection of the Son of God.

I can't wait for that.

Jul 10, 2008

Licensed To...Float

My oldest son, you know the one: the 10 year old Mini me, got his license this week.

Yep. It's a class he took for overachievers who can't wait to drive.

Okay maybe not.

But you would think that's exactly what he got when he passed his swim test at the pool. He rocked his own world, lemmie tell ya.

He is now King of the LAZY RIVER! AH-HA-HA-HA HA-HA-HA (evil, sinister laugh included)

He is at the very apex of his "pre-tween" years. Mini me thinks he is HOT stuff, ya'll. HOT. Can't touch him. (du nu nu nu, nu nu, nu nu - can't touch him). You know you're thanking me for putting MC Hammer in your head.

You're welcome.

Okay, so now Mini me can FINALLY go down the Dragon's Tail tunnel slide at the pool. He rocks, I'm telling you! Check him out:

Notice the perfect form...he got that from somebody, ya'll. And it wasn't me.

The first time he came down that thing, he was smiling so big I thought it would wrap around his whole head! He was so proud. And so was his Momma. (I heart him.)

Jul 8, 2008

Boundary Pusher

So today started out fairly uneventful...checking email, facebook, little bit of math before going to the pool. No problem! Things were clickin' along; off we went!

Question: Do all other children (besides my oldest two) always want to play on the total opposite side of the pool from the lawn chairs?? My other ones always played right where I was when they were little; they felt safe. Safe was something they desired...yea, longed for.

Oh no. Not this young one. Lil'bit wants to push every boundary as far as it will possibly go. This has been true since he could walk. One time I took him to a birthday party at a park. A very LARGE park. Open and wide and vast. Have I made my point? Other kids were sliding down the blunt hills on flattened cardboard boxes - sounds like fun, right? Oh, no. Not him. He wanted to see if the earth is flat. I hardly said more than "hello!" and "bye!" to the other moms there. The rest of my time there was spent retrieving my not-quite-two year old.

Fond memories. (insert sarcasm here) So anyway...

My child insists on putting at least 57 other children and countless gallons of water between himself and the only human there that's conscious of his existence. Smart? Maybe not. Boundary stretching? You bet. It's what he does best.

So I now have a one-sided tan from sitting on the side of the pool instead of "flipping" in my reclining chair. Sigh. But here's something he DID learn to do:

Yeah, Lil'bit! This is very new for him. He's always pushing the boundaries, but they always stopped at the edge of the pool before. Until today. Needless to say, every time he jumped, the next one was just a little further down...a little deeper.

So I started thinking: Since we are children of God, and we tend to behave like it (more like children, less like God), how do I push the boundaries He's set for me? Surely I do, and don't realize the danger lurking out there in the deep water. Or in the woods surrounding the open area that I'm supposed to stay in.

It didn't take much thinking, ya'll, and it became quite clear. Because for me, when I try and try to do things on my own, setting aside the workings of the Holy Spirit within me, I am pushing those boundaries. When I try to be a good mom in my own self - boundary pusher. Anyone with me on this? I have determined that no matter how hard I try to be in a good mood, try to be a calm, supportive wife, try to extend patience, I am really seeking to do it my way, which is to say I search for forbidden land and water. Dangerous land and water. When all the while, my Father in Heaven is pulling me back, calling me back, reeling me in. Keeping me safe.

Maybe I'll just stay on the other side of the pool, close to Him.

Jul 7, 2008

Enjoy the Show!

de chil'ren

Okay ya'll, a few ground rules:

I will be posting pictures of de chil'ren, but to protect their identity, I will be using "nicknames" for them.

For those who know them, it will be obvious which one they are.

I'm going to use the following terms:

dh = darling husband :-)
oldest son = Mini me
middle son = Brown eyes
youngest son = Lil' bit

Mini me is so named because he is a miniature me: an avid reader, can communicate well, and detail oriented (sometimes to a fault). He looks like me (well, male-version and bit younger) and has some of my childhood characteristics, like a crazy imagination and drama, drama, drama.

Brown eyes is termed as such because he is the only one of the three with chocolate brown eyes (be still my heart). Since the eyes are said to be the window to the soul, they reveal his earthy nature and tender spirit. He is more daring than me, but very giving, considerate, and affectionate. Except when it comes to Mini me. :-)

Lil' bit is an understatement, and a bit ironic in the same. I say ironic because Lil' bit probably has the biggest personality of us all. He is the crazy one, the life of the party. He is also the most difficult to persuade, control, and manipulate. I believe God will use this boy in a strong leadership role one day.

Thanks for taking this stroll with me. I pray that we will each be equally blessed by what is shared on this blog. Feel free to post comments anytime.


A New Endeavor

I have had a desire to keep a journal for a long time. Something I could share with my kids later in life, but also something that I could record my thoughts, ideas, frustrations, and revelations as a means of release!

So here we go, blogger.com and I, embarking on a new adventure together. Would you like to come along?