Have a dressed up day!

Friday, July 30, 2010

I Would Be Very Afraid

I think I would be afraid.

The revival sermon is one on obedience.  The wrath of God on disobedient people.

The pastor refers to Joshua, chapter 6, and the destruction of Jericho.

The people of Jericho were afraid.  They were tightly shut up in their walled city because they feared the sons of Israel.  They knew, they had seen and had heard of the parting of the sea.  They feared this God they had turned their backs on.

The walls came down and everyone - everyone - even childen and babies - were killed.

God's wrath, His punishment on a disobedient people.

Hard to hear, hard to imagine.  My throat tightens and I think . . .

I would be afraid, right now, at this moment, if I did not belong to the Father.  If my sins had not been forgiven and I was not one of the redeemed I would be very afraid.

But I was not, for these people did not resonate with me.  I'm one of the redeemed.

Then he continued. 

On the heels of this victory came a devestating loss.  Once again God's chosen had sin in their camp, they broke the covenant, the redeemed were unblessed.  Did you hear me clearly?  The redeemed were unblessed.

This is when I start to squirm.  An unsettling feeling overtakes my zealous confidence.  This isn't new; my brain, heart, and soul were not hearing this for the first time.

Disobedience.  Delayed obedience.  My heart races.

The redeemed punished.

My disobedience lays itself before me and I begin to fear.  This God I love.  This God who gave His life so I could live.  This loving God.  When will my punishment come?  Today?  Tomorrow?  Years from now?

 A God of judgement and wrath.  The part we all want to leave out.

I sit in my pew but in my mind I lay prostrate before Him, ripping my clothes and throwing ground on myself as I cry for mercy.  Forgiveness.

My cry is quickly heard for I am redeemed.  Peace overtakes me as always when forgiveness spreads itself over me like the cloak of love it is, from the God of wrath who is the lover of my soul and who my soul loves.

My God of love.  My Jesus who saved me.

He is hard to fear. 

Because of -

This love that has wrapped itself around me and brought me out of the depths of real fear.  The fear of death and the fear of worse than death.

If He did not belong to me and me to Him . . .

I would be very afraid.


holy experience

Thursday, July 29, 2010

He's Got Me

Be careful.

I say it everyday to He's Too Good To Me.  Right after my morning kiss goodbye, which he gives to me while I'm only half awake, I say - Be careful.

I calculated that I've said it to him at least 20, 760 times, if not more.

Most mornings it's followed by a silent prayer to my Father God - Take care of him, Father.

Yesterday Izzy rode her bike to a neighbor's house.  The rule is she must call when she gets there, even though it's only four houses down.  She did.

But last week she didn't.  Time passed and I began to get that little nagging feeling.  Seconds more passed as I walked outside and strained to see down the street.  My mind started to dance scenarios around.  There's no bike laying in the street, but there's no bike in the drive, either.  Why didn't she call?  And then . . .

I see her, running and playing, forgetting all about me and my be careful.

They leave to drive in their cars, to run errands, to go to work, to go play.  Always with my be careful.

I want them to be safe.

But that's already happened.  They've already been saved.  We're already delivered.  Our future is secure.

But I don't always feel safe.  Pain happens.  Scenarios dance around.  Conflicts abound.

Sometimes I'm a scaredy cat.

My history of scars holds me down from the bravery my God has enstilled in me.

God's name is a place of protection - good people can run there and be safe.  Proverbs 18:10 MSG

This morning through the walls I heard my little Joshua Max, in his sweet boy voice, say -

Be careful, sissy.

Haven't I commanded you?  Strength!  Courage!  Don't be timid; don't get discouraged.  God, your God, is with you every step you take.  Joshua 1:10 MSG

Caution in this world is wise, but worry is not.  The righteous can be free from worry.

Don't fret or worry.  Instead of worrying, pray.  Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.

Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. 

It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.  Phillipians 4:6-7 MSG

He's got me.  Whatever happens, God's got me.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What the Word? Wednesday

What the Word? Wednesday is back with a song.

I think everyone will know this one.

Enjoy.



My nephew, Jonathan, was quick on this one.  High five, Jonathan - you are exactly right - Victory in Jesus.

Katie and her two precious bugs commented all the correct lyrics.

Since this was taped Maxster has added new lyrics.  He now also sings,

He taught me what He was doling.

Thanks for playing.  See 'ya next week.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I Have the Ugliest Dog

. . . in the universe.

She's a sweetie, rescued from a shelter about nine months ago.

My dog, Josie, died in June of last year.  Some anniversaries aren't meant to celebrate, but they roll around anyway. 

Josie was a grand lady and I loved her very much.  There is a window above my washer and dryer that looks into the backyard.  It was Josie's yard - she just shared it with us.

For weeks after she died I couldn't do laundry without crying, my eyes always drawn to the cool spot under the trampoline where she died or the wooden cross in the corner of the yard that marks her grave.  I dug out a book I read several years ago, Heaven, by Randy Alcorn, because I remembered he wrote about pets being in heaven.  Tears would feel my eyes night after night as I tried to sleep because I could feel the lonliness she left and I missed the secure presence that was her in the dark.

So, I replaced her as soon as I could muster the strength.

Or so I tried.

Josie was a beautiful black bordie collie-something, and when I saw this
























beauty she tugged at me in a strange way, so we brought her home.  She looked like my Josie-girl.

I love her.  I try to embrace the differences between her and the greatest dog that ever lived.

But . . .

there's this one difference . . .

that is a little hard to get used to.

She went from the above picture . . .

to the ugliest dog in the universe.
















She's also camera shy.  And she needs a bath.  And she needs a trim - at least half of her does.

Isn't it weird how she looks like two dogs cut in half and pasted together?

When I do laundry and watch her out the window I can't help but think about the part that looks like it doesn't belong.

Reminds me of the part of me that doesn't belong.  The sinful dirty rebellious not-created-in-His-image part I've embraced.

I look forward to heaven.  To that day when I become brand new.  Where I will not sin - because there will be no sin.

Until then, I'll just have to settle for being ugly.

Do pets go to heaven?  Randy Alcorn writes,

"It would be simple for God to re-create a pet in Heaven. He’s the giver of all good gifts, not the taker of them. If it would please us to have a pet restored to the New Earth, that may be sufficient reason. Consider parents who’ve acquired a pet because of their child’s request."

He also says, "If we believe God is their Creator, that He loves us and them, that He intends to restore His creatures from the bondage they experienced because of our sin, then we have biblical grounds for not only wanting but expecting that we may be with them again on the New Earth."

So, maybe I'll see Josie again.  Maybe my Father will recreate her for me. 

She'd like this dog I named Jessie.  This dog that can't replace her but needed a home and love just the same.  This dog that is a constant reminder to me how ugly I am.  A daily reminder to work on change.

I prayed for God to give me another Josie - guess He thought I needed this more.

Miss you, girl.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What the Word? Wednesday

What the Word? Wednesday is back with a vengence.

This week will stump you all.  Maxster is in fine form with this word - if you can call it that. 

I'm willing to go out on a limb here and say no one will get this right.

Well, maybe Emme.





Good luck, and remember I'll hold all guesses until tomorrow. 

Check back here, same time same blog, for the answer.


Nobody's even close - so here's a little hint.  You follow it and it doesn't start with a G.

That one really wasn't fair of me.  He butchers that word.  If I had not had the help of props when he first said it I never would have figured it out.

Instructions.

It should make everyone feel better to know none of his sisters could guess it either.

Thanks for playing, y'all are alot of fun.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

If I Was Six Years Younger . . .

Funny the conversations you have with your children.

Izzy and I put up more jelly the other day.

Plum, my favorite.

I'm standing in the kitchen and she says,

Mama, with your Chacos on and your Ocoee Ministries shirt on and your skirt on you look just like Aunt Penny standing at the stove.  Are you sure y'all aren't twins?

Baby, you forget the six years older than her I am.

Are you sure?  Maybe Grandma tricked you or something.

I'm sure, but I wouldn't mind being thirty-nine again instead of forty-five.

Then we talked about what things might be different now if I was six years younger.

Her age, what she might be doing, what her sisters would be doing. 

 How much better I would look.

Honey, time marches on and eventually you realize it is marching across your face. - Name that movie.

Izzy ended our conversation with this -

We wouldn't have Max - we'd just be looking forward to him.

I'm honestly not sure if there was sarcasm in that comment or not, 

but I kinda think so.




Does my girl look tired to you?  Maybe I'm working her too hard??
Nah.


Monday, July 19, 2010

One Thousand Gifts . . .

The summer storm rolls in with a wind that breaks the branch.  There will be clean-up, but for now the slight drop in temperature brings a smile that surpasses the dread.

The power flickers and I glance at her face, knowing what is coming. 

Her eyes are round, her smile big.

Do you think the power will go out, Mama?  Oh, I hope so.

Anticipation and excitement.

Candles and oil lamps and board games.

Her sisters felt it, my sisters and I felt it.  I sometimes now feel it.

The dream of living in another time and place.

My list continues . . .

electricity

indoor plumbing

cell phones

computers

crock pot

washing machine

central air

cable and choices

dishwasher

But with all of this knowledge and convenience did we lose something?

Did we leave something behind?

Do we neglect?

My list continues . . .

board games

reading out loud

tent-making

early to bed

early to rise

rocking babies

I Spy

walks in the park

evening baths

cloud watching

naps

tickles

magic shows

legos

My list, #129-151.



holy experience

Friday, July 16, 2010

If She Keeps This Up . . .

If she keeps this up I'll have to hire a personal trainer.

Problem is, can't afford one 'cause all my money is going to secret ingredients.

Wish y'all could reach in here and taste this one.




It resembles a German Chocolate (but it's not) with finely chopped Macadamia nuts. Filled with a smooth banana creme and topped with her secret icing.

Oh. My.

The flavors are doing a jig on my tounge.

Official taste tester, that's me.

Official weight gainer, that's me.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Soft Place to Fall

I remember a scene from a movie years ago but I can't remember the movie.  That's funny, I think.  Just one scene from a whole movie - with hundreds of scenes and a name and big stars. 

In this scene a man and woman are dancing to a country song in a bar.  Somewhere in the song were the words, a soft place to fall.

That's all I remember.  I don't remember the song, who sang it, or anything else.

Just those words - a soft place to fall.

Something happened here last night that got me to thinking about those words.  Life throws us here and there, up against this wall and that one, we face this giant and then another one.  There are questions without answers and dreams falling apart around us and tears that won't stop falling.

And sometimes, what was our soft place to fall, is now the hardest thing in our life.

Life has taught me many things.  I cringe at the thought of all out there still left to learn.

But this I know for sure.  The earlier Jesus is your soft place to fall the sooner you will find your strength.

We don't have to be strong always, we can fall apart.  And waiting through it all is Jesus, the victory over all heartache.

Thinking those words and saying them and typing them is the easy part.  Sometimes, believing them is the hard part.  But we must.

When the flesh of Jesus left this world He left with us a promise.  In John chapter 16 He explained that He would send a helper.  Some translations say a comforter, some say a friend.  The Holy Spirit.  All of the above.

The world breaks its promises, people hurt us and disappoint us.  We make mistakes. But, in the midst of all this pain, Jesus left words to prepare us for these times and His presence to see us through them.

We are never alone.  We have a helper who will not leave us confused, He will remove all doubts and reveal to us which way to go and what to do. 

But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever he hears, he will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.  He shall glorify Me; for he shall take of Mine, and shall disclose it to you. 
John 16:13-14

We will never face the future alone.

We will never face the future alone.

We will never face the future alone.

Our soft place to fall.

I googled and searched and found the movie and the song.  Of course, Jesus was not the intent here, but as always, He is the answer.


To that young man I love - remember to search for the answers in the right place.  Remember all who love you.

My darlin' girl, as you fall - from a skint knee to a broken heart - I am here.  Always will be.  But I, and all those around you, can only do so much.

Your strength lies within yourself - He placed Himself there years ago when you said yes.  He patiently waits for you to fall on Him. 

To you both -

Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don't try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
he's the one who will keep you on track.
Don't assume that you know it all.
Run to God!

Proverbs 3, The Message

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

What the Word? Wednesday

What the Word? Wednesday may turn into What the Song? Wednesday.

Here's Maxster singing . . .






Gotta get all the words.

By the way, anyone gotta ?

Comment all your guesses and check back right here tomorrow.

Penny S. almost got it right with the help of Christopher.  But . . .

Maxster doesn't say Gotta Be, like the song says, he says Gotta Pee.

I can't convince him that's not right 'cause in the world according to Max Larry the Cucumber has got to pee.

Thanks for playing!


And then comes Katie and her two precious youngin's.  A late congratulations for getting every word.  There's something about little ones understanding another little one's understanding of the potty.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Shelby Fills Out a Form and Then . . .



Simple-minded.

And I mean that in the kindest of ways, 'darlin.

Really, I do.

The kindest of ways.


But this . . .



This comes from the mind of a dreamer. 

And. An. Expert.

Dream Lemon. 

The best contrast of sweet and tart lemon you will ever taste.

But it's her secret recipe. 

Eat your heart out -

Shelby's in the kitchen.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Delia,




For your brother and each of your sister's birthdays this year I posted a slideshow.

That just doesn't seem to be right for this one.

Problem is, nothing feels good enough.

Words won't even come that seem powerful enough to express my thoughts at you turning twenty-one years old.

What makes this age so different?  You don't look different or act different.  The sun is still hot and the planets are still lined up.  Everything looks and feels the same.

Everything but me.

It's hard to describe.  It's almost a feeling of dread.  There is a heaviness in my heart that spreads into my arms when I think of today.  I physically feel it. 

Am I, for the very first time after twenty-ones years of watching four children grow so rapidly before my eyes, just beginning to realize that I will never get any of that time back?  I know that I've known this, I've even blogged about it - but I think it was only in my brain and tonight my heart is not taking the news so well.

The weekend before you were born I was in the hospital in false labor.  There was still six weeks to go and the nurse patiently explained to my young and ignorant self what Braxton Hicks were.

So, I went home.

Three days later after a shower and make-up and curling my hair I arrived at the hospital too late to stop the labor.  They gave me morphine, I hemoraghed and went into shock, and I remember nothing of you, the beautiful baby girl born to your daddy and me. 

It would be almost a full day later before you were placed into my arms and I would feel a strange and powerful kind of love as I stared at you for the first time.  And I remember staring, for a long time - just staring.

You and I began to grow up together.  I knew little more than you did.  And because of that you suffered many things.

Just a moment ago I stood at your door and watched you sleep and it's nearly impossible to wrap my brain around the thought that in one more year you will be the age I was when I was married and very soon would have a baby on the way.

This heaviness in my arms is a longing to just hold you again. 

Just another chance to stare. 

Just another chance to say, Wow, I love you, baby girl.

Happy Birthday.


Love, Mama


My gratitude list continues . . .

#126 - Delia, and all things her

#127 - My Heavenly Father, for entrusting me

#128 - her forgiveness






holy experience

Friday, July 9, 2010

Interpret the Scribbling From Arms Too Tired . . .

There is so much going on in the month of June that I stay worn out.  I greet the month of July with relief, sadness for what is over, and tired bones.  Bone weary. 

Joining so many other things in the month of June is ball.  My little sack of baby bones, Isabela, looks forward all year to ball.  Softball is her thing.  If I'm not careful I will miss this joy of hers because of the ache in my bones that grows deeper everyday as the month of June rolls on.

I almost did.

And I knew it.  Which is why in the dark early morning hours of June 13 I typed this below.  My tenth grade typing teacher, Mrs. Jones, would be 'shamed - but not surprised.

my arms were too tired andi almost missed it and i did. until now. tired body in bed, dirt in my shoes, grimey face as being pusehed down. lips pursed just so for the sendond inning, candy stuck to wrapper, dirt on outside of cup. 14 hours and counting.

i nned to wite it down. tell my childen what they already know. i must move my body out of care so ic an type
i will write and type, speaak and sign why

It was the best I could do.  The typing in the dark to remember for her and fulfill the purpose of this blog. 

There had been tournaments all day, she played six games - four of them back to back in 98 degree heat.

My duties got the best of me and beat the mom in me out and I left after the third game to go put up corn so I wouldn't have to throw it out.  I kept reminding myself about the decorations at the church that were still waiting for whenever the tournament came to an end.  So I left.

Her daddy stayed.  He never would have left.

Then the mom in me lifted my character high and I returned to cheer her on.  Everything else would have to wait.

What a day she had. They placed second in the tournament and pride was all over her dirty sunburnt body clothed in a uniform that might never come clean.

Bible School would begin the next day with a luncheon and kick-off.   I was only half-way there to what was needed for Monday as I finished up the corn and later the ache was deep and my mind running full throttle when my body stopped to rest for the night.

So, weeks later I will now interpret the scribbling I had to do before my mind would let my body rest . . .

My arms were so tired I almost missed the joy of the day, until lying in bed and replaying it.  The dirt in my shoes that matched the dirt on the outside of Max's cup, preventing him from drinking.  The Laffy Taffy candy so melted it stuck to the paper.  The fall he had, right on the face, the dry dirt becoming wet as it clung to the tears.

The second inning of the last game and Isabela's glance at me before she pursed her lips just so and placed her body in position.  The desire to win formed with her body.

Fourten hours and counting and there was still corn to finish. Hours later I lie down to rest but I can't because the day was too special and I must write before I forget.  To tell her what she already knows - how proud of her I am.























I'm so glad I got up and blindly typed that night morning.  I looked at it today to prepare for this post and realized I had already forgotten the little details I didn't want to forget.  The little details that will help me one day remember their personalities this summer.  The little details that will help me remember when I tell these stories to them and their children one day.

Maybe I would have forgotten softball meant Laffy Taffy for Maxster and Isabela never played a play without glancing at me first.

What a shame that would have been.



holy experience

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Maybe I Choose This . . .

I'm not a very vain person. 

I used to be.

I can remember the days when haircuts and nails and clothes mattered and lunchbreaks were filled with trips to the mall.

There are certain outfits and shoes I can describe in detail when my memory travels back to the days when I actually cared more about my outside appearance than my inside.

But now my closet is filled with comfort instead of style and I might see the inside of a hair salon three times a year - maybe.

There are still small moments.  Like today, when Isabela was weighted down carrying things inside church for playday - I wouldn't get out because I had not brushed my hair.

But mostly this on the verge hermit life I live is lived with holes in my favorite comfy pants worn nearly everyday, hands that look ten years older than they are, and feet much more comfortable in flats than heels.

I don't always find acceptance, which I must admit causes me moments of self-doubt, and sometimes I want to scream, I wasn't always like this.

It's a good thing my Jesus doesn't care.  It's a great thing He takes me as I am. 

If He remembered my past - which He doesn't because it's forgiven - He would not care to remember heads that turned my way because of how I looked.  He's only interested in hearts that notice me because of how I am.  Second glances at my peace and lingers on my contentment.

Our bodies are temples and vessels and we much protect and nurture them.  We must keep them clean and healthy and take pride in ourselves and our blessings. But a balance must be created with our resources and our needs - and our wants following others needs.

But . . .

I must not go gray.

I had to throw that one in there.  I started this with I'm not very vain.

So, if you run across another me out there, please check out their insides before you judge their outsides.
 
Maybe they choose to be the way they are.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

What the Word? Wednesday

What the Word? Wednesday is getting harder and harder.

Maxster's speaking is clearer and finding a word is difficult.  We may have run the course.

He did make his first peanut butter sandwich, without asking, a couple of days ago.

Enjoy - and please know that if you ever visit my house, I won't feed you peanut butter.


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Every Year

It was 2001 and she walked up to me on the right hand side by the front doors and said, You should direct Vacation Bible School.  God told me so.

It was more of a command than a request.

Now, nine years later, I've been to Japan and the United Kingdom and the Amazon and . . .

For this year it is over but some are just beginning. 

The prayers should never stop.  Everyday, somewhere, some child is hearing the name Jesus.

So many years of prayers.  A thousand children.  Many now grown and gone and I wonder where and question.

This year I watched them as I always do from the back.  They raised their arms and stomped their feet and rounded up questions and drove home answers.  So much laughter.  They're all just babies.

Where will they all go?  What will they do?  Who will they become? 

Will they say yes now or later or never?



I look at the back of their heads and know all will one day die, some with their future being seperation and fire.  They sing and dance and laugh and I begin to beg again, as every year.
I walk outside and the tears fall and I wonder which ones?  The ground is different and these doors behind me are different but my pleads are the same, year after year. 

I go back in and all is quiet.  I sit on the back pew and beg and someone comes in and sees the ocean on my face and walks out.  But don't go, stay with me and cry with me and petition with me.  Not for one but for all. 

I do not believe in statistics, I believe in my God, your God, the one and only God.  Soften their hearts and prepare them and let them hear and see and know and say yes.

Everyday, somewhere, some child is hearing the name Jesus.

Monday, July 5, 2010

One Thousand Gifts . . .

I head straight to the laundry room, stripping off the day's grim.  These shirts must go in now - it'll be a long enough night without waiting on the signal.

I close the washing machine and turn, she meets me, arms outstretched.  A smile as wide as her beautiful face.

I love you, Mama. 

She squeezes tight.

I love you so much.

She's inches taller than me and I feel small compared to the event that has made her so happy.  It is not a little girl thing but a happening that makes her feel like the woman she longs to be.

This affection is no surprise coming from my Bluebird of Happiness, but I'm still caught off guard.

It had been a good day already.  Now it has become magic.

My list continues . . .

tired ears

him killing the bugs

willing helpers

dishwasher

his grin when he walks in with an armful of black-eyed-susans

homemade icecream

lunch with friends

blankets in the grass

scrambled eggs

old dishtowels

old movies

illusions and her face

hand-me-downs

news of new precious baby boy

breezes in the heat

My list, # 111-125.


holy experience

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Spaghetti Ode Concludes . . .

The spaghettie sauce adventure continues.

I managed to clean up my mess before Shelby came home from work.

She finished the sauce without incident . . .

show off.

Here's the promised conclusion.



This is my sink I love.

















I think I may have been a little prideful about my large sink - did I mention I love it - because due to some outside plumbing issues my sink is out of commission for the time being.

So . . .

this is what I am left with.



















Let me say first that I have not been following The Fly Lady's advice.

This sink is 8x10", a little small for my mess.

In conclusion, the final chapter, the end to the saga . . .

This, my friends, is how we clean after the satisfaction? of the sauce.




































Is there anyone out there who can outdo my week?  Please, I neeeeeeed to hear from you.  I'm begging. 

If you can outdo my week send me a link, or comment, or something. 

I need to know I'm not alone.



Something's happened to my brain sound bite



Drawing of me losing my cool courtesy of budding artist, Izzy.


Have a dressed up day!


. . . put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Colossians 3:12