Have a dressed up day!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Max says . . .

Catch-up on what Max says. 

Several months ago on the way home from church as we crossed the intersection Max said-

Mommy, dat sign says Us So Heavy.

May I please say once again how much I love that boy?

And then this one-

Mommy, did God paint dat?

Yeah, baby. He did.

He do good, Mommy.

I won't say it again, but . . .

Monday, December 26, 2011

One Thousand Gifts

Christmas is never gone.  As Easter is not.

And shouldn't everyday be a celebration of birth, life, death, and life again?

And we have days to celebrate the birth and the death and gloried resurrection of our Lord. 

But what about our life in between?  This life that is hard and easy and all in between.

And He is never far away and it is not just a celebration but a relationship.

And how do I get to God?  Not by rules and giving up though rules are necessary and commanded and sacrificing is cleansing

but how is my relationship?

I lean in and write quickly and listen as our pastor tells me that seperating myself from the world does not have to mean giving up things and people around me.  It means I do not look to the world that I am as bad as but I look to Jesus in the midst of all the things that make me who I am.

Things that have shaped my family into the people we are.  That have formed us over the years.

And Jesus is the beginning of our Christmas and the end.  The bringing in of the holidays and the closing of the season.

And we gather around the table and open our mouths and we gather around the tree and open our gifts of love and in the center of it all -

In the very reason why these days are not just days -

we gather around the manger and open our hearts.  To a remembrance and a celebration and an honoring of our King.

And as we close this season that is a celebration of a birth I once again open a new year to the life of my King.

To my daily walk of worship to my King.

I pack up and I clean up and in this I have given the ones I love memories.  I have given gifts that are as dust on the same wind that carries my love to the days in between. 

And I pray to have given my children a gift of knowledge.  That it is not just a day, it is a life.

And I know it is all good.

For good things happen when we celebrate and good things move us forth into a dwelling of days in the presence of our Lord.

Till we celebrate Him as a babe again.

My gratitude list continues . . .

remembering the babe

friends who take my children to a winter wonderland - complete with glowsticks

living nativity

preparing for santa

reindeer food

telling santa why we celebrate

pallets under the tree

a thank you from santa

Chrismas Eve communion

Christmas morning breakfast

christmas with church family as max and izzy light the center candle

it's a charlie brown christmas -

gift to grandma -

nana's christmas

super max

remembering distance is only in body

max reading the christmas story

remembering the light of the world, Jesus Christ, for whom we are to be example

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.  Luke 2:11

My list, #'s 757-775.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

We have an answer


Praise God!

I want to fall to my knees and cry and shout to the mountaintops -

We have an answer!

She's been sick for almost three years.  And since February we have seen a steady stream of doctors.  I've tried not to give up.  I have pushed and my gut has known.

  And there were 2 dozen vials of blood, CT scans on every part of her body and MRI's on almost every part -

until now.

It was a week ago when I found her in the back room crying.  She missed a Christmas party that night as we put shoes on and headed to the ER.

And I told myself to be strong and not give in this time to answers that my heart knew were wrong.

As she was sent out of the room for one more CT scan I cried my eyes out to the sweet nurse practioner.  They didn't believe she was sick enough to even give her a doctor.

This young woman, a mother herself, after some very creative wording on the forms, ordered a brain MRI.

I think I cried more after she ordered it than before.

Sweet release.  Thankful tears.

Y'all, I've been asking for a brain MRI for almost a year now.  But no one would do it.  No one would even send us to a neurologist.

It's not that I necessarily knew they would find something.  But I knew only then could I accept a lifetime of pain for my daughter.

God bless Melissa. If I were a rich person I'd buy her a house, or a car, or whatever she wanted. 

But I'm not. 

I'll ask God's blessing on her and her's. 

And isn't that the best anyway?

His timing was not ours and I'm not sure why so much time had to pass, but I do know that she was never out of the tight grasp of His hand.

And He always knew what we now know.

Shelby has a gap at the base of her brain stem that causes spinal fluid to form and puddle.

Affects her nerves.  Causes intense pain.

Causes a mama's and daddy's heart to break.

It's complicated - but that's the jest of it.

We are waiting for the appointment with the neurosurgeon. 

We will see what he says, but according to the doctor on the phone this morning she needs surgery to correct it.

And God sends answers. 

But He always sent grace. 

And love.

And promises fulfilled.

Shout with me, will you?

Our God is good.

Pray with me, please?

It isn't an easy road ahead.

But it is the right road.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Bragging . . . just a little

Izzy took these beauties of our new nephew.

She impresses me.

What a good eye.

Beautiful eyes, too.  But that's a different post.

Self-portrait of her eye.

Monday, December 12, 2011

One Thousand Gifts . . .

She has her first cake testing.  She worked hours on six small cakes, all filled with lucious sweetness. 

Lemon filled, mocha filled, coconut filled . . .

She plans on showing photos from her laptop of her wedding cakes.

 Blubird, is your laptop clean?  No smudges or crumbs?

Mama, what would I do without you?

Ditto, my sweet maker of sweets.  Ditto.

My gratitude list continues . . .

teaching - and still learning - that it's in the details

clean computer

cloth napkins

soft music

bride's flowers and our plates matching - sweet unexpected goodness

another friend taking a leap of faith

sparkling glasses and silverware

cold bottled water

sweet tea

his little self reading the Sunday School lesson to the class

Ready, Set, Go . . . Jesus Loves Me music

spare hats when favorite is lost

fixed car

Christmas music

discovering a new song

leftover pizza

grace when I need it

always grace

My list, #'s 739-756.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

How to Count Another Miracle

I knew what was in the envelope before I opened it.

I didn't think I needed to steel myself or brace myself for this sweetness.

But I did.

'Cause y'all, I cried.

He is no more or less precious than any baby in our family.

And as I think on all my nieces and nephews and my own children, they are each a miracle in their own way.

I remember how long my other sister waited for a baby.  And then how incubators cradled.  I remember hard dangerous labors and illnesses that threatened and troubles that pained.

 I remember tears cried over the marvelous knittings of God.

But this baby's mama still seems like a baby to me at times.  Born when I was nearly grown.  And how can a grown successful woman still seem like a baby?  More mature than me in so many ways.  But still . . .

God counted every tear that fell and every bargain made and every plea from a desperate heart.

And now in His own time,  in His own way, we count another miracle.

He makes number fifteen.

And we give glory to God in the highest.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Who Taught Him That?

The moment we conceived our sweet son I knew.  I told my love so, right then -

We just made a baby.  And we laughed.

And I was right.  And three weeks later I walked right out of the laundry room into his arms.  I held there and cried.  And knowing didn't stop the tears when he said - You're pregnant.  And I nodded yes between sobs.

And I just knew I had a boy.  I just felt it.  And it felt joy.  But feeling it didn't stop the tears all the times I lay scared about teaching a boy.  The stories I had heard about how hard it is to teach a boy.

The thoughts of being close to sixty when I'd be teaching algebra - again.

And the fear of teaching him to read?  It was real. 

I am not a teacher.  I'm just a fabric loving floor plan maniac accessory junkie who one day quit her job and jumped out on a limb  - rooted and leafed in grace - and pulled her girls out of school.

A young mom.

So I cried some and prayed lots.  I prayed he would love to learn.  I prayed he would be quick and intelligent and want to learn.  Not only for myself but for him.  So I wouldn't fail him.

And he is four and reads.

And he has never been taught.

He had one lesson about a year ago.

I have the books to teach.  Wonderful books recommended by dear friends.  Books I kept stuffing away and waiting for him to have a little more time to play first.


And now he reads.

And he has never been taught.

A week ago he picked up a book he has never heard and read it cover to cover while I sat all misty eyed feeling warm loving Fatherly arms wrapped all around me.

What is it that causes us to doubt?  That causes fear to remain when it should fly away on the wings of a promise?

Here he is reading.

Towards the end he gets tickled about the little boy in his underwear and I turn it off.  We've had several underwear conversations and I wasn't sure where this might lead.

And we laugh and hug and I say -

You can read.

I know.

It feels good to read, doesn't it?

I know.  Can I go now?

And I watch him and wonder how long has he been reading?  How does he know and who taught him?

And there it is again - warm loving Fatherly arms.

Monday, November 28, 2011

When You Think They Are Still Cubs

She had a cake with question marks all over it.

She did every one backwards.  That's her dyslexia.  It's not that bad, and not all the time, but it happens.

She also read her 2 backwards and thought it was 5 dozen cookies instead of 2 dozen.

And they all laughed at her.  Teasing her.  Making fun.  All in good love.

But she almost cried.  She felt like crying.  She wanted to cry.

She started over.

Her daddy has learned to be careful.  Watching his numbers and double checking all his work.

But only after eating lots of cabinets.

She will learn, too.  Learn to be extra careful.

But until then -

Blubird, tell them what your mama said would happen if they ever make you cry . . .

Saturday, November 26, 2011

So My Thanksgiving Has Come and Gone

Thanksgiving found me browsing my blog and reliving my year.

What a serious year. 

Where was my humor and there is so much sadness on the lines and between the lines.

My mind seperates my years into two sides of memories.

Good years and bad years.

Hurt filled painful years like 1983, 1986, 1994, and 2000. 

There was 2004 and 2005. 

Years filled with a loss and change that made me feel like I was weighted and drowning and would never breathe peace again.

Then 2011.

New Year's Eve began with a tornado that brought wind and rain and silence that maybe whispered a sign of what was to come? 

But does our guard and prayers for strength in the good times for the bad times ever really guard us?

Does our faith and our trust really wrap us in prepared hearts and minds?

And I read yes in every post of remembrance. 

And in the pain of 2005 we walked a hard path into what was meant to be in 2011.  A place of purpose and questions answered when I wasn't sure that I would ever know why was that? 

And now I see.

And an unexpected day that turned this year upside down saved my life and can I ever question goodness and am I guarded and wrapped in grace?

Yes my mind shouts joy.

And those bad years shelve themselves with the good years

 for purpose and reason see plainly in time.

Family leaned in closer and loved harder.  Some friends stuck by me in this year of a change in me and some have grown quiet. 

A little more grace I needed as I struggled to make sense of hard times.  As I tried to comfort my first girl and her missing her soldier, my middle girl and her pain, and my baby girl and her fears.  As I tried to support my love who was making life changing decisions.  As I searched out

what my Father gives in unending gifts that may unwrap slowly.

So my Thanksgiving has come and gone. 

And my giving of thanks stays.

Thank you, Father, for 2011.  Help me place it, and the others, where they truly belong.
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