Have a dressed up day!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

How Do I Get Out of Da Ra-de-o?

Daddy, wen I in da ra-de-o singing my song wen I finish my song how do I get back out?


How do I get back out of da ra-de-o?

Long discussion and I'm not sure he completely understood his Daddy's answer.

Now I have a question, Daddy.

Why didn't Max ask how he would get in the radio?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

One Thousand Gifts . . .

And You, my God, are the lover of my soul.  And I praise You above all.

I'm so ashamed of my dirty sin.  When I think myself better, or when I ignore, or when I just don't see because ugliness has blinded my eyes to beauty.

Because all created is beauty.  And when the world has tarnished it, I just have to look harder or deeper. 

Because all can be beauty.

My gratitude list continues . . .

windows raised

hand charged flashlights

his imagination

borrowed vhs

clear gloss spray

homemade ice cream


froot loops (sometimes I just need a bowl)

pre-made paper mache

borrowed needles

anticipation of a wedding

forgiveness from him - again

the stool within arms reach of bone tired legs

a baby's homecoming (and we are your home, Brandon James, and we can't wait to meet all 4lbs. 3 oz. of you)  Welcome, my new baby nephew

Anything else is hard pressed to follow that this week - so . . .

my list, #'s 695-708.

Monday, September 19, 2011

One Thousand Gifts . . .

I'm counting gratitude . . .

with birthday songs -

and hushes and whispers and shhh . . .  coming from the back locked room where cards are made

Emily and Caitlin singing to me on the 3-way

thanks Sandra, for the first birthday wish of the day

you used the 'bride' word - you know I love that

My list, #'s 690-694.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Some Surprises Melt Heart

Mommy, I melt'd.

Some surprises just make you smile - even if those are my good boots - and even if he's been told before he can't play with them.

I think he knows I'm twirled around his little finger - and he around my heart.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

All I Really Wanted Waited At Home

Earlier this evening I watched them both out of the corner of my eye in the dark.

Their feet were kicked up on the chairs in front of them.

They are listening to these words of saying yes to God.

It's late now and I'm thinking of them.  I know they are both asleep in their beds.   Let them rest, Father.  Comfort and peace and faith to them give.

 It will be alright, my darlin' brave girl.  Time will not fly, but it will pass and this will all be a memory.  He will be safe - and back in your arms soon.

And Shelby is sunshine and her body hurts and I ask you Lord to give us some answers soon.  May you know, Bluebird, that there will be more good days than bad.  I promise.  And you were wrong tonight when you said you did it for you and not for Jesus.  Why do you think you strive to smile and do good?  Why do you think you feel it is important to make others see that in you?  Because you want them to see Jesus - that is why.  It does not have to be a conscious thought for you at all times for it to be true.  You are living love even if you don't see it.

It is not wrong for me to miss the days of caressing their faces, the days that we laughed together and spent more time playing outside or crafting than we did math. 

It is not wrong for me to miss the days that it was me they enjoyed passing their days with, filling their time with.  That we stayed up late and slept in every morning.  That while other kids were sitting at their desks they were sitting with me, on the sofa or in the kitchen - Delia on the counter, Shelby on the fridge.

My mind knowing a little more english and a lot more math would be a good thing - but my heart knowing a little more of them was a great thing.

My heart has always swollen for my children.  I am not ashamed to say they have consumed my days and nights.  That holding them and watching them grow and letting them go has been the greatest thing I have ever done.

Do they know how many moments I spent at the glass door watching them play?  Do they know how many moments I spend now listening for their cars to drive up and their steps through the door?

Do they know one of the greatest yeses of my life was when I acknowledged God's plan for me and came home.  When I realized that not all mothers had the same plan.  That this one was mine.  And it was not better or more right - it was just mine. 

And I could walk away then from all I thought I wanted because all I really wanted waited at home.

My girls - don't wrestle so much with where you are right now.  This place in your life now serves a purpose - as the next time will.  Live it to its fullest and learn and grow and ask God to reveal to you what He is attempting to teach.  You both may be surprised.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Maxxxx . . .

I trained Gregg really well.  Ok, maybe his mom did.

That's not the point.  The point is that he never leaves the toilet seat up.  Never has.

But there is anesthesia in my hair (Cathi?), so maybe I'm not sure.

But now there is Max and it is late . . .

and dark . . .

and he is just starting to get up and go potty alone at night . . .

Maxxxxx! Wait till in the morning you little monster.  Where is a towel?

introducing . . .

Dr. Jeckell and Mr. Hyde

Monday, September 12, 2011

Maybe one day I won't even acknowledge September 11. But I hope not.

This little blog of mine is small. In the cyberspace world it rarely gets a glimpse, not much of a second look. 

And I'm okay with that, because it really is done for me and mine. And a happy result is when it makes someone else smile or laugh or even cry.

If you read here I hope you will not mind me visiting the archives of this space today.

This is the second September eleventh since I wrote the post below in 2009.

Nothing really has changed for me on this day. I still push back some anger. I still become overwhelmed with a sadness. And like everyone else - I wish that day away forever.

Maybe one day I won't even acknowledge September 11, 2001. But I hope not.

So again . . .

In 2001 He's Too Good To Me and I were going through some financial difficulities. Honestly, there was more than that.  Ours lives had fallen apart and we had just begun to pick up the pieces.  We had agonized through a heart-breaking seperation.  Found each other again through a painful car accident.  And only months before had once again acknowledged that our lives were nothing without each other.

 Once you manage to drag yourself through the trials that are life you draw closer to one another. It's just the way things are.  It passes down from generation to generation. Back to the beginning. 

Wonder who was angrier? Adam? Because Eve had succumed to temptation and eaten the fruit? Or Eve? Because Adam was not strong enough to stop her? Can't you just hear the conversation between the two of them?  You should not have done it!  Well, why didn't you stop me?

Once they got over blame and anger and adjusted to their new life, I know they drew into each other even more. For now they had needs.

On this day in September of 2001 I had left the house early to go pay a bill, scheduled turn off day. Gregg had called moments before - a plane had crashed into the Word Trade Center.  As I parked my car the news was reporting this but no one was speaking of it in the store yet - it was, at that moment, just another sad tragedy that was happening far away.

While I was driving home the second plane hit. All at once my problems were small and I would now witness a nation drawing into each other.

I had left the girls at the house - Delia was 12 and I would be less than 2 miles away. In the moments it took me to get home no one was reporting yet of an attack on America.  There was confusion and rambling on the news and my heart was in a state of panic. I needed to get to my babies.

I remember watching all day.  I followed every minute.  Etching a timeline into my mind forever.  I cried and I tried to explain to the young hearts and minds of my girls what I could not understand myself.

I wanted my husband - only Gregg can wrap his arms around me and make me feel safe, no matter what. I wanted my mama and daddy, I wanted my sisters.

When the sounds began of bodies hitting ground as desperate people chose an unimaginable way out of that horror I no longer had the strength to stand. I remember sitting on the bathroom floor with a towel held to my mouth to stifle the sounds I could not contain.

Fear was mixed with a desperate need to stay calm. A sadness overwhelmed my heart that was so shattered for the pain of others that it was more powerful than anything I had ever felt.  Anything. So I just sat there, cried, and let Jesus intercede for me to my Father God, for I did not know how or what to pray.

Adam and Eve, the first of us, God's creation to bring Himself joy. Their fear must have been the same, the unknown was before them.  Their lives had changed, as ours was. It had already begun to change for me - on Oct. 1, 1997 -  the saddest day in the history of my hometown, Pearl. I had babies at that school, I had a sister there, friends and their children were there.

That had been my first taste of evil in the hearts of men.  I didn't want anymore. 

But here it was.  This day. 

Generation after generation from the beginning - trials of life - anger, sadness, fear. We were created to bring Him joy and look what we did to ourselves. Look at what He gave us and look at what we did with it.

Then look what Jesus did.

In time I have mostly gotten over blame and anger, I have adjusted to a new life after September 11.  The ability to do that is another gift from above.

So, do I really have to remember?  

I move through my days loving my husband, caring for my children, and treasuring my life. I pray to God when times are good for Him to prepare my heart for the bad times that are coming. Days like today, when my Daddy's doctor gives us news that's not so good, and surrounding all that - it is September 11.

So, for me, I have to remember.

My friend Sandra has to remember. Today I sit and watch her cry for those families and we remember together.

I remember with the help of words from a song I love -

In your eyes I see the pain,
come soak this dry heart in healing rain ...
Lift your hands, they can be held
 by someone greater - the great I Am.

Healing Rain by Michael W. Smith

 Listen to it and close your eyes and don't remember the horror. Remember the families, lift your hands for them. Remember your family. And, with joy, thank God.

and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14

posted from the archives, september 11, 2009


Friday, September 9, 2011

I see the concern in her eyes and she pulls me close and tells me,

She said she really had her feelings hurt.

Of course she did, I say.  I would have, too.

And I feel it.  The pain of guilt.  The sting of my neglect.

I strain and try to remember why I had failed her so.  I try to remember something so that I can dismiss the reality of the truth.

Wasn't her pain during the months when the pain here stole all services from me but one?  Missed Sunday after Sunday after Sunday.

I try to remember that far back so that I can excuse?  Yes.

And is the holy day my only day to love?  

Does that service of joined fellowship with Jesus lovers replace my servanthood when it should only enhance what the heart knows to do? 

  Do I think my life and my time and my pain is heavier than hers?

Then I do not know.  I have not learned. 

For I am wrong and my love is spinning backwards and away. 

And still I learn these lessons again. 

And isn't every day - every moment - every breath holy?

There is only one service and doubling the meaning only defines my failure.

So I write and I stamp and I pray words on paper can tear down the brick between us I cradled and mortared with sloppy heart.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Our Ten Years Later

Ten years ago I sat on a bed with my twelve year old girl beside me. We watched planes hit and towers fall and she was afraid.  She cried and asked questions I couldn't answer.  We prayed.

I did not know and she did not know that somewhere out there, only a few miles away, a little boy we did not know was watching, too. Sitting next to his mama - a woman afraid that probably felt a moment of stinging fear for the future. Little boys. They grow to be the men that desire to protect and serve - and she had the gift of a baby boy.

I did not know then that this sad and horrible day would take my little girl here.

Little girls, they grow to love those boys.

Last Thursday I spent my day somewhere I never want to go again.  I never want anyone to have to go again.

I watched our 112th and 113th Military Police Battalions say goodbye to family and friends.  

Some were leaving for the first time, others were seasoned, some of them going on fourth and fifth deployments. 

There were wives with infants, babies who would speak their first words and take their first steps without their daddies.  There were pregnant wives, carrying babies that will be born while their daddies are away.

There were children clinging.

There was one couple - both being deployed - they were leaving behind a one year old baby girl.

One mama sitting behind me couldn't stop crying.  My heart felt like it would breakComfort her, I prayed.

I kept watching my baby girl.  I kept watching Tammy.

I watched them watch him and my heart did break.

How would I do this if I were them?  How can I help them?  I prayed.

My girl loves Ruben.  Her dreams and plans and all of her tomorrows are wrapped up with this young man.  All I wanted to do was turn back the clock and cradle her again, shielding her from all the pain and unfairness of this world.

I could imagine Tammy's mind filled with images of watching him grow.  I knew her arms ached to cradle with a clock turned back years.  Just a few more moments of just him and her.

Fear and pride.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."Joshua 1:9

Flags were held and waved in tribute and hope.

And isn't that the word?  Hope.

And with hope there is faith.

Last night I listened to someone answer a question on how to control worry.  She responded that you should imagine the worst thing that could happen in a situation and then know, and believe, that it would still be a good day anyway.

Not here.  Not for this.  In this faith and hope you picture the best that can happen.  And you hang on to that.  You let worry drift away with the dreams of the goodbye being in the past and that the touches of a loved one home is what your future holds - and only what it holds.

And you believe it.  You believe tight and true and as brave as the one you love.

For they are brave and true and the heroes of this country. 

But Tammy and Delia and all the loved ones left here to pray and miss . . .

they are heroes, too. 

So I salute - all across this country - ones doing what I know can only be done with faith and hope.

Will you remember to pray?

Will you remember to remember those that ten years later are still afraid and still saying goodbye?

For more of this day, go here.

We ask humbly that you remember our Ruben.  God bless and God speed.  We love you and are so very, very proud.

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.1 Corinthians 16:13

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

One Thousand Gifts . . .

My computer has been freaky lately.  It goes through hours of sleep and I can't wake it. 

So I miss an email from a dear friend.  An email I should have responded to right away so she would know the subject doesn't bother me.

And I respond three days later.

I fuss just a little bit at He's Too Good To Me 'cause he gets our emails on his fancy little phone and didn't tell me I had one. 

He's still in training, y'all.

So, if I neglected please forgive?

You can blame him - he doesn't mind - he's used to it.

My gratitude list continues . . .

chances for the young

t-shirt aprons

consignment sales

a fixed computer

a door held open

100 degree breeze

anticipation of a sister's visit

the velveteen rabbit on tape

jasper and mazacks

a clean bathroom - thanks, honey

free buffet lunches

the promise of fall

sleep by eleven

sleep by two

no sleep at all

chocolate on the corner of his nose

when there are no words - but you can still reach out and take hand

math on the front porch

chocolate chip cheesecake

his going to work with Daddy

a few hours of quiet

the lonliness of a missed voice


gourd art

forgetting it's Tuesday and thinking it's Monday, but knowing gifts are worth counting no matter the day

My list continues, # 666-689.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Summer in Cricket County - McLaurin style

Ain't you heard the latest, Sister Mater?

Exodus 22, verse 1: "If a man shall steal an ax . . . he shall restore five . . . !

Preach it, sister!

Now don't be startin' no fires while I'm gone.

Sushi.  Cousin Mimi from the city gave me the recipe, but it left out one important step:  It didn't tell me how to cook it.  So I battered it up real good with cornmeal and deep-fried it in my iron skillet.

It's so good it makes you want to slap yo' mama.

I sure do, child.  Ever' time I stand in front of the refrigerator with the door open, I have to ask myself, "What am I here after?"

Bless her heart, she looks like she was poured into that dress and forgot to say when.

I caught this here butterfly just for you, Petrified.

I'll even let you hold my frog giggin' spear.

The beaut-ee-ful, the beaut-ee-ful riverrrr.

Why's that, Sister Mater?  What?!

Give me some breathin' room; I'm gettin' one of my sick headaches.

Look at her, she's already a gettin' the jerks.

Honey, it seems your sweet grandma over there is . . . how can we put it delicate-like.

Hey, Grandma.  Ribbit.

Where am I goin'?

Ever'body just hush up and let a old woman die in peace.

You don't understand, Elkin.  What would you say if I were to tell you the sheriff plans to send Fester up the river?

I ain't askin' a lady to fight; I'm askin' you.

Why ain't you puttin' that lawbreaker behind bars?

Well, if that ain't proof nothin' is.

Exodus 20, verse 15.  "Thou shalt not steal."
Amen and hallelujah!

Please.  That story is sooooo old.  I've got the latest of the latest.

And that, my friends, was a cotton-pickin' good time.


Y'all come back now, 'ya hear?
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