Have a dressed up day!

Monday, February 28, 2011

One Thousand Gifts . . .

This thousand gifts.  Sometimes it is easy.

But sometimes it is hard.  Diligent.  Like treasures underneath rocks where the soil is moist and easy to tap - but out of sight and easy to forget.

In the moments, in the moments where I dig places that dirt covers the treasure - in those moments where soil must be brushed off to reveal beauty - in those moments results yeild easy if I try.

And isn't that what each breath is?  A try to find what brings joy. 

And when I find it, easy or hard, I must acknowledge and thank. 

Because isn't that what each breath is?  Thankfulness.  For nothing is ours.  Not our hearts or body or mind or soul. 

And when it is hard or effort tired or the thanks feels forced I must remember that Heaven's rain washes all things clean.

My list continues . . .

water bottles turned into banks to collect pennies for a well

a dozen Cracker Barrel biscuits

blanket on a trailer, legos scattered

rocking on the porch

lemon icebox cake

a game of airhockey with Max - he lets me win

Mama's little notes in church

toys that need batteries

a card in the mail from a dear friend

a long phone call from Penny

sock puppets

double solitare

screens on windows

ceiling fans

70 degree breezes

Angela's tea glasses chilled in the freezer

orange sticky notes

a daughter still in pain - but less, and less brings even more hope for the good days that will be

the rest in Jesus in the bad days

those who are what I could never be

all that pray when I seek

prayers answered

Then there is the gift that is crystal clear.  Not even a thin film of dust to blow away.  Clear as Ma's blue eyes.

This gift . . . just one long week later.

My list, #'s 516-537.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

One Thousand Gifts . . .

And I think of my gratitude list and how it is Tuesday and not Monday.  And of how I am a rule follower.

And of how I praise gratitude not being a rule.

I sit here, fingers not knowing what key to stroke.  And waves of life come crashing down at all moments.  And how often we are caught off guard.  And how it seems 2011 has been one wave crashing into the next and the next.

But He guard watches.  Prepared.  All knowing.  How Father God stands, feet solidAnd when we crash with the wave and lungs fill with an air poisoned with pain or confusion or fear or doubt or exhaustion or all and questions control our thoughts He rescues. 

He rescues.

He breathes life.  He breathes peace.  He gently reminds that plans are not in the works.  But already worked.  And He future sees.  And I trust.  But He must keep reminding and I must never, can never catch breath clean and pure without His feet solid, dry ground.

And Sunday was good, really good.  Even with flu all on the body of yet another child my energy was once again finally revived and life was flowing again into arms and legs spurred along with a power not felt for weeks, and it kept me up and going, working all day.  Work that felt good.  I felt good once again.

And I'm preparing to load car with what I need for church night.  Church.  I've been once in this new year.  One Sunday in a year already filled with Sundays and days and events I've missed. 

And phone rings. 

He is quiet too quiet and when phone rings and there is only listening on his end my heart beats a little faster and I watch his face.  His brow, his jaw clenches and I know.  He nods to the door and we go outside.  I stand on porch and wait.

And how can only mere moments last an eternity?

And he speaks it.  And our gift of new life, nephew only twelve days living here has sternum rubs keeping him alive until machines take over and help.  And these legs only energized newly today feel weak once again.

And how can only minutes drive feel like an eternity? 

And how can part of heart so small, so young with life, fail?

And how?  How without the love of a Christ Jesus- giver of all life, healer of all pain, calmer of all waters - how without Him can any gain strength?

He is answer to all questions, soother to all souls.

Hope of all life.

My list continues . . .

the book of Jonah

slow Sunday afternoon traffic

a house already clean

Tammy, unimmune to the flu but her promise she is, a friend taking - and loving - my children

the prayer warriors of CLIF

my mama's heart, a mama of grown women, remembering her young scared mama days.  Her kind assurance

prayers for the pain in the eyes of other parents and families, unnamed and unknown to us, sharing the home of PICU

my two older baby girls, proven women in the making

my right arm, Sandra, and how she never fails

prayers from so many, for one so small, and the promise he is

My list, #'s 505-515.

Monday, February 14, 2011

One Thousand Gifts . . .

I'm working on my fourth straight day of headache, earache, sore throat, and deep chest hurting cough. The flu.

And it's Valentine's.  The day of love.  Not much romance going on around here.  Nope.  But his love is showering me with touches on the brow and homemade shakes.  Kisses - cause he's not "scared of no flu."

So, even though I had a great dinner party planned with friends and an idea for a post to honor my  Father God and my husband on this day, instead you get a simple Valentine's wish.

May your thousand gifts search out easy during this week of love.  May they find you like Cupid's arrow.  

And hey, have a happy give-love-away Valentine's.  

From our home to yours -

We heart you.  

Monday, February 7, 2011

One Thousand Gifts . . .

You've kept track of my every toss and turn
through the sleepless nights,
Each tear entered in your ledger,
each ache written in your book.
Psalm 56:8

I leave the house nervous.  Remembering dreams that have haunted for almost twenty years.

It's raining, he doesn't drop me off at the door.  We I fight.  He's elsewhere in mind.

The doctor uses initials.  I drop a tear.  Daughter, the one who never quits smiling, the one who never leaves me without kiss, she says Don't cry, Mama.

I deny the tear, laugh and look at him, he doesn't smile, doesn't wink.  Jaw is clenching.

They draw seven vials of blood from daughter and x-ray that body I used to cradle to chest and sing lullaby.

I wait alone while she chooses him to go back with and remember a day in May of 2000.  A day my world spun faster - or was it slower?  Just spinning out of contol. 

I try not to cry as I remember.  I pinch the bridge of my nose and look at all those around me.  One woman asks someone at a desk if it was morning or afternoon.  I pinch harder.  Blink close.  Pinch harder.  Close tighter.

Pile your troubles on God's shoulders
he'll carry your load, he'll help you out.
He'll never let good people
topple into ruin.
Psalm 55:22

I want to call Mama but there's no service.  I pray again.  And again and again.  Ask not to have to relive the terror of 2000.  Say Your will.  Whisper it out loud as I fight it quietly.

My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.  Psalm 119:50

Daughter who smiles all day doesn't ask about the initials.  Too young to be scared?  Too scared to ask?

Months ago I was afraid of something that tonight I'd take gift wrapped, presented and thankful for.

And dreams are just dreams and the world is held in the palm of scarred hand.  For years we have lived with the results of that day in May 2000.  Insulin and needles and scares and prayers.  Loved even more that child forced to grow up too fast.  And our lives held in the palm of scarred hand.

And today I sit somewhere different, but the fears and smells are much the same.

"I'm telling you these things while I'm still living with you. The Friend, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send at my request, will make everything plain to you. He will remind you of all the things I have told you. I'm leaving you well and whole. That's my parting gift to you. Peace. I don't leave you the way you're used to being left—feeling abandoned, bereft. So don't be upset. Don't be distraught.  John 14:26-27

Today's my gratitude list and it's not ready.  List on counter and by bed.  Thanks for being able to substitute cocoa and sugar for chocolate chips, thanks for gifts of coupons, the sound of air hockey, and so on.

But gratitude today was remembered in memories of years past when I didn't know to be grateful for fear and questions.  For they mean life.  Life held in the palm of scarred hand.

Gratitude today is knowing results of tomorrow are held in the palm of that same unmoveable scarred hand. 

Friday, February 4, 2011

Have You Fed Me Today?

In heaven one day, when all the righteous and unrighteous are gathered before our Jesus, He will ask a question.  A question coming from the holy lips of a Saviour.  Imagine.  A question that will rise from the throat of gentleness and thunder across eternity. 

And my good is given to one - but then to the other?  I give evil?  Yes.  And evil is not just a blackness of hate or hurt, but a simpleness in the hoarding of my time and talents to meet a need, a holding back of my smiles or gentleness.  A judgement based on an opinion gained by eyes.  Eyes scaled. 

And I justify.

I justify what?

Dislike, evil, or indifference?

And His word, His word says . . .

"When He finally arrives, blazing in beauty and all His angels with Him, the Son of Man will take His place on His glorious throne.  Then all the nations will be arranged before Him and He will sort the people out . . .

I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me."

Do I know Who I am receiving?  And I say it is just a person.  And I calm my heart, beating loudly and wildly because my soul knows, and I back turn and make no room. 

But He is saying that in the face of that person is the face of God.  The face of God.  If I receive that one, I receive Jesus. Receive that one and I receive the One Who sent Jesus.  And in Matthew 25 I learn Who.

Do I know who is sitting next to me?

"I'm telling you the solemn truth:  Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me -  you did it to me."  Matthew 25

He did not say we do it for Him.  And I'm hearing and I'm trying to listen.  For my mind and heart to not just hear but to listen . . . 

He did not say I do it for Him.  But I do it to Him.  To my God, my Jesus, my Guide.  I am doing it to God.  If I hurt or neglect or forbid care . . .

I am doing it to my God.

And it couldn't be clearer.  But I muddy my mind with urgencies, burnish the surface of my cups and bowls so they sparkle while the insides are maggoty with greed and gluttony.  I manicure my grave plot, grass clipped and the flowers bright, but six feet down it's all rotting bones and worm-eaten flesh,  my Jesus says to me.

And as my Jesus said these things to the Pharisees in Matthew 23 He speaks them to me.  Am I a snake thinking I can worm my way out of this?  That I will not have to pay the Piper? my Jesus asks me.

And do we tremble at the face of God? 

Have I fed Jesus today?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Nose is a House for . . .

It's been a really long time since I've done a homeschooling post. 

Don't worry - this isn't one, either.

But schooling did get me to this post.

While doing Geography today we were studying some recommended reading.  This geography book let's you teach K-6th grade, and this particular book was perfect for Max's age.

A House is a House for Me by Mary Ann Hoberman.

A delightful book.

Lines such as . . .

How pockets are houses for pennies
And pens can be houses for ink;
How peaches are houses for peachpits
And sometimes are houses for worms;
How trashcans are houses for garbage
And garbage makes houses for germs . . .

We were laughing and creating our own, such as mine and Izzy's -

A closet can be a house for stuff
While a teddybear is a house for fluff;

Sweet, right?

Then there was Max's.

Yes, here we go.

This is my son's rhyme - even though it doesn't rhyme.

A potty is a house for tee-tee and poop
And a nose is a house for boogers.

Now, ask me again why I don't blog about homeschooling much?

Maybe because sometimes I feel about as qualified for this job as  -

"There is no reason to become alarmed and we hope you'll enjoy the rest of the flight.  By the way, is there anyone who knows how to fly a plane?" - Elaine on the movie Airplane

Yep, we're rolling right onto the genius train around here.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

My First Cell Phone Conversation Ever

Monday night I met with dear friends of mine to plan the rest of our homeschooling year.  Dear friends, good food - and a conversation that reminded me of my love at home, waiting for me.  Plans had been made for my return.

We ladies began discussing cell phones.  Which always makes me remember my first cell phone conversation ever. 

We're talking of marriage today over at Ann's.  Her post is beautiful.  Mine is not beautiful, no words that will sing to your soul.  But it's fun, and it carries me back to the folds of days past, which makes it beautiful to me.  Days when my eyes first beheld - him.  The man who would capture my heart and never let go.

It's a repost from the archives.  But I hope you enjoy again . . .

I dropped my cell phone today, for the hundredth time, in the rain even. One of these days when I have to tell He's Too Good To Me that I drop my phone - often - and on that occasion it will have passed on to gadget heaven, I will remind him that he loves me.

I remember my first car phone experience. I thought car phones were for those kind of people. You know the ones - $$$$.

The first car phone call I ever received was from He's Too Good To Me, February 26, 1988 - A day after meeting him. Remember this post? Pillow Talk.

There was a lot of static and background noise on the mobile phone and this was the conversation.

"This is Marie."

"Hey, this is Gregg, we met yesterday at the Groves' house."

my heart skips

chit chat

"Where are you?"

"In the truck."

"How are you calling me?"

"From the mobile."

"What mobile?"

"The mobile phone in the truck."

chit chat while I'm thinking to myself . . .

I thought car phones were for those kind of people.  Is he one of those kind?  mmmm . . . $$$.  If he is, this is good.  Looks, chivalry, and $$$

My ship has come in, my boat is floating, my cookies have been frosted, my fancy has been tickled, my need has been met, my . . . 

"What? Oh, I can't tonight. I've got supper at my sister's."

"Can I come?"

What? Did he just invite himself? Rude. But . . . mobile . . . my . . .

"Sure, I guess, if you'd like."

say you'd like, say you'd like

"Yeah, and afterwards we could go see a late movie."

Heart flutters, knees weak.

chit chat - time, directions, etc.  Do you have money?  To myself, I said that to myself.  Gimme a break.

At the end of that evening when he opened the car door for me and I got out he picked me up and carried me to the front porch and kissed me perfectly.

Girls, I don't recommend this. Don't kiss on the first date. String 'em along a little.

Fast forward two weeks to March 10, 1988.

"Will you marry me?"

Sure - you gorgeous, chivalrious, absolutely penniless guy with your dad's mobile phone.


Love you honey - by the way, I dropped my phone in the rain.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

That Was All

Mommy, I had good time at da birfday parte las night.

What'd you do?

Lucy and me go to big slide and Lucy is pincess and tell me to carry her.

She told you to carry her?


Did you try to carry her?

No.  I told her I can't so se went to her bed and I went to my bed and I kiss her.

You kissed Lucy?


Where did you kiss her?

On cheek.  We sleep and ten get up and slide and dink bottle of juice and dat all.

Whew, that was all is all I could say.
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