Have a dressed up day!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Just Another Mommy Moment

Mommy, I'm gonna put dis iceceam in da feezer cause dis is iceceam in da boddom of dis cone.

Mommy, I cant open feezer door.

Oh es, I got it.

Mommy, I cant weach da feezer.

Oh es, I got it.

I rise from my comfortable position at the computer, reading Lisa Notes, and go to the "feezer".  Just to double check.  Cause y'all, this one sided conversation with the Maxster stems from "dis" one yesterday.

Mommy, I put my iceceam cone in da figerator.

No baby, icecream will melt in the refrigerator.  You have to put it in the . . . (sigh) Oh, Max.

And that's when I found the icecream cone.  Melted and dripping down onto the shelf below.

Which is when I grabbed a rag.

Which is when I'm grateful for verses like this one.  Just to remind just who and what are blessings.

"And when Esau lifted up his eyes and saw the women and children, he said, “Who are these with you?” Jacob said, “The children whom God has graciously given your servant.”
Genesis 33:5

And then that same night. I open the door after visiting the wake of my dear friend's mom to find this . . .

standing at the door waiting.

(Sigh) Oh, Max.  They're beautiful.  Mommy loves them, and you.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Person of Second Chances

And I'm studying Jonah and we read on Aaron.  And then today in one of my other daily readings I read that every Moses needs an Aaron.  Do you want me to think on Aaron, God?

I'm not a Moses y'all.  So am I an Aaron?

It's Sarah I identify with.  How she jumped ahead of God.  My guilt lays heavy on my cross before God – my always questioning of His timing. Then His answer and I am not listening and I decide to do His work for Him – because He’s too slow. A sin continually forgiven.

So there's Aaron and I'm not ready to quit on what God desires me to hear from Aaron. I’ve never given Aaron my time - given God my time through His servant Aaron’s story.

Even when Aaron had been allowed to climb the mountain he could not approach God. Moses went higher. Aaron’s command was to worship from a distance.

He said to Moses, “Climb the mountain to God, you and Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel. They will worship from a distance; only Moses will approach God. The rest are not to come close. And the people are not to climb the mountain at all.” Exodus 24: 1-2

Moses was set apart and how must that have made human Aaron feel?

Do we ever feel set aside instead of set apart?

Moses goes to the top to talk with God. To have an audible conversation with his Maker, the lover of his soul. God. And this was before Jesus came to be our bridge to God. This was before the gift of the Holy Spirit to speak and guide us.

Did Aaron feel left out? Did Aaron desire to speak with God as Moses did -

. . . face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend. Exodus 33:11.

And Moses is on the mountaintop with God. We learn in Exodus 28 God’s plans for Aaron. God is telling Moses what to do to make Aaron, whom God loved and was pleased with, His High Priest. How to dress Aaron and set him apart.

“Get your brother Aaron and his sons from among the Israelites to serve me as priests . . . “ Exodus 28:1

And where is Aaron?

He had been left below. Maybe his human self felt left behind?

Left to control the people. An assignment from Moses – but a purpose given to Aaron by his Father God.

And time passed and the people grew tired and restless.

“When the people realized that Moses was taking forever in coming down off the mountain, they rallied around Aaron and said, “Do something. Make gods for us who will lead us. That Moses, the man who got us out of Egypt – who knows what’s happened to him?” Exodus 32:1

Oh y’all, I’m hurting for Aaron at this time. God has me thinking about him – not just reading his story again. God has me thinking about myself.

Was Aaron like us today? In our mission? Maybe not recognizing our usefulness to God? Do we sometimes feel this way – useless in our purpose? Unimportant compared to others?

Aaron was hearing this person and that. This need and that desire. Voices all around him. Unsatisfied voices telling him to go here or do this. His own voice? Voices like we hear? Voices like our own?

And then what did Aaron do?

So Aaron told them, “Take off the gold rings from the ears of your wives and sons and daughters and bring them to me.” They all did it. . . He took the gold from their hands and cast it in the form of a calf, shaping it with an engraving tool. . . Aaron, taking in the situation, built an altar before the calf. Exodus 32: 2-4

Where was Aaron while Moses was on the mountaintop hearing God’s plan for his servant Aaron? Aaron was below building the golden calf. Carving and sculpting an abomination to God.

And in all of Aaron’s goodness, his courage and strength during the troubled days past, the miracles he had seen and participated in – in all of this he still lost faith. He lost his courage for God.

And in all of Rie's goodness, her courage and strength during the troubled days past, the miracles she had seen and participated in - in all of this she still lost her faith.  She still lost her courage for God.

I am so much an Aaron, and a Sarah, and a Saul, and a Peter, and . .

Aaron was gift to Moses. God knew what He was asking of Moses. God knew the depth of this journey He was asking His servant to walk in. Lead in.

God knew Moses could not complete this task of leading His people out of Egypt and into the promised land alone. Aaron, as a brother to Moses and child of God, was instrumental in this plan.  So Aaron was gift to Moses.

Aaron had a purpose. And even if we see him playing second or third fiddle to Moses, we see how much God’s plan needed Aaron.

So God does not need us. Everything He desires will be accomplished without you or me. But His plan’s need us. And we need Him. And He answers this need by interrupting our lives to help us see our purpose. Over and over again He does this in His goodness and love to us. Over and over again until we see.

My purpose is not grand, y’all. Mine’s not physically going on top of a mountain and seeing God in His glory and hearing God face to face. Mine’s not speaking and leading thousands of people to Christ – to their own promised land. An Aaron and not a Moses?

But it’s still my purpose. And it is grand in the eyes of my Father. And as I'm studying God's people of second chances I see myself. For Aaron was forgiven and became God’s first High Priest. God knew the mistakes Aaron would make beforehand – and He still planned his purpose.

And I search for God’s face.

He will accomplish in spite of me – not because of me.

For I am a person of second chances.

Monday, March 28, 2011

One Thousand Gifts . . .

A wise woman who was traveling in the mountains found a precious stone in a stream. The next day she met another traveler who was hungry, and the wise woman opened her bag to share her food. The hungry traveler saw the precious stone and asked the woman to give it to him. She did so without hesitation. The traveler left, rejoicing in his good fortune. He knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for a lifetime. But a few days later he came back to return the stone to the wise woman.

"I've been thinking," he said, "I know how valuable the stone is, but I give it back in the hope that you can give me something even more precious. Give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me the stone." - The Wise Woman's Stone, author unknown

I'm still counting gifts from above. 

It's deliberate for me.  Planned and calculated and purposeful.  It's premeditated.  Sometimes it's hard.  But I try not to notice things anymore as just the ordinary.  Every moment and what is in it is a gift from above. 

Some of these moments are hard moments.  Sometimes hard moments drag into hard days.  Uncertain days. 

This is when my list being deliberate is its most useful. 

It is hard not to notice when I'm trying to notice.

My list continues . . .

her peeling bananas

the sound of the heat cutting on in a chilled house

tornado sirens

feather extensions

lightweight jackets

giving my umbrella away

borrowed umbrellas

land lines

spinach salad

the first day of spring

delivering food

warm rice pudding

a card in the mail

play grocery shopping with Max, complete with sound effects - beep, shoosh, wees

listening to the old men at the VA

doggies clipped to jean belt loops


memories of a building and a friend

Tammy's caramel cake

spring allergies

pizza with the best of friends

friends still together

My list, #'s 580-602.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What the Word? Wednesday

It's been a while but here's a new word for What the Word? Wednesday.

Maxster is getting so much better with his speech that finding a word can be difficult.

But . . .

there are still some words . . .

Yeah, what's that word?

Remember, comment all guesses and check back tomorrow for the answer.

And thanks for playing.

Penny and her six got it right - corduroy!

Congrats and I love you guys!

Donna - love the I love Miss Donna part.

Monday, March 21, 2011

I Lo Lou More

It might not make sense to you, and certainly probably doesn't matter.

But I have to remember.

I lo lou, Mommy.

I love you too, Max.

I lo lou more!

No, I love you more!

I lo lou all da way to Pluto

or all the way to

da moon


da back hole


da stove




dat cabinet


dat door


dat phone

Or whatever his eye catches or his little brain thinks of when we play this game he loves.  His crazy places to love me makes me crazy with love for this son I still am amazed I have.

 God's timely way of loving me - perfect.

And today,

I lo lou, Mommy.

I love you too, Max.

I lo lou more!

I love you to that vase.

I lo lou all da way to dat oder vase.  The boo one.

The boo one?

No, the boo one.

Oh, the blue one.

Friday, March 18, 2011

A Little Heart

I'm sitting on the porch having an important conversation with the love of my life about one of the loves in our lives when one of the other comes outside in his pajamas.

Mommy, put my sues on.

No baby, go inside and put some clothes on.  We have to leave in a minute.

The crying starts.  He doesn't beg or argue, he never does, but goes inside like I broke his heart.

Moments pass.  He comes back outside, marches past me, and proclaims . . .

I unt to pay outside so I will now.

Oh no you don't.  Didn't I just tell you to do something?

Es, but I unt to pay.

Go inside and do what I said right now.

Tears again.

But I unt to pay.

Little later and I come in to find him sitting on the bed, clothes off.  I dress him and we begin to put his shoes on.



When I was back tere in dat oder roohm I said I have a bad mommy.

He begins to softly cry and gets in my lap, head on my shoulder.  He's feeling something new.

You think Mommy is a bad Mommy?


Why are you crying?

Cause I feel bad.

Do you feel bad because you said Mommy was bad?

I say this as I try to wipe his tears but he won't look at me.  Keeps his head on my shoulder.


Do you think Mommy is bad?


You know what, son?


We feel bad when we do something wrong because Jesus whispers to us.  He is always trying to help us be good.  You should always listen to Jesus.


Should you tell Mommy you are sorry?

I sory.

He hugs me tighter and I'm having trouble with my own tears. 

Me too.  I shouldn't have yelled at you.  Are we friends again?

Es Mommy.  I lo lou.

I love you too, baby boy.

I lo lou more!

He says as he hugs me tight and giggles. Everythings back to normal - except a piece of his heart.  And it's better than normal. 

And I love you, Jesus.  You're already preparing him.  Thank you.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Only Words I Need

It's early morning, sun barely up and I can't get out of bed. 
And the guilt is heavy but these tears are not that, they are because I can't hear.  I'm trying to hear Him and there is no sound.  I'm used to no audible voice from above, but where is the peace He so freely gives me?

It is drowned out by fear.

I can't hear you, God.

I can't hear you, God.

I lie still and quiet.  Try to remove every thought from my weary brain and tell Satan to get behind me in the name of my Father.

I can't hear you, God.

And then - just like that - these words.  A hymn.

If ever I loved thee my Jesus tis now.

I've sang that song hundreds of times but only these words can I remember now.  I try to recall more but they won't come.

Is it that these are the only ones I need?

And He is good and comes as promised.

And the fear is drowned out by comfort.

And I rise and let go.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Jesus Wept . . . Again

This is a repost from January 14 of 2010.  I tried to write my hurt for God's children in Japan but my feelings are the same for them as they were, and still are, for God's children in Haiti.

All God's children.  Don't we suffer from a fallen world?

And isn't the answer Jesus.

It could have been us. That big devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan could have been here. We could be mourning and burying our dead while still searching for missing loved ones.

My heart is breaking for the people of that country so far away that it feels like another world - but it's not, it's our world, they are our people, and we must share in their pain. What kind of people are we if we don't?

In times like this all I seem to feel is helpless. I see the pictures and hear the news and a feeling within me stirs and I yearn to be there, to do something.

Prayer. I can offer prayer, and I have been. It is Satan that continues to send me this helpless feeling. I know from my Father's own sweet promises that prayers are heard and answered.

"And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it" (John 14:13-14).

And I know that our Savior feels our pain and understands grief.

"Jesus wept" (John 11:35).

The Bible tells us twice in the book of Luke that Jesus could perceive the thoughts of those around him.

"But Jesus, aware of their reasonings . . . " (Luke 5:22)

"But He knew what they were thinking . . . " (Luke 6:8)

Jesus knew as He stood at the tomb of His dear friend Lazarus that in moments He would raise him from the dead and rejoicing would surround Him. So, why was He crying? Jesus didn't feel helpless or ache with the sorrow that one feels when they are grieving, hurting with the knowledge that they won't see a loved one again this side of Heaven.  He knew He'd see Lazarus alive in a moment. So, why was He crying?

Jesus was crying because He felt their pain, He knew their thoughts. The pain of his dear friends, Mary and Martha, the pain of all those gathered around Him at that moment. This verse shows the extraordinary love of our Savior for us. Knowing what He would do in just a moment, but taking the time to feel the grief of those He loved.

It goes so much farther than that. It goes so much deeper. I believe at that moment He felt the pain of all the souls He had created. He felt the pain that each person from the beginning of time to the end of time would feel. He felt our sorrow. He was overwhelmed with the sorrow of the Japanese people as He saw ahead in time to their grief.

Jesus came to this earth to defeat death and His heart agonizes with the weight of the pain that it causes His children. If you are a Christian the moment you close your eyes in death on this earth you are immediately awakened into the presence of God. But for those left behind, the sorrow is agony. He understood this for us and He cried for us.

The greatness of those words, Jesus wept, should bring us to our knees in a desperate quest to discover what we can do for others in times of tragedy.

The Master of the Universe wept for us. He wept for me and He wept for you.

It could make me feel that anything I can do would be small and insignificant in comparision to what He did. But I know better, I know the power of prayer - and intermingled with my prayers for the suffering of these people is my prayer for Satan to get behind me, in the name of Jesus, and to stop making me feel helpless.

The following verse is one I grasp often. It's how I imagine the people of Japan are praying now.

"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express" (Romans 8:26).

Above all, as hard as it is for our minds to comprehend joy in tragedy like this, may our God be glorified through it all. May His name be exalted. The giver of life, the taker of life, and the understander of why.

May souls be saved and lives be changed.

Everyone Together Now

Sung to the tune of Jimmy Crack Corn.

Everyone together now -

One and two and three and

An unmade bed and I don't care . . .

Monday, March 14, 2011

One Thousand Gifts . . .

One big roller coaster ride.  My week.

Rises and dips and head spinning.

I'm weary and dizzy.

I'm ready to get off now.  Maybe ride the carousel.  Sit on one of the little benches with animals carved on the ends and go round and round - with my feet grounded.  And a big stick of pink cotton candy.

Yeah, a big stick of pink cotton candy. 

My list continues . . .

a little extra prodding to continue this list this week

six o'clock a.m. phone calls - and she doesn't mind

a lost glove

a found glove

the breeze coming through the screens on the windows

a new baby for our neighbor

the letter written

the final month countdown for my baby girl and her guy - the way her heart can't wait

cookies from Grandma's purse

breakfast with delicious friends

biscuits, pancakes, eggs, and laughs

a list on the kitchen counter, written in her handwriting - a wish I can't fullfill now

carpenter ants

the first t-ball practice

the way Audrey stands and waits while I can't stop the tears, the way she doesn't rush my sadness and listens with her heart

empty cool whip bowls

the last glass of tea from the pitcher

sock puppets with large googly eyes

lost Christmas ornament found

little brown baby toes that stretch wide

texts from Tammy - 33 years and counting

rainbow colored suspenders holding little carpenter's tool belt

folded towels waiting to be put away

piles of clothes waiting to be folded

sharing secrets in the ladies bathroom

Sunday School friends

My list, #'s 555-579.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Suit Up, My Child

We are in a war in this world. 

One that vies for our very lives.

It's one small battle after another after another to win a war already won.

Strange, huh?  But faith true.

I fought one today. 

I'm not sure if I won the prize I want yet, but I know I won a victory.

Because I made it through today.  And it was not a good day.  And what I want is yet to be seen as what I'll get. 

But blessings abound anyway.

Jesus told me to Suit up, my child.  It's gonna be a bumpy ride.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Shaken Hard and Spilled Out

I recognize gifts as being from God above.  I know people are blessed with different gifts and even though I sometimes want what was not planned to be mine, most of the time I try to work my path and not envy other's.

Most of the time.  But last night I couldn't help but wish, down deep, that I was her. 

Because some gifts were planned for every believer and this I know is truth.

Gifts, talents, skills - they are given from God as a purpose of building others up.  They enable us and enpower us to Christian love.  And our Father God meshes them all together among believers- your gift and mine - so that we may all work more effectively to love more.

Jesus said we would be known by our fruits. 

You will know them by their fruits.  So then, you will know them by their fruits.  Matthew 8:16,20

And fruits are acts of love.  Our Christian character manifesting itself in service to others.

If we believe in Christ something strange happens, we are just plain folk who are given a power.  And we become no longer plain, but a tree bearing fruit. 

A powerful tree.  Like a large oak with roots bearing deep into the earth, drawing life from the river of grace.  With a gifted power to give the love and grace of God to other people.

No one gift, no one calling can define one's Christian life.  The Giver defines our life.  You don't need to be a scholar or a pastor or a theologian to share the flow of God's grace.  A river that flows in the ordinary life of all believers.  All you need is to believe.

There is only one real hope for us all, and in being faithful we live it out in the tough circumstances of this world.

And I'm preaching this all to myself as I lie in bed long after midnight.  Wondering, no - knowing, what would not have been acomplished for Christ that night if it had all been left up to me.  I'm tossing and turning and struggling with this wretched sinner that I am. 

My love tells me maybe I can't sleep because I'm tired.  Yeah, tired of another lesson that seems to have come down as sharply from above as the lightening striking outside. Tired that I once again need another lesson.  And He - Jesus - is the great Teacher and the lessons He teaches gently and lovingly are shaking me hard.  Shaking out my selfishness and laziness and scattering them about so I can't rest.  And when he disciplines . . .

I just sat in my car.  I just sat in my car.  But she stood outside - in the rain and thunder and lightening -and brought back the baby.  Why didn't I think of that?  I follow her lead all night, from store to store, phone call to phone call.  And admire her gift.

And I'm led to Matthew in the Message Bible.

Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior:  Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them.  Add up God's Law and Prophets and this is what you get.  Matthew 8

  Because this gift was planned to be mine.  And not only do I have to believe but I have to act.

And because He doesn't need me to accomplish His work is a good thing.  But how sad it is to be an empty vessel.

Fill me Lord.  Shake me hard and spill me out.  I pray.

Monday, March 7, 2011

One Thousand Gifts . . .

Is it essential - or can I do without? 

Will it make my heart beat faster with anticipation - or dread? 

Will the tears be gladness - or grief? 

Will it make me smile - or doubt? 

Does it feel like a gift . . .

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.  James 1:17

or a weight? 

But what does it matter when all belongs to Him.

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.  Romans 8:28

My Father God is more than theology or doctrines.  He is reality - a very real presence.  And I am responsible to Him in this very place that I am.  In this very moment with life exactly as it is.  But with my heart open and my ears ready to listen for the purpose that is and will be mine.

My list continues . . .

him wearing a swim vest as bullet proof

free refills

finding the chickens hiding laying place

subway with Mom

offering of the best caramel cake - thank you, Tammy

notes on napkins

Dr. Suess library party

the joy of taking Izzy shopping - thank you, Mama

warm pajama pants all day

Bible drill drilling

customer service calls

understanding nurses

buds on peach trees

the color of cuties

mail from Lesvia and Cristian

crushed ice

the way he comes up from behind and gathers my hair in his hands

and . . .

picking up one more child's Valentine off the floor - again.  Remembering Valentine's are given in love . . . so I bend and pick up - again.

My list, #'s 538-555.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

She Wore Only Her Slip

Can I just tell you something?

I have officially turned into my mama.

I remember vividly coming home one day to find my mama with her glasses 'round her neck tied with a thin piece of ribbon, raveling at the end.

No fancy chain, just raveling ribbon.

I remember very vividly laughing at her.  Poking fun and secretly hoping she wouldn't step out of the house like that.  (Like the time she wore her slip, and only her slip - because she forgot to put on her skirt - to the Kroger). 

And now that I need the bifocs I say these words more than any other -

Where are my glasses? 

Have you seen my glasses?

Wait - I have to find my glasses.

Why can't I ever remember where I put my glasses?

These are now my glasses.

Just another - I will never day has arrived.

And when the day comes when I blog that I have worn only my undergarments to go Krogering will someone please call my sweet sisters and say to them - The time has come.

Don't worry - they will completely understand what you mean.
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