Have a dressed up day!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

when you should have hid the cologne the first time

It's been a really long while since I told y'all some of the cute things Max says and does.  And, well, part of that is because as boys grow, which I'm still learning all about, they don't grow in cuteness as much as they grow in grossness.

Burps, armpit farts, the back of knee farts - does that area of the body have a name? kneepit farts?

And I don't wanta scar him for life or anything.

Maybe this will only scar him temporarily ...

Mama, I'm gonna write a diary.

Boys don't have diaries, baby.  Maybe you should make it a journal?

But I wanta write Dear Diary.

But I don't think boys have diaries.


A short time later.

Mama, do you want to know what I wrote?

I'd actually love to know what you wrote, but I don't think you are supposed to share your journal.

It's okay.

Okay, I'd love to hear.

Dear Diary (in which he just looks up and grins)
I have an awesome life (in which he just looks up and grins)
I wrote another one.
Dear Diary
I want to start wearing perfume.

Baby, boys don't wear perfume.  They wear cologne.

Oh, okay.  I want to start wearing cologne.

What kind of cologne do you want to wear?

The kind that attracts girls (in which he just looks up and grins)

Daddy's got some cologne.  See if you like it. (in which I made a mistake and had to sleep with my head under the covers that night)

And then today, weeks later -

Thursday, April 16, 2015

when you bash your husbands just a little

Jennifer:  Painting a small room...better to go lighter or darker?

me:  Lighter!!!!

her:  Can I put gray in a bathroom when my hall is brown?

me:  No u can't.  Period.  The end.
You can use a gray.  It's just gotta be more silver.  Not gray.  Or grey.  Or gris.  Or grau.  I'm sure there's more but I don't know them. 

her:  Why aren't you here helping me do this?

me:  You haven't asked I guess.

her:  I guess that makes it my fault.

me:  Isn't it always?
Oh wait.  That's Gregg.  Sorry!
We can go to Lowes.

her:  Yep... cause I don't listen to my elders! hahahaha

me:  Oh no you didn't...

her:  Sorry...I shouldn't have.

me:  Now you can go to Lowes alone.

her:  I already did...well, with Ronnie, but that's the same thing. He suggested we paint the room white - or beige.  Yuk!

Disclaimer - Even though a bathroom is small you can often paint it dark.
The tile and open tub area make it work.
It's not floor to ceiling dark in a small space.
It becomes cozy.
  And husbands spend so much time in there - it makes it nice for them.   

Monday, April 13, 2015

to all my young friends ...

To all my young friends I see every week and I really can see you.  And I really do remember exactly where you are. I haven't forgotten. All I have to do is close my eyes to be fifteen again.

You - you're doing better than you think you are -

and words spoken do hurt, don't they?  I don't understand or I don't remember or you think you are the only one.  But I do understand and remember and you are not the only one.

I'm not really sure why Mama let me go that day.  It was barely summer hot 1982, not too hot but hot enough I slipped on shorts early that morning before he drove up in that white beat-up Ford to get me.  He'd later trade it for an old beat up yellow Pinto.

I slid in.  All the way over I slid.  His knee touched mine and he drove the hour with one arm on the wheel and the other across the back of the seat. And I was crazy mad about him.

I was only fifteen.  Too young to be sliding over and way too young to be crazy mad for anyone.  But there ain't no denying it.

We drove to the lake for his family reunion.  And I remember being nervous.  He was tall and handsome.  A football player and none too shy with the girls.  I was skinny.  Maybe ninety pounds soaking wet?  I slept with a retainer every night not so patiently waiting for the gap in my two front teeth to close.  I had contacts now so the plastic frames were gone but the Mississippi humidity was still unforgiving to my hair.

And he was crazy mad about me.  I was fun and funny and flirty and all these things, to him, made up for me not having the look of a typical girlfriend to one of the hotshot football players.  But I was not an it girl. Never was never will be.  And even he couldn't fix that.

And Mama didn't like him.  And Mama always got her way.  And here we clashed and clashed hard. And so began the beginning of a high school stand-off.  I did everything right at first.  I waited.  He waited.  We waited the required time she had said before the answer was still no and we took matters into our own hands.  And we were caught, often.  Almost every time we were caught.

So I'm not really sure why Mama had agreed to let me go this day.

But here I was.  And there I stood with his family under wooden pavilion surrounded by chicken and potato salad and jello molds melting in the sun when she looked me up and down and said

Well, James honey, love really is blind, isn't it.  

With a period at the end.  Because the question had already been asked and answered.

And tears stung and I barely made it out of the crowd before I broke down.

And he took me to the fire tower that overlooked that national forest and told me it didn't matter. Told me she was the one who was blind.

And he loved me four years till I wrote Dear John. 

It was Shakespeare who wrote love is blind.  And he wrote it often but once for Jessica loving Lorenzo and it was romantic.

But it wasn't romantic that day and sticks and stones aren't all that hurt.

And I didn't get over it.  For years I didn't get over it.  I carried it around and often took it out.  Am I over it now?  I think so.

And that's okay.  To just think so.  Because it is a huge part of me - and maybe I don't want it completely gone.

And you are okay.  Because you are doing better than you think you are.

Because He who began a good work in you will be faithful to the end.

And the end is a really really long time away.  So relax.  Treat others well. 

Let every word spoken to you and every action done to you grow you into the person God created you to be.  Not the person hateful words and actions can make you be.  

You control you. 

As Cinderella's mama told her - Have courage and be kind. 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

when I don't know what I am doing

I do not like to consider myself a quitter. But right now I'm really considering quitting and that makes me think I'm just one wonky decision away from being on God's bad side.

Don't we just think crazy when we aren't really thinking?  We are just reacting.  

What's wrong with me?  And maybe you?

I'm sitting here wondering if maybe I should have tried harder? Maybe I should stay longer?

Aren't you loyal?  I ask myself.

People who draw lines in the sand are not liked.  People who say I'm done and walk away are looked at by the ones who say Should have put me in their shoes, I would have done that differently as quitters.

I'm feeling like everything gentle and Christ-like in me is being strangled as I struggle to know what to do.

I've poured an endless amount of energy into a bottomless pit and is the Spirit keeping me in place for reasons unclear to me or am I a coward?  Or would it truthfully be very brave?

And I want to walk away gracefully.  I don't want to answer questions or give reasons.  Or make excuses for my behavior because telling the truth would be like pulling out my bow and firing parting shots.

I told my girls in this post  that when you are hurt and look back on it one day in the future, the only thing that will matter is how you acted.  Did you keep your dignity and self-respect and walk away or did you stake your reputation on validation?  Are you proud of yourself or does your soul burn with shame at the memory?

I find myself praying often that God will remove a certain weakness from me.  Paul prayed three times for a thorn in his flesh to be removed before he wrote that this handicap was a gift. That a messenger of Satan was sent to harass him.  But just as Jesus has the keys to hell he overrules Satan's trickery and in God's master plan we are made perfect - in our weakness.   God grants me this gift to keep me in constant touch with my limitations.

For when we rely on our strength we always end up brought to our knees.  But aren't our knees a great place to be when we fail? Just another twist God gives us in all His goodness.

A friend told me yesterday that when it is very hard, when it seems like I'm jumping off a bridge, that it is probably God.   And this is very hard, and I really have nothing much to fall back on except sheer obedience to God.  But oh, praise God, that is all I need.

So right now I'm pausing and listening for an at-ease command or my marching orders.

And God has promised me in His word that His grace is sufficient for me.  That when I am weak He is strong.  And I am so weak.  I don't want a self-help book to find my strengths.  Just let me be weak.  Let God be magnified in the sheer fact that I don't know what I am doing. 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

when i stuck that pin right in that hiney

I hope you overlooked my messiness I call a house when you came by yesterday!

The only thing I noticed was the waste of two wonderful looking enchiladas.

I forgot to put them up!!!  Ugh!!!  I truly am sorry for leaving my mess everywhere in the house growing up!  I never understood your frustration until now!

Well I guess that helps -  a smidgen.

And I told her I cursed them.

My darlins, it's time you knew - I cursed you all.  Somewhere in the back of my tired brain I remember wishing and hoping that one day y'all would have kids just like yourselves.  Messy.  Sloppy. Sometimes just down right disgusting.

Told her I had little dolls they never knew about.

Some call them voodoo, I call 'em revenge.  
Secret stashes to get me through the mad days.


And the time the smell wouldn't go away and I got down on hands and knees to search out the sour milk was the time I stuck a pin right in the knees of that doll.

And when I threw away the plastic containers instead of washing them cause the hairy green stuff had found a way to also grow on the outside of the container - that was the time I stuck a pin right in the hiney of that doll.

And the time I stuck little pins all up and down the sides of the dolls. One for every cup I threw away with mold floating in it and every dish I soaked for days just to get the dried mac and cheese off.

And when I had to go out and buy all new forks and spoons cause ours all disappeared. Disappeared with the bowls and saucers and plates that got lost in the abyss of under beds and behind furniture and under clothes.  The day I bought all new silverware - I stuck pins right in the eyes and ears of those little dolls.

So yeah, your apology makes me feel just a hair better.  But knowing what goes around comes around, priceless.  

And those dolls, those dolls probably saved your lives..


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

when you dwell on the cross

She sends me a text and tells me she's not sure why this has been on her heart lately but she feels it's something we should do. She says she wants to make it special. She says she hopes everyone comes prepared to worship cause that's what she wants it to be.

How do I tell her the older you get the harder it gets? How do I tell her I'm sorry for all those years it was about bunnies and eggs more than Christ and His cross? 

How do I tell her the weight of the cross gets more crushing every year if you just let it?  And that we should just let it. Just let the cross crush us under its weight of pain and agony and sin and hell and love?  Let it crush us until we cannot breathe and must surrender and die and drink of the blood and eat of His body just to live.  And not just eternally - but here, too.

And our world doesn't do this. Our world rejects the cross. Over and over and over ...

This child of mine that I love. How do I tell her? This child whose happiness I would die for - that happiness is not what she was made for? That once the stone was cast and the garden was no longer ours, happiness was no longer our purpose?

And today we may seek it in bunnies and eggs and clothes and tomorrow maybe in homes and cars and jobs but always when we die to the cross we see. We know. That all that stuff is like climbing a ladder whose rungs never reach the top of anything

And we can climb and climb until the air is thin -and then breathing is hard baby. Cause guess what? We don't belong up there. Climbing higher and higher.

We belong low. At the ground. At the foot of the cross. At the feet of Jesus.

She tries to gently ease us into the taste of bitter herbs.

And she cried. Sitting there surrounded by this meal she prepared.

She cries for the man who called saying he had nothing left to live for. No family. No one to love. No one to love him. And I look at her. And she's right back in the same place she's found herself in for years. Lost in Jesus. And not sure what to do with it.

She thinks I don't know that she's still searching for her purpose. That when she thinks, often, that she has it all figured out she's jolted into the reality of the cross. Reality of a dying world around her searching for life in air too thin to breathe.

How do I tell her she's supposed to feel like this?  She was born to feel like this.   To miss this feeling is to be dead.

Cry for this world.  

Look to Christ.  

Dwell on the cross.  

Sunday, April 5, 2015

He is risen

He is not here.

He is Risen.



勝利; 克服; ヴィクトリー号; 勝利の女神


胜利, 克服, 战胜




승리, 승전; 적군을 무찌름; 도전 또는 투쟁에서의 성공




Friday, April 3, 2015

when the fate of the world changed

I receive the text-
Are you alright?

I text back yes and share that this week does this to me every year.  This holy of weeks that shames me into admittance that so few of my days in a year are spent hurting over the pain my Savior endured.  And is there a word deeper than pain?

Admittance that lack of faithfulness brought Him to a cross and even still that cross I so often forget, and what love could be stronger to bear that cross knowing I would still lack faithfulness to even make time to remember?

I attend service of darkness and sing and pray and watch the blowing out of candles and feel tears slide.  I wipe my face and for a moment wonder if I can stifle sobs I feel coming.  And the pain from earlier in my day mixes with grief and reminder of grace and I feel threatened to lose control.  Then with the final Amen I exit quickly and quietly and prayer is answered when I make it to my car before the crushing weight of all this wins and I break.

And there's one that I love that I know isn't even thinking of this day.  She has forgotten her gift.  Her grace.  Mercy given freely to her.  It's like a clock inside spinning backwards remembering and I know only by grace.  And I wonder - why is she ignoring her grace?

Some small sound awoke me to a morning still dark.  I avoided the clock and pulled covers up over my head. But there is no rescue of sleep because here it is -  the day the entire fate of the world changed.

Good Friday.  Holy.

If I had been there would I have seen my name written in the stripes on his back?  RIE carved in letters so deep that only God's love can erase.  Not time or shame or sorry but only love.

Would I have seen my face in the angry sneering crowd?  My mouth turning Hosana to crucify?

And my answer screams yes and I push myself deeper under the covers.  I remember last night I closed my eyes to the day that He prayed for another way but accepted the way of the cross.  How could I have rested when He prayed drops of blood?  How is it so easy to put one foot in front of the other during this week?  Any week?

Then he returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, "Couldn't you watch with me even one hour?" 
Matthew 26:40

I rested in sleep because of the crack of whip moving faster than the speed of sound and nails pounding crushing small bones and heart breaking looking through space and time -   my face.  RIE.

Just make it through today, just make it through today I repeat over and over.  And then morning will break again and then morning again just get through today, I pray.  And what will I do from noon until three?  I will help set table and clean house and prepare for tonight and remember to remember.

Only by grace did I realize early enough in my life, before it was maybe too late?  Never for love, but maybe for redemption?  And on this holy day I wonder again Why is she ignoring her grace?  Help her, Lord, to find her gift of grace again.

And I long to go home and look into His face.  I want to touch the scars and fall at His feet and sob unstifled I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm so sorry.

I must await my heavenly home but not my seeing His face because He wakes with me and rises with me and rests with me and loves me a cross much.  Today I will remember agony and thank often and wait for new morning to break.

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