Anyway, for whatever reason I can get emotionally attached to just about anything. Oh, here's something gross and I can't believe I am about to tell you this, but I once kept a piece of gum that some boy I liked chewed. I found it all dried up in a box several years ago among a bunch of other "keepsakes." How gross is that? And I don't even know whose it was.
I'm glad I got that out there. There's power in confession, right? I suppose I'm just going to have to put my big girl pants on and let some things go. The problem is they really do play with a lot of this stuff, so I don't know what stays and what goes. I think what I need, in addition to help from the Holy Spirit, is a few episodes of Hoarders. That's always motivating and I happen to have several on the DVR. I so don't want to be that person, and if I ever feel I relate to what they are saying in the slightest, I immediately start throwing things away. Yes, I think that will be step one, and I'll let you know how it goes. Then I'll have to re-tackle the organization system...whew!
Oh, and if you have any suggestions at all for making decisions about what goes, or how you organize things like trains/tracks, cars, art supplies, etc...do tell!
Cheez-its dipped in peanut butter. Try it. It's a good thing.
We have had a fun few days, but now my brain is just tired. Christmas Eve we went to Montgomery for the day to see both Dave's and my family. We had lunch at his parents' house and hung out there for the afternoon. Dave's brother and grandparents were there as well. His Granny has Alzheimer's, and honestly she appears to be pretty advanced. It's a sad thing to see, but watching his Papaw take care of her was so sweet. He is very loving and patient with her, and is doing his best to keep her out of a nursing home, despite the fact that he is aging as well, and just can't do the things he used to. That's love, isn't it?
We had supper at my parents' house with my brother and his family, and opened gifts. That's what's known as controlled chaos. It could have been worse, but paper and boxes were flying and Baby Christopher loved it. He was all up in the middle of it. By the time all that was over I was beyond tired...I really didn't feel well for most of the day. My stomach was acting up as it does sometimes...and always at the most inconvenient times. Really, when is it convenient? The highlight of Christmas Eve was a conversation I had with [a certain someone who wishes to remain nameless] about who "Harold" is. Think Hark the Herald Angels Sing...it was priceless :)
Christmas morning I forced myself to get up early and bake a cake. Our new tradition is eating birthday cake for breakfast before opening gifts. It was so great and the kids loved it. They sang happy birthday to Jesus and then dove in to the cake.
We were all sitting down eating our cake, but after only a couple of bites we noticed Corban had disappeared. This is where he was - like father, like son. He didn't like being "yucky."
I don't know why that tickled me so much, but it did. He also was much more interested in eating ginger snaps than opening presents. He's like his daddy in many ways, I guess. We opened all the gifts and played all morning. We finally got the Wii Fit, so we did a lot of this
And I would like to announce that my center of gravity was as close to perfect as could be without being perfect 49%/51% - for whatever that's worth. Be proud ;) Corban so needed a boy "dollhouse" - he's been surrounded with My Little Pony stuff, and he's made do, but he got the Batman bat cave and seems to like it.
Riley got this. It was really the only thing my little girl asked for
We pretty much stayed in our pajamas all day, until this happened
SNOW...IN AUBURN...ON CHRISTMAS DAY!!! What? It didn't really stick, but it was fun for the kids for a few minutes. They finally crashed for the night and all of them slept until after 9:00 this morning. I let them sleep late while I went on to church (Caeley stayed home with them). With the flu and strep that's going around I really didn't want to throw them into the germ festival, anyway. It continued to snow throughout the day, but never stuck. We were running low on diapers and were flat out of Cheez-its, which constitutes an emergency around here, so I made a run to Sams...and it was C.O.L.D. I don't know how people live with this kind of weather, and much worse, for months on end. I am a southern girl through and through, I guess. We finished out the day by doing "Who Hair" on us girls (see earlier post)...ain't we cute!
I'm sticking my tongue out...it's hard to tell. Felt the need to explain why I look funny! And please excuse Riley, she doesn't like to wear clothes ;)
Anyway, I hope you all had a merry Christmas! We sure did. Now I am off to dreamland...I'm really excited!
SNOW!! My first white Christmas and in Auburn, Alabama, of all places. We didn't get as much as they did in North AL, but I'm calling this Christmas white. How fun! We might get a tad bit more tomorrow - we'll see. I just realized that tomorrow is Sunday. That totally threw me for a loop - I feel like I've been in the twilight zone. But I am looking forward to it! Better get to bed - MERRY CHRISTMAS!
“Even in my own church I heard the words, ‘Francis Chan’ more than I heard the words, ‘Holy Spirit’,” CNN’s Belief Blog reports Chan as saying. “I think there has been too much emphasis on me. I want to be used by God, but I think we have this desire to make heroes out of people rather than following God and the Holy Spirit.”
Thank you, thank you, thank you! That's a heart for God right there. Call me stubborn but whenever a book, or the writer, becomes the "big thing", I tend to steer clear. No offense, but when "the Purpose Driven Life" was the big thing, it bugged the fire out of me. Same for "The Prayer of Jabez." I'm not exactly sure why, but it bothers me when something becomes a bandwagon that everybody wants to jump on. If I ever write a book, I guess I hope people would read it, and I guess if it was good stuff, people should want to read it. I think it has to do with what Francis said...too much emphasis on a person.
It took me several years to even do a Beth Moore study. I was thinking, "Y'all, you do know she's a person, right? She's not Jesus." Having said that, though, all it took was watching the first DVD of Breaking Free and I could see what the fuss was about, and I have loved her since. The woman is gifted. And so are these other people. The problem is when we fixate more on the messenger than the message, and it's so easy to do. We humans like something tangible, don't we? Just ask the Israelites about the golden calf that hopped out of their bonfire, or the ones that lived under King Saul and the (mostly) terrible kings that followed him...the ones they asked for because God alone wasn't enough for them.
Anyway, all that to say that I really respect what Francis Chan is doing. I can only imagine the work it would take me to stay humble in the spotlight.
I have been doing this Bible study at AUMC for 5 or 6 years and the husband of one of the ladies that leads it had prostate cancer 5 years ago. He went for some blood work recently, and it showed he had cancer cells somewhere in his body again, but from what I understand, they weren't for sure where. They decided to be proactive and went out to MD Anderson in Houston for radiation therapy for 7 weeks. They are staying in an apartment and drive over to the hospital 5 days a week for treatment.
So, a couple of weeks ago someone emailed out their address in Houston so we could send little notes or whatever...this is obviously a lonely time, away from family at Christmas, and it's a heavy atmosphere there, with all the sickness they see. I thought I would send a card, and then I thought, oh I should send some kind of treat or bake something. So on a Monday afternoon, I made those chocolate oatmeal no-bake cookies. After I made them, I looked at them and was like, these are totally going to fall apart in transit.
So, what now? I decided to get them a gift card to a restaurant in Houston. I get online and start searching, but how on earth would I know if it was really good or not? You can't tell from a website. Then, I said to myself, "Hey, Beth Moore lives in Houston...I'll ask her!" (I just think that's kind of funny, and it had to be a God-idea because I would normally think there ain't no way you're going get in touch with her). She has a blog and apparently she interacts with the people that reply to her posts sometimes. (Sidenote: this says a lot to me in and of itself. If you've ever been around a person in ministry who is "untouchable" or has kept themselves separated from "the people," you will agree). I had read that she was in the middle of writing a Bible study on James, so I didn't know how much gets on there right now, but I thought I'd try. She had just written a post about Deeper Still in Bham, which I was supposed to go to but ended up cancelling because of the LIFE retreat...two weekends in a row was too much for mommy to be gone, I thought. I wrote a reply that basically said, "I hate I missed it...I so wanted to go, yada, yada...And here's an odd question - don't know if you'll even see it, but maybe someone else can give me an answer. I've got friends at MD Anderson and I want to get them a gift card to a nice restaurant just to give them a diversion from what's going on. Any suggestions?" Within about 20 minutes Beth herself replied and gave me some good recommendations. Then she says, Listen, I might be going to MD Anderson tomorrow...are you're friends women and do they have any affiliation with ladies Bible study. I said YES! Are you thinking you might want to pop in and say hey - and I gave her my email address in case. I never heard back on Monday, but Tuesday morning I got an email from her assistant saying Beth Moore wants to visit my friends while she is there at the hospital. One year ago to the day Beth had surgery for what they thought might be stage 4 ovarian cancer...it turned out not to be, but she said she was forever marked by those 4 days at MD Anderson so she was going over on the one year anniversary to take cookies to people and just try and minister to whoever she could.
What perfect timing God has. Since Martha and Rick (those are the friends' names) aren't staying at the hospital, I had to call her and tell her about it, which made me sooo nervous because then what if it didn't work out? I gave Beth's assistant Martha's cell number so they could try and find each other. Long story a little shorter ;), they didn't actually meet in person...Beth had her daughter with her and they had to pick up her grandson from pre-school and Martha didn't have enough time to get to where Beth was. But they did talk on the phone, apparently for a while, and Beth prayed for Martha and Rick and she said it was one of those prayers that felt like God himself came down. Honestly, it might be an even bigger blessing that they didn't meet in person, because it probably would have been short, with the timing and all that.
For those of you who read this and don't know who Beth Moore is, or haven't done her studies...that's not even the point. This was something uniquely tailored to Martha's heart. I can't tell you how overwhelmed I was at God's faithfulness. Like Martha said, it just shows how even though we are but one of many, He takes notice of us. This happened a few weeks ago and I just haven't had time to post about it yet. Be encouraged - He notices you and even the most random ideas can be God-ideas ;)
Oh, and the other reason I haven't posted yet is that I haven't even bought the gift card yet :/ I got all caught up in that whole story and forgot to do the thing I set out to do. Better get on that this afternoon!
- In dirty diapers and in life, there are times when you're just gonna get some on you. It's a waste of time to try and stay clean, so just jump in and take care of business. In short, life is messy.
- Full exposure before the Lord is essential for healing of the soul (mind, will and emotions). No hiding.
- It is for freedom that Christ set me free (Galatians 5:1). That's not redundant; He already did the work, but I have to choose to remain and live free.
- Friends are essential to my growth and my sanity. I love my friends!
- Too much is really too much. I need to simplify my home, my expectations and my life.
- In order to survive letting people into my heart and my world, to stay open, I MUST become a servant. Make myself lower and elevate the value of other people.
- Having 4 kids might be the riskiest, craziest, thing I (we) have ever done. Who knew it was so challenging to be "just" a mommy! :)
- I like Indian food. In fact I think the secret ingredient in Chicken Tikka Masala might be crack, because I am addicted to it!
- When I looked around and saw suffering - kids unloved, unwanted, starving, enslaved and orphaned - I said, "God why? Do something, love them!" He said, "That's what you're there for...you do it." Whoa...still processing that one, but am looking for opportunities.
- Under no circumstance should I ever set a drink of any kind on the console in the middle of my van. How many cups of coffee do I need to send flying before I get this one?
- Keep the cupholders in the van emptied out.
- Marriage is HARD work! But it's so worth it. Like the old Virginia Slims ad said, we've come a long way, baby!
- Parenting is a long term investment, not a get rich quick program. You don't usually get a return up front, and the things you do today will have to be done all over again tomorrow (and maybe in as little as 10 minutes). I'm living for the "well done" at the end of the race. Note to self: post this somewhere prominent or you will forget by the end of the day.
Riley had just tried cashews for the first time in a while. Her comment: "It makes me gag, but I think I like it."
"I want some pet ducks that don't talk...and a river. Nevermind, I want some penguins in a cage...and a pet chameleon."
"I've got skills, Mom. Watch this." Proceeds to do tricks. "Corban doesn't have the kind of skills I have. He has different skills." I have no idea where that came from, but it makes me think of Napoleon Dynamite..."computer hacking skills, 'num' chuck skills..."
Christopher had just "kissed" Riley. I said "Riley, did Baby give you some loves?" She said, "that's not loves, it's spit!"
I was helping her finish her hot chocolate and she said "I'm a baby bug that opens it's mouth...wait, nevermind. I'm a baby alligator!" followed by...
"I'm a baby beetle that's blue and green!"
"I'm a baby chameleon!"
"I'm a baby penguin!" (while making some nasty gag sound..she said that's what baby penguins do.)
She's been obsessed with watching our Planet Earth DVDs, can you tell?
**UPDATE - apparently all baby animals make the nasty gagging sound. Picture a baby bird with it's mouth open and tongue sticking out - then add a gagging noise, and that's what she's doing.
Riley: "I'm a person." Corban: "you're not a person!" Riley: "I am a person. We are both persons! I am not an animal." Funny, considering the above.
"With my pretend gun I only shoot people who are whining." (that would be Corban)
"Can I call our baby 'Pepe'?" Me: "Why do you want to call him that?" Her: "Because I like that name. I'm gonna call him Christopher Pepe."
Riley said she's a superhero this morning. I'm trying to help her come up with a name, so I asked what her special powers were. She said she "wraps up mean guys and drinks." Random. She just said she's going to be "Whiteyball." No idea where that came from, but I am cracking up!
Not to be ignored, Riley and Corban got in the mix and begged to be tickled...
I have been so stressed out and overwhelmed, just with the season of life I am in. Having a teenager and three kids age 4 and under is hard, I don't care who you are and how organized you are...it just is. So the big question is, how do I get peace in the midst of what can only be described as chaos? How do I get in touch with Jesus, bring Him into the situation, so that I can be at peace regardless of what's going on around me?
I don't know yet, but I'll get back to you when I find out ;) I am certain the answer is locked up somewhere between Isaiah 26:3 - "He will keep in perfect peace whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts you" - and Philippians 4:8, "Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things."
Too fun! Then we decorated gingerbread men...always a good thing. We all enjoyed eating them - for the most part. Caeley ate her whole cookie, Corban picked off the M&Ms and ate one leg and Riley freaked out because icing got on her fingers. She's still working on hers. Mine is half gone and will be finished off before the night is out, I'm sure.
I love this time of year and am so thankful for a break, because, honestly, I'm done - stick a fork in me. I'm ready to refresh, spend some time with the family and restructure and reevaluate during the January fast. I need to hear from God about what my next few months should look like and how I can streamline my routine. I'm way out of whack somewhere.
But for now...it's time to chill...TYJ!
I have found it to be true that the very things I have done in my past that have caused me shame are also the things that, when brought to light and brought before the throne of God, have given me a greater sense of love and acceptance. As long as we try to hide ourselves from God and cover our shame, it is as though we have made camp in a garbage dump. We sit huddled with the mess we've found ourselves in. The only way to be free of something is to give it to someone else. It's like the clutter I am constantly battling to be rid of - I can hang onto it, or I can give it to Goodwill. Even better I can give it to the garbage collectors. But a decision has to be made...hello, it's GARBAGE!
And the same goes for the junk in our soul (mind and emotions). If we want to be rid of guilt and shame or anger or whatever garbage we live with every day, we have to give it to someone else...and that someone isn't your spouse or kids because they can't handle your junk, either. God the Father is the one who stands ready, and really He has already taken it. Once you have chosen to belong to Him - and it is a choice and anyone can make that choice - the only power the past has over you is the power you give it.
Several months ago God showed me that I had been hiding from Him. Even though I knew in my mind that I was forgiven, I still felt a "yuck" that I couldn't shake and so I tried to hide, as though one could hide from Him. It not only blocked that relationship, but it was blocking other relationships - with Dave, with friends, etc. And that was the power my past had over me. I gave it the power to keep me in shame, until, in a moment of time, God put His finger on it and said, "That's not who you are. I have given you a new name." I had to bring it to Him, be honest about what I had done, about who I had been, and let Him speak the truth to me. It was life-changing. You can do that, too...and you don't have to sit in the dumpster as long as I did.
The cool thing is that what I feared - being exposed - was exactly what I needed to be free. And it is what He has used to make me a better servant to people. It drives me to love others. It moves me with compassion. Last night I saw "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader." Without too much background, because this post is long enough already, a boy named Eustace (how horrible for him) had been turned into a dragon. It happened because he gave in to a temptation, even though he had been warned that temptation was coming...he was weak and so he gave in. There was nothing he could do on his own to change.
In that disappointing state, feeling stuck and feeling sorrow for where he ended up, his destiny to do extraordinary things had not changed. In fact it was exactly because of what he had done, and because he was a dragon that could fly, that he was able to be in a position to be the hero in the story and be used to put all things right. Did that mean what he did was okay? No. Why, then? Because he came to a place of repentance (he turned away from sin toward God). When he met Aslan face to face, suffering the consequences of his sin, he was "healed." In the movie Aslan drew in the sand with His paw and roared a giant lion roar. The scales were blown off and Eustace became a boy again. He became what he always was...the boy that was inside the dragon, but couldn't get free on his own.
My mind instantly went to the story in the gospels of the woman caught in an adulterous situation. Bottom line, Jesus drew in the sand and said he who is without sin can cast the first stone. No one hung around to condemn her, and He said, "I don't condemn you either, go and sin no more." That's what happened to Eustace. He was confronted with the savior, in his sin...he was caught red-handed, so to speak...no hiding it...and was healed and restored. And his destiny had not changed. He could still be great in the kingdom.
God can build off of your past, whatever it is, whether it's things you did or things other people did to you. You can't change the past, but He can make your foundation strong, building on those things, IF you bring it all to Him. He starts where you are, not where you "should" be. He can take garbage and make it treasure, but we have to choose that. Choose it. Please. There is nothing like being seen for who you really are and knowing that you are loved and cherished.
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ -- Matthew 25:31-40
We can give to Him by giving to others...amazing! And of course I remember again what the lady at Walmart said - "I am convinced that every time I do a kindness for someone, I increase His glory." To glorify Him in this sense means simply to give an accurate representation of who He is. And He is so very kind...therefore, we should be kind...at Christmas and at all times. Can you even believe He lets us be His glory bearers? If I were Him I think I would just do it myself...but not Him. He believes we can do it and He enables us to do so.
So I am going to be looking for ways to be kind and generous this Christmas. And you better know we'll be having some birthday cake on Christmas day, too...it IS a birthday party!!
I’ve been feeling kind of restless
I’ve been feeling out of place
I can hear a distant singing
A song that I can’t write
And it echoes of what I’m always trying to say
There’s a feeling I can’t capture
It’s always just a prayer away
I want to know the ending
Things hoped for but not seen
But I guess that’s the point of hoping anyway
Of going home, I’ll meet you at the table
Going home, I’ll meet you in the air
And you are never too young to think about it
Oh, I cannot wait to be home
I’m confined by my senses
To really know what you are like
You are more than I can fathom
And more than I can guess
And more than I can see with human sight
But I have felt you with my spirit
I have felt you fill this room
And this is just an invitation
Just a sample of the whole
And I cannot wait to be going home
Going home, I’ll meet you at the table
Going home, I’ll meet you in the air
And you are never too young to think about it
Oh, I cannot wait to be going, to be going home
Face to face, how can it be
Face to face, how can it be
Face to face, how can it be
Cuz this is just an invitation
Just a sample of the whole
And I cannot wait to be going home
I walked to the back and looked at seats and didn't really see anything I liked. I started walking toward the milk and thought "well I don't know why I came in here...waste of time." About that time an elderly woman approached. She was walking slowly with one of those walkers with a basket on the front and she took notice of Christopher. He was smiling big as he usually does and she looked like she wanted to stop to interact with him, so I stopped. That happens sometimes when I'm with him...I'm used to it.
She said,"Look at that big smile. Are you going to go to Auburn one day?" I just said, "maybe so." I could see that her eyes were cloudy with cataracts. Then she asked me if I had signed him for a PAC college savings plan. I thought that was a little strange...kind of random. I said that our other kids had savings plans (really only Caeley does) but that we would set him up with one eventually. She said "well sometimes people forget about that or don't even know about it. I just wanted to make sure you knew."
I said thank you and we both started to walk our own ways. Then she stopped and said something I didn't understand, so I backed up and asked her to repeat.
"I am convinced that every time I do a kindness for someone, I increase His glory."
She looked at me like she knew I would understand what she meant (I think there are lots of people who wouldn't get that and wouldn't know who the "Him" was). Once it sunk in what she said, I responded, "Oh absolutely...I completely agree."
She smiled and turned around and walked off. I headed to get the milk thinking that whole thing was really random. But I couldn't stop thinking about what she said and I noticed I felt much lighter than when I got there. I decided to go look for her - I didn't know what I would say if I found her - but she was nowhere to be found. I was like, God was she an angel or what - she couldn't move that fast with a walker ;)
Anyway, I got in the car, went to get the pizza, still thinking about what she said. I got in the car and turned the ipod on and Mighty to Save was on - "everyone needs compassion, the kindness of a savior." I started crying and cried all the way home. I'm still not sure why or what happened but I felt like the encounter was a defining moment and a real shift in perspective for me in some way. Something "clicked" inside me through all of it.
I really don't know how to explain it and it probably sounds like such a benign encounter...guess you had to be there :)
The kindness of the Lord leads to repentance - Romans 2
Maybe while I'm outside working anyway, I can finally finish that picnic table I started back in the spring. That's the only thing standing between me and painting my kitchen (per Dave)...something about having unfinished projects?
Anyway, I will post pics of whatever comes to be...
UPDATE: After checking, it's not really 8 times as much. Just twice as much, so we will looking for a truck to borrow to pick it up.
Conventionally, good impulse control is considered a personality trait. Daniel Goleman has suggested it is an important component of emotional intelligence. People who lack this trait are said to need instant gratification and may suffer from poor impulse control. Psychological research (along the lines of Walter Mischel's famous Marshmallow Experiment) indicates that good impulse control may be important for academic achievement and life success. "
All that to say that impulse control, or delayed gratification, is essential in life, and is a sign of maturity. This is not something that comes naturally to me, at all (not a personality trait of mine). Being a free spirit by nature, it is a daily struggle to put off the things I'd like to have now, in order to achieve the goals we have set as a family. For instance we would like to be totally debt free, so that we will have the freedom to do whatever we like with the extra income. Primarily, we would love to be able to give extravagantly to people in need, to those who are doing ministry, etc. And maybe, just maybe, take some nice family trips now and then...oh, and get that pair of leather chairs I have been asking for for the last few years (aka, items of low time preference to Dave). Luckily, I am married to a man who has extra genes for delayed gratification. So, it matters not if I feel impulsive, because I have built in restraint. I am coming to see that as a positive, but it's hard!
So, for now I take comfort in this fact that I ran across last year (paraphrased): the person who can live with dirty carpet now, is more likely to become wealthy later - because it is an indicator of impulse control. And my carpet is filthy (FYI, not my fault, either...whoever lived here before me messed it up...just sayin)! In the meantime, I should probably forget Pottery Barn exists and turn off HGTV. Not likely, but it's a thought.
Oh, and here's a fun link, speaking of Pottery Barn...check it out...it's a hoot!
The definition of "doctrine" is:
a principle or body of principles for acceptance or belief, as by political, religious, scienific or philosophic group; dogma (and Lord help you if you use THAT word ;) Something taught, a teaching.
Interestingly, the antonyms I saw listed were: opinion, disbelief, skepticism.
I don't think any of us (Christian believers, that is) would want to think of ourselves as skeptics, or ones following our own opinions. BUT at the same time it is often frowned upon to really study the Bible...what does it say in context, what was the original intent? No, let's just read snippets and make it work however it feels good and right. Not that God can't cause it to come alive that way, but as 2 Timothy says, we need to sudy to show ourselves approved, accurately handling the word of truth. We need to know what it's really saying when it says what it says...know what I'm saying?
It seems to me that some people would rather focus on feeling good, taking scripture like a prescription to feel better, but that stops way short. I don't think He wants to cleanse us just so we can feel better, but so we/He can fulfill His purposes. God is loving, and He IS love. He is also a God who pours out wrath upon sin, and yes sin-ners as well. He has lots of attributes, but the picture is incomplete without looking at the whole of scripture. God didn't have a personality overhaul in that couple of blank pages between the Old and New Testaments. He has always been loving and He has always been a righteous judge. The God Who was, is the God Who is and Who will be. We, as people, just seem to want to camp on one side or the other. That was kind of off-point, I suppose. That's a topic all it's own.
I just don't like those who study their Bibles (in this case, me ;) being looked down upon. And that's all I have to say about that...
It was about 10 a.m. and I had just put Christopher down for a nap and Corban had been put in time out in his crib. I walked outside to water the plants on the front porch. As you other mommies know, we are rarely without an audience, for even the most mundane activity. So within moments Caeley was on the porch watching me water. I thought to myself, now the radar is going to go off and Riley is going to want to come out, which might be okay if it wasn't 95 degrees with 95% humidity this time of year. Sure enough she came to the door, moved the blinds and said she wanted to come out. Caeley grabbed the doorknob and said she could not come out, and Riley promptly locked the door. I looked at her and said firmly, "Riley, unlock the door!" She looked up at me, turned and ran away. We knocked. We knocked some more. We knocked and yelled. Nothing.
I did have my cell phone so I decided to call and talk to her through the answering machine. "Riley,this is Mommy. Caeley and I can't get in the house because the door is locked and we don't have a key. I need yu to come and unlock the door." Nothing. Again, "Riley, this is Mommy. I need you to unlock the door and if you do not unlock it I will have to spank your hiney when I get back inside." Sill nothing. Once more, "Riley, this is Mommy. If you come to the door right now, I will not spank your hiney. But IF YOU DO NOT COME HERE RIGHT NOW YOU ARE GOING TO GET A SPANKING." No response.
Well, now I am somewhere between anger and thinking this is very amusing. Thankfully, Dave was working in Auburn for THE FIRST TIME EVER. I made a call to a friend...couldn't get in touch with her. So I decided to walk a couple of houses down to another friend's house. She was not home, but her husband was (who I really don't know at all). He asked what was going on and I told him. He reached in his pocket and handed me the keys to his brand new, ginormous Suburban and said "take it." I took it nervously, because I really had no choice.
I left Caeley sitting on the front porch, hauled it to Walmart and power walked to the pharmacy to get Dave's key. I was cracking up when I told him...it really was a ridiculous situation...and thank God that Corban and Christopher weren't on he loose. I dropped the Suburban off and as I was crossing the yard to get home, I saw Riley finally open the door...the little turkey! I asked what she was doing and she said "coloring with markers." On my rug in the living room...which is off limits. "Why did you lock the door?" "I needed a snack." "Didn't you hear us knocking?" "No...I didn't hear anything." Later she asked "when you were stuck outside, how were you talking to me?" Aha! She did hear me! Permission to discipline granted.
That child is something else. I don't know what to expect from one day to the next, but there will never be a dull moment.
So many thoughts went through my mind all at once. What an awful thing to do! That's pretty sadistic. Where did she get that idea from? She's only 4 (almost). It is a little bit funny in a way. If this had happened outside my own family I would have laughed. This is going to be funny...later. Don't laugh right now...don't smile...look away, you're smiling.
So finally I said to Riley, "that was not nice and it was NOT funny." She said, "yes it was...he he he!" I told her to stay put and I went to take care of Corban. When we got to the bathroom, he was mad at the soap dispenser so he knocked it on the floor and said "No!" I brushed his teeth with real toothpaste and gave him some water.
He was all better so I went to talk to Dave about disciplining Riley. My initial thought was that she needed a spanking...and he agreed and was horrified that she would do such a thing. I have been asking God to give me wisdom with this whole discipline thing, because honestly the kids have been wearing me out lately. Right at this very moment He came through with a genius idea...we should put soap on Riley's toothbrush! Riley would not get a spanking after all, but rather she would get a taste of her own medicine. Dave went and loaded her toothbrush with just enough hand soap while I went and got her. We just told her it was time to get her teeth brushed and that even though she had already brushed them, an adult needed to finish it. We told Caeley to get the camera (now we were being a little sadistic). He calmly sat Riley in his lap and said, "that was pretty funny, what you did to Corban, huh?" She smiled and laughed. The brushing began, she was still smiling...then suddenly it hit her...the expression on her face changed and she started foaming and spitting...and whining and crying, just like Corban, only much louder...it was awesome! Dave could not keep from laughing and neither could Caeley and I. He brushed a little bit more, then he let her spit and rinse it all out. Don't worry she was fine and recovered quickly. "Isn't it funny Riley?" No answer, just a poked out lip.
Don't think we are sick people, but sometimes one for one "retribution" works...and speaks louder than a little pop on the behind. This was priceless and we'll be watching the video to this for years to come.
It's one thing to learn to part with unneccesary items, or paper (my nemesis), or trash...but it's another thing altogether to get rid of things that "I might need one day!" Or things of monetary value that I could sell and funnel the money into something else that we (I) really want or need. Currently my issue is with a table and chair set. It's really a wonderful table...it's a nice round, brown wicker pedestal table, with matching chairs that really are comfortable...it has a casual beachy kind of feel to it, while still maintaining sort of a clean line look, and I LOVE it. However, my family went and outgrew it, so currently the table is taking up much-needed space in the corner of the garage, while we are still using the chairs in the kitchen.
The other day I pulled into the garage and saw it and thought, we really need to get rid of that - cringe...Dave would probably LOVE it if I agreed to get rid of it - cringe, again. Then, I got an email which laid out a perfect opportunity to GIVE IT AWAY FOR NO MONEY...just give it away. Immediately I knew it was the thing to do, and even now I know that it is, but my stomach is still in a knot. Oh, and did I mention that the table was free to me? I didn't pay a dime for it, except to recover the cushions after my kids destroyed them. Isn't it pathetic how stuff can have a hold on us? I have been praying that God would make me a servant...would teach me to love people...and what better way than to give? The fact that it's so difficult for me to part with the table and chairs lets me know that I really need to get rid of it. No thing should have that kind of power over my well-being...for heaven's sake two-thirds of the world lives in utter poverty and I am whining about a table and chairs...when I still have two more in the house. Good gracious, Lord help me!
The wisest man who ever lived said it this way:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
That same wise man also said this:
If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Something I am thankful for and am still learning to tap into is friendship and servanthood. The truth is that we all experience times of weeping and mourning...it is inescapable as long as we are here. However, we don't have to experience those things alone. In my mind I see thousands of wheels turning like cogwheels in a machine. Sometimes one might not have the strength to keep turning, but as long as it is connected to the rest, then the ones around it will "stand in the gap" and keep it going.
This is the beauty of the Body of Christ at times of
tragedy and difficulty. We are to "carry each other's burdens" fulfilling the Law of Christ (loving God and loving others). I pray that He continues to teach me to serve my friends and even those that I don't know, when I am in my seasons of laughter, dancing and peace. I know they will do the same for me if the time comes.
How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four; calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg.
When a woman tells the truth she is creating the possibility for more truth around her.
I had to think on this one a minute...but it's true. When we don't put up a front, other people are released to be real, too.
Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologize for the truth.
Henry Ward Beecher:
It is one of the severest tests of friendship to tell your friend his faults. So to love a man that you cannot bear to see a stain upon him, and to speak painful truth through loving words, that is friendship.
very true, but how many of us would accept such friendship?
If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.
Something I loved: Listening to Corban sing "O Taste and See" by Brian and Jenn Johnson in the back seat of the car. "Oh taste, and see, that the Lord is good..." so SWEET!
Something that made me proud: Caeley searching scripture (unprompted by us) to find an answer to her questions...and reading along with her friends on the phone.
Whatever the reason for it, I think one of the ways out has nothing to do with trying to simply change my thinking, but changing my focus. Earlier in the week I was looking at Matthew 6:21, which says that where my treasure is, my heart will be also. And what immediately came to mind for me was, If I treasure myself, I will be consumed with talk and thoughts about myself. If I treasure others, that's what I will think about. It's about retraining my mind not to constantly think about how something will impact me, about defending myself, or staying isolated so that no one mistreats me. It's about looking to the One who made Himself nothing, who remained silent while He was subjected to abuses of all kinds, and Who treated everyone as if they were valuable...regardless if they reciprocated. He reached out first, risked rejection and simply loved people.
That's the kind of person I want to be and that's what I was made to do...and oh my, how difficult it seems! I pray for the strength to go there and I believe there is healing for my own heart in reaching out to someone else's.
And the title of my blog, "I'll decide later," isn't permanent. It's just too much pressure to decide that in a matter of minutes. So, I'll decide later.