Google+ Followers

Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Language of Tears

I'm a word person. I love to write, I love to jumble words together in poetry forming a puzzle that only I can decipher. My husband reads a lot of musical biographies. It's funny how when reading one he will find that a song he thought he had the meaning figured out, then reading that the writer wrote it about some obscure subject you could never in a million years guess.... Or maybe it had no deep seated meaning at all. Decades later my husband finds he had unjumbled the wrong meaning to a random song. I write a lot about tears. I think I write about tears because they truly are words my heart can't express. Not all tears are sad tears although I tend to write more about sad tears than happy tears. Often tears are a mixture of the sadness of missing the best times of your life, or something that seems lost to you.  There are a lot of reasons tears speak to me, because each and every tear has a story even if  it doesn't have a reason. Then sometimes I write about tears for reasons that are known only to me and my Savior. He understands the secret language of tears perfectly.

Wide Eyed

Well it looks like sleep doesn't want to be my friend again tonight... Against all the rules I blog. My husband and I have completely traded places in many areas of our life together. The most recent is I've given up my title as number one news junkie and he has taken up the reigns. As I cooked dinner tonight he sat the the computer and rattled off the lasted dooming news about the nuclear disaster in Japan. It's my reasoning that the little we've heard about the inability of the nuclear experts to contain the massive amounts of radiation pouring into the atmosphere and the sea is probably 1000 times worse than we're being told. Finally I gave him the universal signal to stop feeding me information as well as a stern warning that I really didn't even want to know. So yes Virginia, in this case I really don't want to hear the truth because it's hard to think happy thoughts when I think about my children and the world they face. I could and would love a three headed grandchild, I'd just prefer not to have to. I also don't want to hear about Governments slaughtering their own people or know about the chance that we could in fact be arming more bad guys who intend on taking over the world. In these cases, I'm not ignorant, I've just read the end of the book and even though it may be rough going for a while, we who live in Christ will certainly come out on the winning end. I do believe the battle will be hard fought and not for the weak of Spirit and I didn't hear that on a news flash on CNN. Perhaps there is more keeping me up tonight besides wars and rumors of wars; besides the earth given forth labor pains as if a woman who travails during labor..... Maybe there is a lot more, but that's another blog, or perhaps just a journal entry. I sit wide eyed pondering the future and will we live to see it. Dark thoughts but not hopeless thoughts cause ignorance can sometimes be bliss.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Eating Our Way Across San Diego

Last weekend I had the pleasure of flying to San Diego to see my daughter. Although she has been there for almost 6 years, this was the first visit with just the two of us. There are a ton of fun things to do in San Diego but that wasn't what interested me. I've had the opportunity to do the tourist thing there and what I was looking forward to was just spending time with my daughter. The one thing we did that I hadn't done before was go to the outlet mall. Seems like boys balk at the idea of looking at a store so we never ventured near one until this trip where we could look with ease and without the heavy sighs coming from our counterparts. The only other thing on our list of things to do was eating our way across San Diego and eat we did. In fact the last day we had so many take out boxes from left overs, till we didn't get out of our pajamas or the house until it was time to leave for the airport that evening. We had a Dexter watching marathon which I thoroughly enjoyed and other than that, we just enjoyed spending time together. When time came to leave, it was a bummer for both of us... Back to the same old routines. It was a great weekend.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Melancholy Sunset

Melancholy sunset
Seen through misty eyes
Desperate misplaced choices
Made by compromise
Memories that linger
When last the sorrow spent
Of heartache reminiscent
Impassioned torment
Anguish past the present
Flourish past the pain
Ruined toward the future
Regret not much to gain
Tomorrow bring the sorrow
Forever mine to choose
The distant tear stained dayspring
Of much too much to lose

The Essence of Who You Are

It's not the things we did that make me miss you the way I do. It's not the places we went, the things we said... I miss being around the core of you, your touch, your smell, your presence. I miss the essence of you.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Dark Dance

I went to get my nails done this week and my friend gave me a belated birthday present. Since I was still a little tacky (not attitude, just the nails), I asked her to open it for me because I couldn't wait to see what it was. She opened it up and it was a framed print that said...
Gosh!!! I got tears in my eyes and I just gave her the biggest hug because she couldn't have gotten me anything more perfect. I won't retell the story, if you wish to read it you can find it at....  Let's just say last year was a difficult year. In fact it was so clumsy and awkward it makes even my skiing look graceful in comparison. If you've ever been fortunate enough to see me ski, you would understand what a statement that truly is. My favorite ballet is the Nutcracker. I would go see it every Christmas if I could. Last year had it's ups and downs just like a ballet. It was a roller coaster of emotion, events and drama. I wish I had been a more graceful dancer, but then again if I were graceful, I wouldn't have a story to tell. As Momma would say, "It looked like a bull in a china cabinet." Looking back from this side, I realize more and more just how dark it was. Thankfully I wasn't left out on the dance floor alone and it wasn't the final act of the ballet. I stumbled into His arms last year and did a dark dance in the shelter of His love. I'm living in daylight now and yes, I'm ready to dance, but this time I think I'd rather break out the disco ball and boogie down.

Ecclesiastes 3:4

4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Cycle of Influence

Yesterday I was thinking of how lucky I am to have such great kids. Two of them are now adults and #3 is on his way. It's such a blessing to watch how they have grown into their own identities, to watch them slowly develop into who they are today. Looking back I have to give credit to the multitude of people
who have influenced their lives. My kids have been blessed by being surrounded by the best. There are countless people who have influenced their lives from the time they were tiny tots to today. Babysitters who played with them, teachers who taught them, grandparents who loved them, an uncle who would wrestle them till his eyes bled, church family who counseled them, children's workers who guided them, youth leaders who admonished them, parents of peers who sat a good examples for them, coaches who challenged them, employers who depended on them and co-workers who befriended them. Countless people who touched their lives in small ways, ordinary ways and outstanding ways. Each touch adding to another, molding, shaping and helping them become who they are today. Most of those people have no clue the amount of influence they've had on them. Some of them did so intentionally, but others did so just by living their lives, doing what
they do every day without thinking twice about the words that were spoken or the deeds that were done. Wow!!! Makes you stop and think doesn't it. When I thought about all of the people who touched their lives,  it reminded me of the quote from Ronald Reagan....

"Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don't interfere as long as the policy you've decided upon is being carried out".

This seems like an odd quote to associate with parenting, but then again, if you change the word policy to values, it fits perfectly!
It may not have been said with parenting in mind, but it certainly makes sense. Values are important and the more people you have setting examples of your values to your children, the more likely they'll be to "get it". It was always funny to me how my husband and I could suggest something and our kids would think we were totally wacked out, but have someone else say the same thing, and suddenly it takes on a whole different tune.  Little did they know the voices all around them were echoing our values. I'll never credit myself for being a great parent, but I will give myself credit for making sure my kids were surrounded by people who were a great influence on them.  I wish I could reach out to each and every person who helped them become who they are today. The amazing thing is now they are the ones influencing others, who will influence someone else and the cycle continues.

Proverbs 27:

 17 As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Living the Call

2011 Hand and Feet Project

Psalm 82:3

3 Defend the weak and the fatherless;
   uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. 

What could make a Mother's heart more proud than seeing her children living the call and pouring out their lives for the aid of others. Truly no greater blessing can be found than watching your child live a selfless life for the cause of Christ.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Rose

It's interesting how God continually pulls back the crusted dried leaves of my heart to reveal tender tissue beneath. Just like a rose that hasn't fully bloomed, yet the outer leaves have began to fade and the edges have started to dry. When you peel back the dried petals,underneath you find the tender tissue that are unscathed by the environment. That's exactly how it feels when God peels something away to reveal a part of me he wants to bloom. 
Life has a way of drying up your edges causing them to crack, but God has a way of peeling back the brittle to reveal the hidden tenderness of a heart not yet destroyed by life. That's what I love about my God.When I find no hope in myself, I find hope in a God who loves me with bottomless love,covers me with endless grace and peels back the petals with a  gentle touch.... Just like a rose.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Walk Down Memory Lane With My Stuff

The first lamp in the collection

I was cleaning this weekend and as I typically do, I ended up doing some re-arranging. I decided a dresser beside my bed was slightly too crowded so I removed one of my lamps to allow for more space. I'm not sure exactly when I started collecting lamps, but like all things collectible there comes a point when I decided you could in fact have too many lamps in a room. Still, I love lamps! If I wanted to, I could probably trace my obsession back to when I first married and moved into the cedar shake shingle house with Prince Charming (See post from Dec. 19 2009). I'm most likely still suffering from light deficiency or something like that. Anyway, even though I didn't have room for that lamp on that table any more, didn't mean  I wanted to put the lamp away forever. So I grabbed my pink cherub lamp (I went through a cherub phase that lasted years) and I walked from room to room trying to find an empty space that needed a pink cherub lamp. Finally I found if I scooted over a plant beside the T.V. and angle a picture of me and a friend just so, the cherub lamp would look just right without being too much. Problem solved! As I was scooting, and angling, I was thinking to myself how much crap I've collected  that I just don't want to get rid of. Some of it for sentimental reason, some of it out of obligation, and some of it for an array of random reasons too many to count. I've gone through periods where I walked through the house just tossing stuff in a garage sale basket because after years of shopping, birthdays and other gift giving occasions it can all become too much. But even after much tossing there remains a lot I just can't part with. Some call it clutter, but to me that sounds a little harsh, so I just call it stuff. My stuff consist of good stuff, bad stuff, silly stuff, serious stuff and stuff I forgot I had. I  remember back in the day when we barely had a candle for decoration. I distinctly remember the first picture we bought to hang on our pictureless wall. When I get tired of dusting my stuff I think back to those days when the walls were bare and dusting was a breeze. I don't mind spending Saturdays dusting my stuff because each and every item has some kind of memory or meaning which makes cleaning just a stroll down memory lane. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Friday, March 18, 2011

God With Us

I often wonder how God could love someone like me. Why would he care about the things I struggle with? I don't know the answer to the why, I just know that he does. He cares when my heart has been broken, he cares when I feel lost, he cares when I'm scared, he cares when I feel tossed aside and undesirable... He cares!  He loves it when I do the happy dance over the sight of something as insignificant as a leaf gently floating down from a tree and he loves to hear me giggle at the ocean shore as the waves wrap around my ankles. I know I don't deserve his love and I could never do anything within myself to repay him for the life he has so graciously blessed me with, but one thing he will accept as payment is praise. This song touches my heart of praise, it breaks away all of the hardened scars as I worship Him in my own way, in my own world.The hurt seems to fade into the background as his healing grace floods my heart. It may seem small to you, it may seem small to me, but when sang with a broken and grateful heart it means the world to him.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Because I Want To

 "After everything you've done for her, I can't believe she would do that!!"

When I was younger, I had a tendency to approach friendships differently than I do today. After much trial and error in friendships I realized I was doing it wrong. I'm a blue person... People pleaser sort. When I was younger, I would jump through hoops to help my friends in any and every way possible. Mention to me that you were too tired to do your laundry, I'd run over and haul it to my house and do it for you. Need a baby sitter so you and your husband could go on a date.... Bring the kids over, I'll do it for you. I simply loved doing things for people, still do but it's a little different now.  If I knew one of my friends were going through something, maybe a sickness or death in the family, I made it my mission in life to check in with them to see if I could help in any way, I  kept up-to-date with them throughout the process and when needed attend the funerals.... Because I was a good friend. There were a couple of relationships that I was in
where I felt like I had worked myself to death (willingly), yet when I needed a helping hand, a shoulder to cry on, or just a day off, It never seemed convenient for either of these friends to help me. When my Mother-In-Law was dying of cancer, I never heard from them, even though they knew the diagnosis was grim. After a while, it really started to hurt my feelings. I felt like I was being a better friend to them then they were to me. It seemed the more I was willing to give the more they would take but never saw the need in reciprocating the favor. After years of this going on, I started having a lot of anger and bitterness about the relationship and began backing off. When they called with a need, if I felt like doing it I would (expecting nothing in return), but often I found myself saying no. The years passed and the friendship faded away like a lot of friendships eventually do. They didn't end on a sour note, our lives just took different paths. It took years for me to get over the hurt and anger I felt about being used. After much praying and analyzing the friendships I realized that I was the one who allowed myself to be taken advantage of. Those relationships were back in my 20's. I now have a whole new outlook at friendships. I'm a little more guarded now when developing friends. I don't feel the need for every single person I know to be my friend. The things I do inside a friendship are things I truly want to do. I no longer do things just to please people, to impress them, or in an effort to raise their opinion of me. If I come get your laundry and do it for you (first thing is call a
paramedic, something is most certainly wrong), I do it because I want to and I expect nothing in return. Lowering my expectations of others has made a huge difference and lowering the expectations I have for myself has made an even bigger difference. I am surrounded by a lot of very thoughtful friends. When someone does something thoughtful for me, I am pleasantly surprised, because I have no expectation. It's hard for people to fail you when you have no expectations of what they should be doing. A lot of my old behavior stemmed from needing people to like me. I was living in a new town, I didn't know anyone and I missed home. I'm at a stage in life now, if you like me great, if you don't great, I'm ok either way. There is a freedom of not needing people to approve of you, not needing their affirmation. Now when people approve of me, or affirm me, it's  a
blessing, because it comes so unexpected.Someone said the quote at the beginning of this blog to me over a year ago. My response was... "I did those things because I wanted to, she owes me nothing." I could honestly say that because everything I gave her, my time, my help, whatever it was, I had given it to her unconditionally. People are going to let me down sometimes, that's just a fact of life. It happens a lot less often, because I have no great expectations,I'm not keeping score and the friends I have now, we do a lot of giving and taking as life demands it. When I give I give from my heart so there are no strings attached. Maybe it's true the older you get the less you care about what people think about you, it sure would have been nice to have that mindset about 20 years ago.

Monday, March 14, 2011

My Heart's Song

                      My heart sings a special song, that time cannot take away

Regret cannot sour the notes

Cannot alter the words my heart longs to say

Forever the melody shall live in my soul

Along with the memories there

Of a love that I cherish, the one I adore

Of the hands that hold my heart near

When my eyes drift to sleep at the end of the day

And dreams take over my mind

I cannot help but sing the sweet song

That remind me of that sweet gentle time

Regardless of distance divided by space

The song remains in my heart

As soft and as tender and surprisingly strong

                                   As was it was from the very start

My heart sings the song I sang in your arms 

                                   Time cannot take it away

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I Will Walk Through the Fire

One of the wonders of God is how he has the most amazing way of putting special people into my life. Being part of a church family has given him more opportunities to put a rainbow of people into, not only my life but the lives of my children. I can and never will take credit for the wonderful people my children have turned out to be, because they were truly raised by a village. I can never be thankful enough for the ones who have influenced, guided, taught and just loved my kids as if they were their own. Every Sunday morning we are blessed beyond belief with an aray of beautiful music at church. This morning the one who brought a special song to the morning service was one of the special people God brought into my life several years ago. She is the same age as my daughter and they have always been good friends. when she stepped up to th microphone and began to sing tears instantly sprung to my eyes. Her voice, sweet as an angel's voice swept over my heart and I began to cry all the while grinning from ear to ear.
She is just one of those special people. Her freshman year of college presented her with some challenges she wasn't prepared to face, but face them she did. She had every opportunity to turn away from God and take a different life path than the way she was raised and the faith she was raised in. I smile, because I know life hasn't always been easy for her and it hasn't always been kind to her. The song she sang was "If You Want Me To" (find video linked below). I know that the song was more than just a song for her. She has walked through the fire on more than one occasion and for someone as young as herself, she has come out of the fire amazingly faithful. She has a precious husband who has walked through the fire with her and two adorable little girls. Tonight at church I hugged her and with tears in my eyes again, I told her how proud I was for her and told her that I felt like she was my own child. I think it's important to hand out verbal roses to people while they are living instead of waiting until they have passed. Every time I see her and her little family, my heart absolutely does summersults, because I know that if she hadn't been faithful and perservered, life for her would have taken a totally different path than it has. She is blessed and she has been such a blessing to me. I just want her to know how much I love her.

Friday, March 11, 2011


Just looking at you...
I become undone...
That you could ever love me...
That I should be the one...
I look with breathless wonder...
Into your staggering eyes...
And know that I will love you...
Until the day I die...

Chiming in the Wind

Years ago I used to have a disdain for wind chimes. I used to believe that they were clinky and annoying objects that just caused the hair to bristle on the back of my neck. Then one day I happened upon a wind chime that had a beautiful melodic sound..... An actual chiming. I had never heard wind chimes that actually chimed instead of clink. The sound of the chimes hung in the air and sounded like the music of angels. When I looked at the price of the chimes, I realized you get the sound you pay for.  Being the frugal gal I am, I put the chimes in law-away (I don't think lay-away even exists anymore).  I've had the wind chimes for years now and they are the only thing that makes the Oklahoma wind bearable. Today the wind is certainly "sweeping down the plains" as the song says.  My chimes are chiming in the wind with a sweet sound that is soothing to the soul. I've never like wind.... It makes me nervous for some reason. But the wind chimes can turn something that makes me anxious into something I could sit and listen to for hours at a time. It's like a lot of things in life. If you search long and hard enough, you can usually find a little something that makes the best times better and the worst times bearable. Sometimes you have to look long and hard, and possibly pay a higher price than you ever expected to pay, but in the end you can find music for the soul and a deep settled calm for the toughest of times. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has some little something that they appreciate and attribute to taking the sting out of a windy situation.

Teardrop Masquerade

My heart is weeping
Silent tears
They flow quietly
Into the night
Better they stay hidden
Remain ghostly, out of sight
I keep them closely guarded
I hold them in my soul
Occasionally I count them
The loss each teardrop holds
If I regret one tear
It's the one that slipped away
Before I could bottle it up
In my teardrop masquerade

Such a Sucker

When I got home from work last night, my husband and I were doing our "How was your day" ritual when we heard a commotion downstairs. I went to see what was going on when there was a knock on the front door. I opened the door to find a little girl and a little boy standing on my front porch. In the yard were too older brothers pulling a wagon full of.... GIRL SCOUT COOKIES! The little girl and her brother were so eager to sell me a box, that I could barely make out what they were saying during their sales pitch. After a year of laying around on my butt due to a tumble down the rabbit hole, the last thing I need is Girl Scout Cookies. But they were so cute, and it was so precious seeing a band of brothers pitching in to help their little sister meet her goal, and I'm such a sucker. Just because I bought them doesn't mean I have to open them... Right? This morning as I walked out of the house I reached for the box and thought I should probably just bring it to work... Then I jerked my hand back as if I had been electrocuted and thought again. Having the smell of peanut butter and chocolate tempting me all day probably wouldn't work out so well for me and my thighs. Briefly I thought about bringing the cookies to our I.T.guy who is exactly like the Mikey commercial.... "Give it to Fred... He'll
eat anything", but I didn't, I guess I wasn't feeling generous enough before my morning coffee. I'm still thinking about taking them back after lunch with a stern warning he should make sure they are properly disposed of and if not hidden from my nose and eyes until they are. Maybe I could use them as a bribe for the next time I totally screw up my computer and he comes to my office with the "The Look" on his face. Yeah, that's what I'll do, because he's a sucker too, especially when it comes to all things edible.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Oilfield Field Trip

Instead of a typical day at the office this afternoon, we had a field trip that included steaks, baked potatoes and brownies. I was warned ahead of time that I probably shouldn't wear "Spiky Shoes" for today's outing, so I donned my flatwear and jeans and we headed out.  We had the opportunity to shoot the bull with the guys in the field... How many times can the word "Reining Golf Champions" be mentioned in one conversation? We got to check out things we normally don't get to see,being paper pushers to the production department and being stuck inside the office all day. We ran by a new fresh water pond some of the guys were pretty proud of.  It looked like it was the perfect environment for Oklahoma's own "Blackness Monster". I was thoroughly impressed by the oilfield workers running tubing in the hole on one of our newest Wells. Oilfield work isn't for the lazy and weak at heart and it's also not for those whose minds wonder from here to there and everywhere during the workday. I hear from reliable sources, that you have to have a considerable tough skin to take the ribbing that goes on in the meetings. Oilfield work
looks like mean nasty work for those who are quick on their feet. One slip, one mistake could not only mean their life, but the lives of others. I was totally intrigued as I sat in the air-conditioned truck, sipping on my Dr. Pepper as I watched in amazement. It was a beautiful day and for about 2.5 seconds I was a little envious of them getting to be outside in such weather, but then I remembered that this is Oklahoma and the window of opportunity for beautiful weather was about 2.5 days a year. It was an interesting day getting to see my job from the other side of the desk. Unfortunately it reminded me that I needed to get back to the office and finish the piles of reports that their intriguing job produces. Doing the reports the job generates isn't nearly as interesting as jobs themselves, but it's a heck of a lot neater,I
get to wear cuter shoes than they do and it pays the bills. occasionally there's a little cash left over to buy myself a pretty pair of new shoes:-)What more could a girl ask for??? Well there isn't enough cyberspace for me to write that list, but you get the drift. It was a great day for an oilfield field trip and the company was oh so special. In my books all the field guys are champions.... Maybe not Golf Champions like some of us, but oilfield champions all the same.

On the Wings of the Night

She sat in the silence with her memories wrapped around her like a blanket. The day had passed with the sadness crouching in the corner of her mind. She had managed to keep it at bay for most of the day, but it reappeared on the wings of night and slowly began to swallow her. Fatigued from pushing it back, she finally surrendered allowing it to consume her, take her in, take her back, back, back. When it was finished with her, had it's way with her, it would retreat back to it's corner and tomorrow the process would begin again.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Amazing By Choice!

When my son came home one day from visiting with a friend he said... "Guess what Mom? Joseph wants me to play the bass on the youth praise team at church!" I thought that was a wonderful ides... There was just one problem, he didn't know how to play bass or guitar. His Dad plays the bass but his Dad is right handed and he was left handed. His response to my illumination of what I saw was an obstacle.... "Oh Mom, that's alright." He started learning bass on a right handed bass and when we realized he was serious we got him a left handed bass. That was years ago. When he is hanging with the gang the above video is what their activities include (besides making soap and baking bread). The guy playing banjo and harmonica picked up the banjo just a few months ago as well. This is a small example of how you make your dreams come true. You just lay all unnecessary things aside and just do whatever it is you want to do. This is a great bunch of... Well I want to call them kids, but really they are now young adults. They are all amazing, talented young adults by choice.... By choice, not happenstance!

Mixed Messages

Sleep just doesn't seem to want to be my friend tonight. So I tiptoed downstairs to sit in the living room and ponder things that hurt my brain and lay heavy on my heart. I hate mixed messages. I hate them because they are... Well, they are mixed. I start to doubt the meaning of the original message.  It was after all, a very forthright and intentional act. One that would be difficult to misinterpret. Is the latest message  a replacement of the first, or just an attempt to mend broken bridges that are hanging with no support? It would be a lot easier if I could take messages in the spirit they are delivered, but being a typical woman, I have to look at everything from different angles to see if I'm missing something. That's when I get in trouble.  I'm not ashamed to admit that I have to be careful about letting vain imaginations taint my reasoning.... Especially recently. I also know I'm not the only one with this particular habit, but it's not something people openly discuss. I suppose it's probably taboo which would explain my need to ponder the thing as a whole on my blog without discussing it in specifics. It just helps to write it out to see exactly how silly I may or may not be. I'm not anxious to jump into a pool that I could easily drown in, nor am I anxious to involve myself in situations where I could easily be hurt. I may be feeling better, but I'm not craving more rejection or stifled hostility from anyone. I may be coming out of my rabbit hole, but I'm still way too close to the edge to risk a nudge back over.  I also know if I don't find a way to escape the edge I will be cheating myself out of the blessing of feeling needed, desired and most of all used in a positive sense.  Baby steps, I just have to take baby steps until I have enough confidence to take a giant leap of faith into the pool of human risks. I'm thinking if I were ready for that, I wouldn't be up way past my bed time pondering  the meaning of mixed messages that may not be mixed at all.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Allergic Reaction to Brothers

Notice how Bella (white) is trying to pretend that Morph the Cat isn't sharing her space

I talked to my daughter this morning. She was on her way to take my grand kitten to the vet. She thinks Bella may be allergic to Morph the Cat, her baby brother she brought home last week. At first Bella just hissed and growled at him, but now the poor little baby has brown goop running out her eyes and is acting droopy. Come to think of it, that's a lot like how my daughter acted when I brought her baby brother home from the hospital. Whenever she was around him, brown goop seemed to hit the fan, spewing temper tantrums everywhere. Later when she passed the temper tantrum stage, she tried the pretend to push Bubba in his bumper jumper act, then slam him into the door facing while Momma wasn't looking tactic. As a teenager she just complained that he smelled like boy. I never had an allergic reaction to my brother but maybe that's because I was the baby and he was several years older than me.... But had that been different, I bet I would have had my share of brown goop running amok. Yeah, it's probably wise that she is taking Bella in to see the doctor. I've heard that if those types of allergic reactions aren't dealt with in the beginning, it can lead to years of therapy later on in life.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Unknowable Things About Women, Men and Grills

I bebopped down the stairs this weekend with the burning question of the day for my husband... "Why do men find grilling manly?" Like any responsible and caring male would do, he promptly paused the T.V. and not only gave me the "Where the heck did this question come from?" look,but also asked where the heck the question came from... I love doing this to him. All I wanted him to do was answer the question and guess what? He got it wrong. He says they don't find it manly. My next question was.. "Then why do men who never cook or fiddle in the kitchen insist on doing the grilling?" I could tell he thought I was trying to stump him, but I wasn't... I really wanted to know why? His response... "They don't!" Beep! Wrong answer. In an effort to jog his memory I rattled off names of friends we both know and who the man always does the grilling when there is grilling to be done. This list included, as he remembered, his very own Father. Usually it involves big fancy (sometimes gleaming) machinery with fancy
barely been used grilling tools, sometimes it's as simple as a tiny charcoal grill you can only cook a couple of steaks on, but without exception most men do the grilling (our house being the exception). All I wanted to know was what part of grilling men find manly.His second answer and the one that was probably closer to the truth was... It must have something to do with cavemen and fire. That makes more sense than anything including the question itself. He wanted to know was why I was wanting to know such an abstract question in the middle of the day. Heh, because it came up in a book I was reading and I just realized that it seemed to be a man thing and I just wanted to know why. He didn't really have an answer (although I think the caveman answer is probably the best of all), but it certainly got him to thinking about something he never really thought about before. Apparently he doesn't look at it as manly, as he's never really looked at it at all. Which makes me wonder if men actually know why they do some of the things they do. I can almost guarantee you that if he asked me an abstract question about why women do some of the things we do, I could instantly explain the unexplainable in a way that would further confound and confuse him to the point that he wished he had never asked the question to begin with. The point being (now, not when I asked him the question) that women know women and what makes them tick more than men know men and what makes them tick. That my friend is the epiphany of the day, which is basically no epiphany at all since I, as a woman, as well as all women around the world, have always known the unknowable things about women.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sunday Morning With Wee Ones

I got to play hall monitor this morning in the children's section of church. I watched as harried and tired parents hustled their wee ones to the children's area and with a sigh of relief (or reprieve) they headed to the sanctuary for a "Where the rubber meets the road" sermon that hopefully helped them make it through another week.  Young parents need all the help they can get as they work and try to to be super parents to the precious little bundles of joy God has given them. I watched as one Dad walked toward the area with his hands completely full of his wee one. She clasped on the floor in a heap with a little squeal. Finally he got her to use her two legs and they got in line behind other young parents checking their kids into class. As he stood in line we chatted as his wee one pretended he was a jungle gym, hanging from his pockets, climbing up his leg.  I couldn't help but chuckle as I told him that all too soon his frantic house would fall eerily silent due to the fact that wee ones grow up much faster than we anticipate.  Time certainly seems to fly when you're raising kids and having so much fun you can hardly stand it. I remember Sunday mornings with little ones. I remember being so flustered by the time I got to church, I felt like I needed to walk straight into the sanctuary and hit the alter to pray through before church started. For some reason (maybe it's because I was a bit of control freak where dressing the kids were concerned) my husband never grasped the idea that although boys shirts buttoned in the front, little girls dresses typically buttoned in the back. Nor did he understand the concept that little girls socks needed to be put on in what looked like an inside out fashion so when you turned the cuffs down the lacy side showed. He never did understand the need for a big glob of K-Y Jelly on the top of a bald head so a bow (which matched the dress that buttoned in the back) could be held in place. Yep, I raised my two oldest in the days before giant headbands for baby girls and nurseries with nursery attendants for all ages of children. Back in the day we had the task of keeping our babies and toddlers occupied during service, making sure they didn't disrupt the whole church.  We tried to glean nuggets out of the sermon between juggling our kids, but sometimes we were just proud that we made it there and back home in one piece. When service was over, I felt like I had been mauled by a couple of pit bulls (for some reason my husband never felt that way). Yeah, the sight of harried parents and squealing children brought back all of those delightful memories this morning and as I walked away I realized just thinking about them made me extremely tired.  I suppose that's why God lets you have kids when you are young.  Even with the mauling, the climbing and the projectile vomiting, I still wouldn't trade those memories for a room full of gold. I do so enjoy watching today's young parents fight the good fight and I especially enjoy watching grandparents pitching in, helping out and making the fight a little easier. One little guy passed by me this morning who was the spitting image of his papa and and I don't know.... It just makes me smile. Maybe some day I'll have a little one who is the spitting image of their Lolly.... Oh, won't that be fun!!!!!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

I lay in my bed (feeling pretty proud of myself) and wanted to share my good news with a good friend. So I sent her a text with the latest JackieWorld news bulletin, knowing she would be both tickled pink and thrilled to death. Shock of shock, horror of all horrors, she was neither... "You are so spoiled!" the text read. Well Duh!!! Is that suppose to be headlining news? Geeze! I like to sugar coat it with the title of "blessed" but spoiled works too. Who says I can't stand it when people are real (chuckle, chuckle) with me. I was neither shocked, mad, insulted, or hurt that she dared to speak the truth (she added an LOL at the end so that made it easier to swallow) because you know what??? I already knew the truth. I also know people that know me know the truth too. still it never hurts to have people tell you what you already know, in fact some times it's just plain good for you. There is nothing like someone grabbing you by the chin and having you take a good close look at yourself... "Mirror mirror on the wall" Trust me there have been plenty of times I've given her a good (but loving) look in the mirror too... Like when she tells me she wants Botox. I have no problem telling her that is the most asinine thing I've ever heard, or when she tells me she wants a Gastric Bybass, I really blast her then. She lives through it, I do too and it's probably one of the reasons we're such good friends. Last time we visited I mentioned the spoiled rotten text to her and she promptly put her head on the table and laughed.... "I hope you didn't take that wrong." I certainly didn't, I took it as the absolute truth and didn't have a hard time swallowing it. She could have called me a lot worse, but guess she is saving the rest for later (guess I'll have to get my big girl panties on). Yeah, we're still friends, I appreciated the honesty and I don't thinks she loves me any less because I'm spoiled and I don't love her any less for saying it. Like I've said before, it's not what people says that bother me, but what they don't say. The eyes are windows to the soul and the most painful things are sometimes left unsaid because there is malice behind them that can't be hidden.... With or without words. They say that truth is stranger than fiction, but trust me.... Nothing can be as strange as what I see staring back at me in the mirror of my soul sometimes. Just because I hope others are blind to it, doesn't mean they are. I appreciate those who give me a little heads up on the fact that I may need to get my stuff under control...  Friends should be comfortable enough with one another to be lovingly honest, brazenly bold and eagerly open to helping each other strive toward self improvement. If I want someone to agree with me on everything than I'll never have friendships that run very deep. If someone needs a friend who is always going to stroke their ego and tell them they are right, then they probably don't want to choose me (frankly I suck at ego stroking).  Of course the key to everything is LOVE. You're not going to nit pick someone you love to death over every little thing. You're not going to be hatefully honest with someone you love. And you certainly don't want to see someone you love meander down a path of self destruction just because no one around them had the guts to be honest with them because they fear their wrath. My friends have authorization to stop me in mid stride should I head down a dangerous path and I choose my friends wisely enough to know they will do it with love, caring concern, with hopefully a dose of humor on the side (because humor softens the blow of everything). Meanwhile, I'll try to keep a handle on the spoiled rotten, queen of all things routine (although I'll admit I'm really good at that act). Apparently it gets on some peoples nerves and I certainly wouldn't want to do that.  You know who you are and I just wanted to tell you thanks for being a friend, thanks for loving me in spite and if you do get Botox.... I promise to make fun of your perma-smile:-)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Letting Go - He Fills the Void

                                   You pried my finger from it...
So you could have control...
The process took much longer...
I was slow in letting go...
With gentle eyes you looked at me...
In a tender whisper said...
Things will be much easier...
Just give it to me instead...

White knuckles wrapped around it...
Holding oh so tight...
This thing I really wanted...
In my hand it felt so right...
But deep inside the whole of me...
I knew it had no place...
Why hold to something harmful...
When joy could take it's place...
The choice seemed oh so simple...
To lose or much to gain...
A very simple process...
Or one that caused much pain...
I need only to surrender...
What I held with all my might...
And risk the pain in knowing...
The choice had all been mine...

Or release to him with freedom...
Rest knowing my choice was right...
No longer carry the burden...
For a load no longer mine...

With trepid hesitation...
I slowly did release...
And found a flood of comfort...
A sense of such relief...
His mercy swept right over me...
A flow that felt so sweet...
I knew without reluctance...
What I had held I had no need...
He took what was empty...
And I'd worked so hard to fill...
 His grace replaced the void...
The wounds could now be healed...

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Losing the Battle But Winning the War

Ephesians 6:12 (New International Version, ©2011)

12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Today I certainly feel like I lost the battle. My weakness is that all too often I don't recognize my stuggles as being spiritual, but tend to look at them as being all emotions and just the drama of day to day living. If I would just stop for one second and look at things as they are instead of how they appear, I would be much better off. Having been raised in Girl World (which is my personal term for all things female), I sluff things off as just being pure emotion rather than looking at them for what they are which is a spiritual attack from the very bowels of hell. Why, why, why do I do that? Oh wait.... maybe because I'm human. I don't look at myself as a mighty warrior because deep down inside I don't feel like I'm enough of a threat to be in the war (I'm just being... well I won't say real, but I will say brutally honest). Honestly I wish I could just tuck my emotions in a suitcase and ship them to another universe, or give them the strong arm out the back door so I wouldn't have to deal with them. Then again if I woke up every morning prepared for the days battle, I might be a little more successful in knocking a few of those battles out. I've come to know that arming yourself isn't a one time deal but something you do every second of every minute of every hour of every day of your life.  Yep, you got it.... This is a self scholding blog post. So Jac, today you lost the battle but at least you live to fight another day and will rise to win the war because Sister it's not over till the fat lady sings or the trumpet blows. Gird yourself up girl and let's get-er-done, with a little more style tomorrow and in really cute shoes (cause in heavenly Girl World the whole armor includes cute shoes.... They kick butt)

Ephesians 6:11 (New International Version, ©2011)

11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Breast Cancer Tunnel Vision

I woke up this morning for my morning work out but my mind was definitely somewhere else. A dear friend who has been battling breast cancer for over a year is having what will be her last surgery this morning. Gosh, I wish I could be there with her, in fact it would suit me just fine if I could just stand in for her so she wouldn't have to recover from yet another surgery. This is one of those times when I wish I had the powers of Samantha on Bewitched. I would wiggle my nose and it would all be over. Although the tunnel has been dark for her at times, she has come through with amazing strength. Her power to look beyond herself is what I believe has been a big part of her getting through. God has put a vision in her heart for those who put their lives on the line for the cause of Christ. Instead of putting all of her energy in feeling sorry for herself, she has put that energy in making others aware of the plight of missionaries all over the world. I have no doubt that God will bless and has blessed her greatly for her faithfulness and for having tunnel vision for others instead of tunnel vision for herself. I can't express
my joy enough, that there is finally light at the end of her tunnel and her recovery will be a testimony to breast cancer survivors all over the world.