Friday, April 30, 2010

A day off

I am not exactly thrilled that I am awake at this time of day. Even when I don't hear my son get out of bed, my mommy senses start tingling that something is out of sorts in the house and I get up. So at 6:00am I took a walk around the house...yes, the perimeter was secure and yes, my son was in the living room...
"You need to go back to bed...quickly." Said with all the authority of a freshly woken bear.
He did but woke up the dog in the process, who then need to be let out of the kennel...coffee is on...blog to write...bills to pay...Okay, I am awake.
Kick the dog and spit in the fire, yes, I am awake.
The day ahead will be one full of "can we do's"?
Caity, my second oldest, has joined CAP also known as the Civil Air Patrol...why? Why not?
She loves it and the kids are wonderful, not to mention the leaders. But being a volunteer is not a free activity.
While John and I are at the cross roads of career and lifestyle choices, our kids are just trying to be kids...and that does not come free.
Being the second oldest means that Caity has often played second fiddle to her older sister, Liz...you know the fiddle I am talking about, the one neither of them ever played but insisted they would. Thank God our middlest daughter Brennan loves and plays everyday. Did I write that to the tune of the Can-can? I constantly have visions of scantily clad chorus girls kicking their heals in a rhythmic "Da,na,na,na,na,na,na,na,na,na,na,na,na,na..."But way slower.
Sorry, I got distracted by the music in my head.
What was I saying?
Oh, yes, my Caity and CAP.
Caity is my tall, hazel eyed, beauty that is in high honors, loves like no one I know and asks for almost nothing ever. She is my second hand Rose as it were and she has some amazing abilities.
When she was very little I watched her on the beach one day. Caity was having so much fun in the sand and the serf, other kids were just drawn to be near her. That is Caity. There is no ulterior motive in her fun, she just is fun.
And because she is so stinken smart, we all tease her every time she does something not so smart.
Me: "Caity, how many ounces in a cup?"
Caity: "I don't know Mom. I guess it depends on the size of the cup."
Me: "Come let me kiss you honey. Does it hurt, when you use your brain?"
And so we laugh with her about her and the rest of us...a lot.
It is because she asks for almost nothing (except for the time she was very upset with me over not having a cooler cell phone...but that was mostly hormone related, so I let it slide. Notice how well I let it slide as I have just added it here!) I want to give her the CAP experience.
Today we buy her uniform and tonight I let her go away with her squadron for a CAP conference in Lake George, NY. We can alter the budget accordingly. Caity gets to go.
There is something very tender in my heart towards a child who loves just because she can.
It's not based in perfect parenting...Oh, how I wish I could take credit for such a loving heart! Caity simply has a relationship with our God that I can not begin to understand. It is as if she were set apart at birth...now that sounds like a mom who is just bragging on her kid if ever I heard one! But she is set apart in tenderness that has taken only training by her folks. The reality to it is that it was all in there to start with. Strong willed, yes. But somehow that strong will has translated into strong love. I can only give credit for that to her Abba.
(1 John 4:19)"We love because He first loved us."
I had intended for this to be more of a gripey post but it appears as if love won out!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I don't do laundry

Remember the old movies when home maker would be interviewing a new maid who would say "I don't do windows."? No, okay then you may not be old enough for this blog and should move on! For the rest of you who do, I would have not said anything about the whole windows situation, for me it would be laundry. "I don't do laundry." There, now you know.

But how could that be? You have five children and a husband...YOU HAVE TO DO LAUNDRY! No, actually not all that often, truth be told.

I would love to convince you that this is a new problem, one that developed while we homeschooled and I am still trying to catch up...but that would be a lie. When I was a single woman, living alone, I didn't do the laundry then either. Once a month I would gather up my drawrs (spelled correctly. I am first generation Brooklyn after all) and my nursing uniforms (I wore whites even though we could wear colored scrubs by then) and my Casual Corner wardrobe (again, if you don't remember it, you may be too young) as well as sheets and towels. Off to the laundromat I would go...to drop them off and get them done. I would pick them up the next day. It always seemed so easy and yet so self defeating at the same time.

Think about it, wash them, then wear them and you have to wash them again...it is a never ending cycle of lights and darks and whites! I despise doing things that get undone so quickly.

Soon after we were married John stopped asking me if his clothes were done. "Done doing what?" I would ask in all sincerity.

Once there was a Lizzy, Caity, Brennan, Jack and Maggie, you would think I would start to get it all done. Nope.

Part of my problem is the forest for the trees thing. You see, I want all of the laundry done at once. But then, when all of the laundry is clean at the same time we run into the next dilemma...there is not enough room in all the closets and all of the drawers to put it away. One must have a perfect balance of clean to dirty at all times in order to achieve balance in the laundry realm. If I believed in ying and yang type of stuff, it would only be in the laundry room!

Less you should think I have not tried every system known to man to get the laundry done, I have. I even hung John's shorts from the light fixture once to achieve the fung shway in the laundry room...didn't work.

As for sheets, when it is time to vacuum them I believe one should change them. I won't tell you about the time somebodies husband got caught doing just that because he didn't know his wife was joking about it!

My older girls do their own now as does John and I am training the little ones to do theirs as well. Fortunately, I am so far behind, I am ahead. The spring clothes from last year are still in the laundry room and ready to be washed and worn now that the season is upon us.

This is an ongoing battle between good and evil to me. The truth is I want to be a good steward of all that God has given us. I do, I just want someone else to keep it clean...hmm. My friend the Proverbs 31 lady considered the needs of her family and did something spectacular with a red scarf. No one got lost in the snow on her watch...I think there is a red scarf in the laundry room under the Spring clothes. Maybe that is a start! No? Okay, I am off to do load before my laundry room winds up on the show "Hoarders".

Edited to add: This is the verse of the day on my facebook page:
"And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD." - 1 Kings 19:11a (KJV)

I did stand on the Mount before the Lord...Mount "Washing"ton! There is a verse for everything!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Family is not an obstacle...

"God does not give us any conflicting obligations. Every obligation that comes from the Lord is compatible with every other obligation.
(“God doesn’t give unfunded mandates.”)
The problem—sometimes we add to the Lord’s obligations.

(The) Past few decades there’s been the tendency to see ministry at odds with family.
The family is not an obstacle for ministry—it is a vehicle for ministry . . . but like all vehicles, it needs maintenance.
There is a “beautiful compatibility” between family and ministry. " Alex and Brett Harris co-authors of "Do Hard Things"

I love that statement: Family is not an obstacle to ministry. "Family is not an obstacle to ministry." again..."Family is not an obstacle to ministry." and again and again and again.
That was my heart on Thursday night when John told me he could not get off of work on Friday. You see, I had a plan. John was going to be off and take care of Miss Maggie, our toothless six year old. He HAD TO BE OFF! I was going for a radio interview about my book "House Me from the Wind." BE OFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!
But the only way for him to be off was to call in sick...and somehow, that seems wrong when you are promoting a ministry that God has called you to.
John left as planned of Friday morning and I still had no idea what to do.
"God doesn't give unfunded mandates. Family is not an obstacle to ministry." UGH...

"Lord, ugh...Um, Lord, I am just not feeling it. I had a plan for this week and nothing is going the way i needed it to. I am annoyed and frustrated...but I don't want to be. I know how my crazy mind works. If I stay mad and dig in on this annoyance, that is how I will remember this day for ever. I don't want to ruin, what should be exciting, with my annoyance over my plans. I also don't want Maggie to get the message that she is in the way. Yes, the truth is my radio interview is actually in the way of Maggie's day. My plans for ministry is an interruption for her. Okay, that means Miss Maggie gets to go with Mommy to a radio station! How exciting for her! She can be a part of this! She IS a part of this! Yay God...still not feeling it. 'The joy of the Lord is my strength.' Yes it is, Lord! YOU put that on my heart!"
"And Nehemiah continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!” Nehemiah 8:10

By the time my friend Lisa arrived for an early cup coffee on Friday morning, I didn't even mention that Maggie was coming with me to the Sound Of Life station for the interview. She heard about it from Maggie herself. Lisa, after having worked an overnight shift, asked Maggie to spend the day with her...I was dropped like a hot potato when given the choice by Maggie herself!
Maggie said, "A day with Miss Lisa would be way more fun Mom! Have a good time!"
And so it was all decided. Not a worry in the world (except the possible abduction of Maggie by Lisa, who always claims she is only my friend because she really wants to take Maggie home with her for good!) and I was off to share what God has done for me, how "House" came to be written, and what I know He wants to bless others with...
As I drove to Lake Katrine, where the station is, I felt that still small voice in my heart: "You have proven faithful."
Now it is not a "Luke I am your father." kind of voice, you know that right? But it was there non-the-less...and I grinned as I drove North. He is crazy about me and I can prove it. Glory to God and amen.

PS the interview airs on Thursday afternoon. I will post a link for the station as soon as I remember how! LOL!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Ode to my fridge...

How odd for me to blog on my fridge, but blog I must! I have been blessed beyond recall!
But it was not always thus. Just a few months ago, okay, days ago, I treated it with utter disdain. Our food has even committed foodaside just to get out of the box. Since the bars on the door are gone the food leaps to its death at our feet on a regular bases. Of course there is no need to insist food live on the door. "Someone" (actual name, we have no idea of who "someone" is of course) "Someone" in this house thinks nothing of leaving a gallon of milk precariously hanging between life and death as the door is swung open by the next hapless purveyor. More then once I have threatened "someone" with a hurting behind but have yet to catch that someone.
The thermostat does not work right so the top shelf freezes my sour cream and the bottom bin has been known to carry nothing except the paint brush I never got around to washing. In between is packed with Ketchup and mustard and my crock-pot for the next nights dinner...of course I can't put anything on the shelves in the door because I am into foodaside prevention at all costs.
As you can see, the fridge has given me ample reason to hate it. It's too small, it is in pieces, it does not work right!

But on Tuesday night, proving that God can use anything in our lives to bless us, He used that little fridge in a big way.
To quote my dad, "Things are tight all over." and this week was tight in a way we have never known before. John and I have become committed to living debt free and so we have spent the last six months working towards that goal. At the same time as we went cold turkey on incurring any debt, we began a full biblical tithe of all God has proved us with. Our God makes it very clear that He will open the store houses of Heaven IF we obey Him...still a scary thing to do when you write out that first check for a full tithe though. But God's word also tells us to test Him in this...the only time in all of scripture that we are told to test Him. So we did...
I could fill the entire megabyte space of this blog telling how He blessed us from that first tithe. Gifts that arrived for no good reason, checks from odd places, even debts forgiven...
But like I said, things were tight last week after an unexpected bill had come in. We had to dip into the grocery envelop to make the ends meet. The grocery envelope had only $40.00 left for a family of seven....for a week.

We made due with what we had. There was no bail out. Perceived needs became wants last week and we ate like kings...poor kings of a destitute nation, but kings non-the-less. No one went hungry even once. There were coupon deals (Thank you to Jennifer for the Lemonade Connection. Check it out here: http//www.thelemonadeconnection.com/) and there was a rebate in the car from Walgreen's, but the prize was in that fridge.

On Tuesday night while the dough spun in the bread machine and after we had eaten our gourmet pizza, I began to cry. I had nothing to put on that bread the next day for lunch. I could make French Toast for breakfast, but what would I pack for John and the kids for lunch? We had truly eaten our selves out of house and home. What in the world was I going to do...It was time to rob Peter because Paul was going to need to eat.

My head was in the fridge, knowing it held no magic answers but my head was in there anyway like a reverse order of Sylvia Plath. In a combination of a PMS moment and a bit of despair something caught my eye...in the corner of the top frozen shelf was a package I didn't remember from my previous attempts of sticking my head in there. Just enough...just enough of a package of Land O' Lakes cheese to make four lunches the next day. I immediately began to praise my God for providing my family with lunch! He didn't make me wait until the morning to bless me. He let me have a good nights sleep, knowing the meals would be made until payday after all.

We often joke around here that all things are possible on pay day...but our God has shown us that all things are possible for those who love the Lord and are called according to His good purpose.
Yes, indeed, I spent my morning scrubbing that terrific fridge (it is easier to do when it's empty!) and making my grocery list for the day of shopping that lay ahead.
But before all of that ~ I sent my tithe and frankly I can't wait to see what He is going to do next in the lives of these kids of His.
So today, I thank my God for a wonderful,little, fridge that was full of manna in the form of cheese.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Being in the know...

I like to be in the know. I think we all do. Anyone who has ever been on the outside of the "in" crowd at some point likes to know that they have the scoop. I, like everyone reading this (okay, maybe not everyone!) has taken at least a passing glance at what nonsense Kate Gosslin, Jessie James, and Tiger Woods has been up to of late. If we didn't care at all, the names would not sell and their 15 minutes of fame would have ended 72 hours ago.
I was complaining upon coming home yesterday that no one spoke to me while I got my nails done. I had gotten a gift certificate for some prettying up. I could not wait for a little pamper. But I also want the whole girly package! I want to drink coffee and chat about how Kate is dancing or what a fool Tiger is...my husbands response was to say,"Yeah. I know how much you like to talk." Cue the crickets. I am not so sure he meant it as snarky as it came out, but I will tell you a silence fell upon the house in punishment for the remark! I quickly (I mean after an hour) decided being right on this one was not worth having to be quiet, so I let it go...I know, that was big of me! I also know he was right on the money, but I didn't tell him that one, he can read it here like the rest of you!
My pain of silence aside. It has struck me that sometimes the Lord gives us a knowledge that something is true with out anyone else being a part of it. There are times in this life when I have known something in my spirit but had nothing to go on. I have come to learn in my ripening age, that I don't need all of the facts to do what God is calling me to.
For example, lets say, I know that someone is in pain at church. I've seen them at the alter, broken or just something in their face while they sit in the pew screams pain. Unless I have an overwhelming leading to go them, the only job I have is to pray. I don't actually need all of the facts of their lives to intercede for them. I don't need to play Colombo to do something very active. I can pray and be an intercessor for them with out ever haven spoken with them.
There are times the Holy Spirit prompts us in the knowledge that something is wrong. As a young girl, I lived in agony in grade school. Those last three years (what would have been middle school and JHS) were the most painful in my life. I think I cried more in those years then could have ever been thought humanly possible. It was as if there was a constant state of grief in my heart. A dear friend from back in those years describes that time in our lives as having to always be ready to defend himself.
What we had no way of knowing was that there was a nightmare being perpetrated on the post-adolescent boys in that school. We know now that we were in a hellish nightmare even though no one told us what was going on so long ago.
When I first found out the who's and what's of our school I wept. But then I wanted to know everything. It was then that I realized, I didn't need to. I knew enough to pray for those boys who are men today. I have not seen most of them in decades, nor do I have any reason to. But I know enough to pray for those who were hurt and for those who were hurt by default. I know enough.
This is a heavier post then I planned on, but I am just so convicted of our need to pray when called to. The enemy of our souls would love us to exit the grace and good fruit of being a prayer warrior for the temporal pleasure of "being in the know". We don't really need to know if Kate is a good mother or who Jessie fooled around with. But when we are faced with pain in peoples lives, we are called to pray with the knowledge that God has allowed us to have.
On that note, I have to get ready to go to the supermarket where I am sure the tabloids at the check out will try to sell me more information then I need. I am going to stick to my list! Have a blessed day all!


"For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God..." ~ Colossians 1:9-10

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Bifoculs and blemishes...

It only took a few hours for me to get use to looking up to see in the distance vs looking down to read with my new glasses. Who says you can't teach an old dog, new tricks! But I have to admit that the pms blemish on my chin kind of threw me this morning. So now I know just how middle my age is. Somewhere between old and new. I kind of like it, not the zits or the glasses, but I like this season of life, non-the-less.

April, they say, is the cruelest month or at least a poet did. Maybe it was Tennyson, but I can't remember. I don't quite understand why it would be considered so cruel, except for the tease of weather, and of course the taxes we get to pay today. But I do have a theory on the cruelness of spring: wardrobe.

It happens to all of us. Do we lay out our spring and summer stuff with the first sign of a sunny day or wear a turtle neck with our carpi's for just a little while? We all know that we are going to face days that are freezing, but there is something about one warm day that makes us all take to short sleeve shirts like ducks to water.

This year I find myself in a bit of a fashion crisis: some of my clothes shrunk during in the winter in the closet. I am not sure how it happened. I think maybe having the heat on during the winter must have steamed my clothes into a smaller size. I have no idea where the vapor for the steam came from, but it is the only thing that makes sense. I know there is no one out there that is going to disagree with me on that, even as I spend the next several weeks counting points...after all, if my clothes are going to shrink, I suppose I must also.

But now, of course I have the added problem of wearing glasses. Will they match my outfits, all of them, or not? What does a girl do with that? I suppose there will be days when I clash...thank Heaven I didn't get the pink frames after all!

Perhaps the poet is correct and April is a bit of a pain. I don't know that I can go to cruel although my little black dress shrinking and all is not very nice. I am off to start a busy day, find my glasses and put ice on my chin.

Smart kid...

When Jack was very little, you would not have heard me brag on him. Don't get me wrong, he was cute, extremly cute. He was the kind of kid you wanted to have curl up on your lap and when he came and loved on you, your heart would just melt. Of course, getting him to stop long enough to do such things was impossible. There is a theory that the charactor "Jack-Jack" in the movie "The Incredibles" is actually based on our Jack...especially the part where he turns into a little devil.

We did early intervention...the therapist could not get him to sit long enough to work with her. His speech was so delayed, that at almost four, he had only a very few words. His dad, John, and I went from, "There is nothing wrong with him." to "What in the world is wrong with him?" to "Are we just lousy at this? After having three girls, do we just not know how to raise a boy?" to "Could Dobson be wrong about everything?"

But all of that changed in the summer before his 4th birthday. Another mommy told me about a diet change that she used for her daughter. The diet, she said changed her daughter's life and her own at the same time. While I was afraid that I was going out to buy snake oil, I purchased the information and with in 24 hours, Jack said his first full sentances. He no longer played, "Catch me if you can" and actually responded to the word, "No" for the first time. A child I could not reach, was suddenly one that I could interact with.

I knew, for sure, we were on the right track a few days later, when John and Jack were sitting on the floor together playing army men, and John looked at me and said, "Thank you for giving me my son back." Melts a mommy heart even now.

Where I use to think it would be Ritolin for Jack and Xanex for me, we instead had "The diet". His sisters saw huge changes too, but that is another story for another time. The diet is called The Feingold Program and you can check it out here for yourself> http://www.feingold.org/

That was almost six years ago and we have never looked back...well, yes we have. But the occasional off diet treat is never worth the symptoms we have to tolerate until the kids are back to our version of normal.

The diet allowed us to actually parent these wonderful kids. It also allowed us to also see where, if at all, any of the kids had learning glitches and all of them had one area or another that was stronger or weaker.
But Jack had the biggest glitch of all. He is dyslexic. That is something that we probably never would have figured out had it not been for the diet.

I had the privilege of teaching Jack to read while we homeschooled. When the Lord very clearly closed the door on homeschooing in this season, all five kids went back to school. He is now in a class with other kids who learn reading like he does...
Well yesterday was his end of the year review. He is way behind in reading and writing in comparison to his classmates. But he is ahead in terms of knowledge. It's all in there and he is a great visual and auditory learner. He just needs to be able to get it on and off of the paper!

Now as a mom, there is a huge sigh of relief. Yay! My kid is smart! But there is another sigh from a mom who is trying to make a living as a writer...sigh. I love to read, almost anything and everything. So does his dad. To have our child struggle with the tool needed to learn everything is awful hard on the heart strings.

And then I remembered a verse by Paul:
" For I consider myself not in the least inferior to the most eminent apostles. But even if I am unskilled in speech, yet I am not so in knowledge; in fact, in every way we have made this evident to you in all things. " (2 Cor 11:5-6)

Paul knew he was in no way inferior in any way. He knew his strengths and while he may have been unskilled in one area...he had knowledge that he was able to share...so much so, that we are still taking part in what God revealed to him today.
It is no less so with Jack. As he attempts to read The Word each night, he gains the knowledge, even as he struggles with the words on the page. You see we are told in The Word to hide it in our hearts...not to pass an ELA exam to do it.

I may wish I could send Jack off with a good book to read. But instead, I get to curl up with a non-Jack-Jack and read The Greatest Story ever told. Not a bad place to be on a Wednesday morning!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

To the moon!

When I passed my LPN boards in nursing school (my class took them as a practice for the RN boards that we would sit for about 8 months later) my mom wrote me a note that said I was flying so high, she was afraid one more success for me might just send me to the moon. I remember telling her I would risk it!
That is what I feel right now. I never chose nursing, God told me to go and I did. I was walking in His will for my life and it was such a kick. Now you know I didn't hear a voice and there was no burning bush right? It was a knowing in my soul that God had called me to a task that He had prepared for me.
Right now, in this season, as a wife, mom, still a nurse, writer and speaker, I can say the same. There is no bigger thrill then to know, that you know, that you know, that you are walking in the will of our Abba. As we begin to see "House" be used in ways we didn't plan, but that He did, is again, the biggest kick I could have.
Now on to the practical of life. There are meals to make, meetings for IEP's to attend, and there is a coupon I must hunt down for Kellogg's, so I am off and running after a day that is determined not to be caught! And no, the laundry did not get done!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Vanity vs. Coveting...

So, if I had a choice of sin between vanity and coveting, I have decided to pick vanity. Of course, sin is sin so this goes nowhere but if I had to choose, of course vanity would be the one.
All of this comes from my toe nails. Toe nails? Yes, dear, toe nails.
You see I have very ugly ones. Now when I was young and cute, having ugly toe nails is no big deal. I had so much more going on that no one would notice...but now I have a wee bit less going on, bi-foculs on the way and some darn ugly toes!
I would find myself in an elevator with some adorable little thing and of course the only polite thing to do in an elevator is to look down: smack at her pretty, painted toes. Her shoes didn't matter, it was all about those pretty toes. Sigh. I would curl up my toes in my tennis shoes. I would try to find solice in being a devoted mother to five beautiful children. Then I would convince myself that I must be somewhat better then she, after all, I am a RN! I am married to a great guy! And I have the best hair! I would all but leave the elevator after two floors with a "HMPH"!
None of this was helped by the fact that my dear friend Amy sends out a "time-to-get-that-summer-time-pedicure-in" email every year, or at least use to... It was just a painful reminder that people are indeed looking at my ugly toes! Even my own daughter, Liz, bought me a box of glue on toe nails for my birthday. Nothing says "I love you mom, but you got some ugly toes", like a box of Lee Press ons!
But alas, my God knew my pain. He did. One hot summer night last July my fabulous friend, Miss Tracy, was at my home. I was busy coveting her perfect french manicured toes when I told her how much I loved them. I will never forget the words of wisdom that came forth from her mouth as long as I live.
"Girl, they are all FAKE! You've just got to glue them on real careful because sometimes when you go to hug somebody, one will fly off. You just pretend you didn't notice and go glue on a new one in the ladies room. You can even get them done, but the ones at Walgreen's are just as good."

Well that crazy birthday gift from my very bestest daughter, Liz, was cracked open the minute Miss Tracy and her girls left! I filed a little, I glued a lot and went on to paint all ten bad boys, fire engine RED! I swear I stood taller then I have since I lost that 3/4 inch in height over the last several child-bearing-years! I am all but convinced that no one will notice the 20 pounds I have gained because they are so busy looking at my ten fabulous toes!

So where does all of this vanity leave me? Well, you know the darn thing is that come winter, those perfect toe nails don't stay on so well in socks and boots. I found myself constantly having to stop to pull a nail out from under my toe, stuck in my boots, during a snow storm. So I went all natural for the winter where only my own family could see the real me toes. Of course for our Christmas party I sent Liz to Walgreen's to pick up a set for me to wear with my open toe'd shoes, but once the guests left, I pealed them off and went back to my bear toes...

Isn't that just so much truth. How often do I peal myself off and let all of my ugliness show to my children and to my husband. How often as Beth Moore put it, do I let my insecurity about something stupid steal my dignity? How many outfits have I tried on when I am feeling fat and PMS and made us late for a party or even worse, church, while my family waited for the queen to emerge from her quarters? How many times, have I behaved more like the gestapo then a mom, getting the kids to clean the house before someone, who makes me feel uncomfortable comes over? How much is my own vanity really just coveting in disguise?

How precious our God is to know us girls so well. When the Proverbs 31 lady showed up in scripture it wasn't just to make us see how poorly we are doing! It was to remind us that beauty really does fade, that charm really is deceitful and that a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

I can take great fun poking at myself as I enter the middle age years. Believe me, I have plenty of ammunition here! But I have every intention of living to a great old age. I will spend more time as an old woman then I did as a young woman. Let's say that I am exactly middle aged right now. That means that I would get to Glory at around the age of 84...no one will be carrying on about how pretty I am at that point! No one will be admiring my smooth skin or silky red hair (dyed hair at 84 would look silly, I want the white stuff then) and no one will be carrying on about my fantastic figure...not at 84! There is a chance that there won't be anyone around to remember what a hottie I was 24 anyway. No, I will only be considered and called beautiful if I allow Christ to remake me into His image. Only if the beauty of Christ shines through me, will anyone be attracted to me. Sounds like that is what needs to be worked on, not what WILL waste/waist away.

But I do plan to have pretty toes right up to the end!



"She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come." Proverbs 31:25

Monday, April 5, 2010

The look of love...

John and I were chatting in the kitchen a little while ago about nothing in particular. He leaned in as I spoke. He leaned in. After all these years, he still leans in to hear me. He had that "I am crazy about you." look to him.

Now that is not to brag on the fact that I have a great guy to call my husband. I do have a great guy to call my husband, but that is not the point. Only a week ago today, I was sure he was dumber then dirt and a complete jerk for that matter. He had hurt my feelings quite deeply and it took me a full day to come to terms with it. About what? It doesn't matter anymore although a week ago, it sure as heck did!
I had to spend a day asking God to forgive this stubborn heart in my chest. I had to let settle on me the fact that the enemy of our souls wants nothing more then to see us fail. I had to keep turning in the hurt of it to the FACT that I knew we are in the cusp of major changes in our lives and that now is not the time to get caught up in the pettiness of unforgiving.

I happen to believe that we woman can build a case against our husbands that a jury of OUR peers would convict them on. You can almost hear a group of woman nodding and shouting "A-huh. Tell it sister!" as we bring the jury to it's feet with a closing argument that would make Perry Mason ask how we did it. Of course, old Perry would not get it. He would be too busy agreeing with the men about how to convict us. Truth be told, a jury John's peers would convict me in a heartbeat!

Of course there are times we talk things out with friends, but imagine if we talked things out with our Heavenly Father first.

When we see the marriages of strong believers going to pot at the same rate as the worlds, why exactly should we consider ourselves different? We can get pretty dug in on being right. But where does mercy fit into it?

John and I should have never made it this far. As a matter of fact, if I had a bookie when we got married, I would have taken the odds on our not making it.

But by God's mercy and grace He worked this couple into the mystery of being one. I guess my take is that by the time John and I get to Glory we will have forgiven each other more times then we have forgiven anyone else in the world.

Love isn't just about the "look" it's also about the turning of a cheek. Take no offense from the one who can offend us the most. How grateful I am to be married to a man who forgives me as much or more as I forgive him. Glory.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Imagine my surprise...

Middle age...nope not me! Not for a few more days anyway, so there! There are no signs of my being older....well none except for the gravity that has some how taken control of my body parts, the wrinkles (we'll call them laugh lines, I do laugh a lot) the grey hair (yes, I am a natural read head and can prove it, just not in polite company) and now the eyes.
Well the eyes may not be a problem. I am still going on the fact that there is a world wide conspiracy of shrinking print everywhere. I am sure that someone came in and made the print smaller on the bottom of the lipstick I wanted to buy. Doesn't matter much, "Mixed merry" is just as nice as "Moxy mauve" anyway!
Well, Alice here, decided that if the print was going to be shrunk on me suddenly as it is, I would get glasses to combat the problem. We have great eye insurance so this was no problem at all. Yeah.
When the doc was done telling me I needed glasses for distance (I can read the road signs just not those darn, again, tiny street signs) he tested my eyes for reading. I waited patiently for him to switch the letters from Mandarin to English...um, no that would be the prescription level I needed for reading glasses.
The fact that they are now called Progressives does not change the fact that I am getting bifocals. Excuse Me?
I need to go. My Glenn Miller record is skipping and I need to warm up my prune juice before bed. Sigh, where did I leave my glasses?