Thursday, June 30, 2011

Picking on my man...

"Hon, the battery is dead in the car again." She says.
"Seriously? How did that happen?" He asks, completely annoyed and ready to deal with a child.
"Um, you left the lights on when we got home from the movie last night." She explains.
"Oh." He says, not having anyone to blame.
"I attached the portable battery thing you have but it won't turn over." She informs.
"What portable battery? I don't have one of those." He informs back.
"Yeah, you do. It has the cables. You hook it up to charge the battery?" She exasperates.
"I don't know what you are talking about." He exasperates back.
"Hon, you use it every time we have a dead battery. You plug it in, and attach the cables to the car...positive and negatives..." She explains with attitude.
"Oh, you mean the battery charger?" He inquires.
"Yeah, hon. The battery charger." She sighs.
"Oh, good." He approvingly says.
"It's not working." She informs.
"Oh, well it is going to take a few  hours." He informs back....

Okay, why do men not know what we are talking about when we very clearly explain what it is what we are talking about. Seriously, how many battery charging, portable, thingy-ma-bobs to we need in order to get a grasp on this one? I know, I didn't use the correct term. I understand that there could be other battery charging type of equipment in the house, however....

It's like hanging a picture on the wall.

HE:
First he goes to the garge and gets the ladder. Places it by the wall for picture hanging. He returns to th e the workbench in the garage, procures the proper nail for the said job. He finds the tool box, opens said tool box, grabs hammer and returns to wall that needs the nail. Ooops, forgot the measuring do-hicky that has a proper name. After measuring the proper amount of space between floor and ceiling and wall to wall, he marks the spot for the nail. He returns to the basement for the stud finder (I found one and married him! Bwa-ha-ha-ha!) to assure proper placement of that nail. When a stud cannot be found to nail into, he returns to the work bench for one of those bracket thingy-ma-bobs that goes inside the dry wall to keep the dry wall from tearing and the nail from falling out. Picture is placed. Tools are not put away for several months.

SHE:
Procures a vanity nail from the junk draw. Grabs a chair. Removes high heal, hammers nail into wall. Hangs picture. Done.

I don't always know the right tool name and I often have to look things up before I try them....but what is the worst that can happen? Yeah, I know it can go pretty bad, but things usually work out for the best, for the most part anyway. And tooth paste can be used as spackle in a pinch. Heck, I just used this duster thingy with a bendable medal section to clean the gutters out. It worked, no harm no fail.

Some times, our Heavenly Father requires our exacting attention. Sometimes, He just wants us to come. Being a believer is not that complicated. Access to the Word is about all that we need and even that does not have to come in the form of a book. How many believers over the centuries only had the word handed to them by word of mouth. One generation to the next. Faith comes from hearing.

I may be the half of the couple above with the high heal, but I adore the exacting detail put into his projects...and faith. We are very good balance. If we did the ying and yang thing, I would so rock his ying!

Monday, June 27, 2011

MONDAY!!!!!!!!

Maybe I will get this done later? I've gotten six drafts started and nothing that has grabbed me. I will check in later...but Monday may wind up as a Tuesday post! Mwa to all!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Hmmmm.....

What can I say about the first day of summer vacation? Probably much. I have too many words to use on my family every day and that is why God created blogs.

I just spoke with another friend who's going through the heart ache of facing the end with a parent. It is so awful. I've often cried when I hear from friends going through it. Not because of any other reason except that I know the pain my friends are in.

It just brings a heart to tenderness when you see that someone is walking on the road you've already been on. My brother and I were so young when we lost mom. Mark was only 28 and I was only 25. Yes, we were grown ups and I would never minimize someone who is orphaned as a child. That is a horror I don't know. Thanking God right now for that.

But what I've discovered in my "old age" is that we are never old enough to be with out our parents. There is a kinship with others who are traveling the same road. Sigh. I am just tender on this subject I guess.

How much more I need my Heavenly Father now that my natural parents are gone. How important it is to cultivate that relationship. Think about it: if we have regrets when we bury our mom or dad once tehy are gon, there is nothing we can do to change the past...I have never met anyone who does not have some regret over the relationship they have/had with thier parents, even if they are not sensible regrets, the enemy will do everything he can to impose guilt into our season of grief. Always remember, he hates you and wants to steal, kill and destroy you

But our Heavenly Father's mercies are new each morning! That means that it is never to late to start again with Him. There is never a moment, as long as we draw breath, when we can't turn to our Abba. And when we do that, while the enemy may try to remind us of our past, we have the advantage of reminding that enemy of his future. God's Word tells us that there is now, no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. There is nothing the enemy of our soul can do to separate us from Him. Read that very important word once again: NOTHING.

I won't pretend to have all the answers and if you read this blog, you already know that. But I know the One who does. We have access to the heart of our Father. And like a very good Daddy, He adores you. He is waiting to comfort you, smooth your hair and just love you. Start your summer off on that good and perfect will. Let me tell you, it may be the only thing I have ever done right and I have banked my eternity on it. I think I will rest on that thought today, as I pray for my friends in this season.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Barth and Bonhoeffer....

About three years ago, I got a book for some light summer reading called "The History of the Jewish People." Ahem. What made me think that I would get through that in the summer with the entire clan around? It went something like this:

Get self settled in lounge chair, open book, Start to read the first sentence, "In the beginning..."
Child number four, "Mom?"
Hold finger in place on page.
Me, "Yes?"
Child number four, "What's for dinner."
Me, "Food."
Child number four, "Okay."

I would take a sip of coffee, re-open book. Where did I leave off? Oh, yes. Right here:
"...when..."

Child number three, "Mom?"
Hold finger in place on page.
Me, "Yes?"
Child number three, "Watcha' doin'?"
Me, "Pretending to read. Why?"
Child number three, "Just wonderin'. So, okay. Have fun with that.By the way, what's for dinner?
Me, "Ask child number four."

Open book. "the Jewish people..."

Child number one, "Mom?"
Close book, lose place.
"Yes?"
"Can I have a ride to the mall? And what's for dinner?"

Put book away. Try again when no one is around...maybe in September 2028. From what I gleaned from that tome, the Jewish people have been around for a very long time.

So what made me think reading a biography about a "simple" guy like Bonhoeffer would go smoothly. Bonhoeffer studied the works of Karl Barth and wrote his doctrinal dissertation at the age of 21...Seriously, have you ever tried to study Barthian theology with a Maggie running around, much less a Mona or a Maghoo? Not an easy task to say the least. Given the fact that I have lost my reading glasses about ten months ago, reading is way harder now days. It takes a minute for my eyes to adjust back to the page and even longer for me to find the correct arm length to attempt reading at. I suppose I could go get new glasses but that is on my list of things to do this summer, and it is only the first day of summer here. I got me some time on that one.

Why the Barthian theological interest? I think it satisfies the Pharisee in me. I like knowing stuff. I also think it is perfect for the times we live in. Of course you will have to google Karl Barth to figure some of this out yourself. I am just starting to get a grasp on some of this my own self.

But from what I have grasped thus far, this study has shown me how nothing I am with out Him. His hand on me, takes me from nothing to the status of Princess. And not one who gets to sit around on my laurels. His royal protocol is not full of man made honor. He expects each praise to mean something. I cannot force His holy Hand to act. I can only trust His will. Oh, I get to tell Him anything I want...and I think that pleases my King. But I cannot get Him to behave in the way I would like.

Somewhere between the last sentence I have read in the Bonhoeffer biography and His holy word, I am finding my heart to serve a Holy God who has a plan and the amazing thing is that His heart is to actually share it with the likes of me.

Happy Wednesday all!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Seriously?

"You hair is different!"
"Did you cut your hair?"
"Did you do something different to your hair?"

Yeah, I gave it a neck instead of a chin and shoulders and a una-chest.  If I had known that no one would notice that I have dropped over 25 pounds, I would have had the baconator, a hot fudge sunday and gotten a perm.

Of course that is not why I decided to get this extra weight off. I did it because I knew my clothes had shrunk in the closet and I wanted to catch up with them. It is working too, because they stretched a great deal and I now find myself wearing them again.

It is the last Monday before the very end of school. Hurray, we did it again! I love this time of year, before the summer doldrums set in and I can look to a day with all my chicks in the nest. Now, to get them to work around the castle!

So where is House Me From the Wind in the grand scheme of things? Nice of you to ask. Not sure. Let's ask another hard question: What is House? Ahhhh. Not so sure about that either. I have discovered that is the question God has on my heart. I love that when Jesus was asked a question by the Pharisees, He answered with a question back. So when I sought Him about what this ministry is, what direction it is, He simply posed it back to me.

Is this my "what's it all about Alfie" moment? No, not really. I am just not so sure you go ahead in a ministry that is either undefined or ill defined. Is this a "me" ministry or this a "He" ministry? Who is it for? Why? Do they want it?

Both the book and the blog started as a call to serve the care giver generation. I am confident of that. The blog and the ministry warped into what we have now....and while I love my blog, what is the definition of the blog? Why is it important? Is it? Is it "kissed by God" or is mearly me trying to get Him to move?

Not looking for affirmation here. As a matter of fact, comment moderation is off. These are the things I am before God on right now. I do know that He has called me to and placed me on "The Highway of Holiness" as  Isaiah writes about. Of that I have no doubt. No one can steal my steps, or redirect my path. I am firmly on that Highway.

So for now I take steps on this Highway to Holiness and attempt to live out John 3:30: "He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less"

Friday, June 17, 2011

Dear Ed....

If I were to write a letter to Dad, it might just say this....


Dear Ed,
I know, I should always call you Daddy. Or Poppy. But so often in the strange relationship we had, you were just simply Ed. God help my kids if they ever start to call me "Mair" 'cause I am not going to play. I guess calling you Ed was on the mild side of things I may or may not have called you over the years. Lets fact it, you had been called so much worse.

My favorite and only big brother, Mark and I have talked about how hard it is to go down town now, with out the possibility of running into you. How strange that must sound. In a city as big as Manhattan, it seemed that whenever we went, we always ran into you. In Time Square or Grand Central, there you would be, in what was simply your town. Because of you, we were never tourists in the city that never sleeps. We never owned a single thing that said, "I heart NY" in our lives. For the record, I still don't!

Our kids think we (Mark and I) are strange for not wearing T-shirts that say things...."Why be free advertising for a company, on top of paying for the shirt!" as you would say. Yup, still don't own a single thing that says GAP...although your grands have abandoned the faith on that one!

Speaking of faith, I heard you. Did you know? In the years that Mom was sick, I use to hear you in the living room, on your couch, mumbling your prayers. I heard you ask "Our Lord" to bless her and me and Mark. I heard you share your simple faith with a not so simple God.

You were a tough man to love in many ways...and I adored you. I know you believed that Mommy was the good one and you were the bad one. But I preferred you, maybe because of the way our family worked. I know we fought like crazy with each other. I should have honored you better when I was young....but I tried real hard to make up for it when I became a mom.

John is so very different from you...My dad the thief and my husband the cop. Funny right? He adored you too. I love that he made you not tell stories unless the statute of limitations had run out on what ever you had done, first. The one thing you and John had in common is the love you give. I never doubted that I was the apple of your eye...and I have that same security in John as well. Not a bad trait to find in the man I love. Thanks for showing me that.

As for your where abouts these days? It is just like you to leave us wondering where you are nights. I know where I want to see you some day. I know I want with all my heart to arrive in Paradise and to see you. And you know, if I see you first, I am going to have to double check just where I landed. Don't be offended, just being practical here.

I miss bantering with you. I miss knowing I should run after I made a comment that was below the belt with you. How we use to laugh together. The kids miss you like crazy. Maggie does not remember you, but she is still Poppy shopping. She always finds the oldest gentleman at the scene and has them wrapped around her finger in a matter of moments. Being only seven it is still awful cute....but there will come a point when, well, not so much! I am on it.

For Father's Day, I wanted to bless your memory. I still miss you and I so miss your credit card....I had such a good relationship with that card. Okay, Dave Ramsey would not agree, but...never mind. I miss you more. That was just the kind of dig that would have gotten me running! Your showed me mercy when I deserved none and grace when I deserved it less. You are the reason I trust this Heavenly Father so deeply and why I have never doubted His love for me. Thanks Daddy. Hope I see you soon. I desperately hope, I get to see you soon. And above all, I trust in our God of mercy and grace and justice.

Love,

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I am well aware....

...that it is now 8:47 pm and I said I would post on Wednesday...and technically it is still Wednesday. Did you know that "Wednesday" is one of those words I always have to spell check. For the life of me, I can never remember how to spell it. Silly but true.

When the alarm went off this morning at O'Dark-O'Clock, I rolled over and went back to sleep. I am desperate for the school year to be over. By the time I got up, the coffee pot had already turned itself off and I was left with warmish java to try and jump start myself into mommy mode. I hate waking up late and having to be ON. I want to drip awake like my coffee maker until I am ready to serve my family some hot mama!               

And of course, around noon I thought to myself, "Self, go write your blog..." But Self was trying to tame a holly push away from the new front steps so I could stain the wood and of course the husband arrived home soon after. It was our last chance to have a date, alone in the day time for the summer.
One child or another will be home from this point on and I have no doubt our carpenter will be back tomorrow, for sure. So this was it. I love when we can just sit by the pool and be John & Maryellen  for a few hours, in our own yard, dreaming about our lives and enjoying where God has brought us this far. Just being lazy in a hammock that falls apart way to easy and makes you spill your ice tea...and brings tears to your eyes with laughter.

And soon enough children arrived....and needed to be fed...or picked up...or dropped off...or fed....or...or....or....or....just listened to...or just loved on...or...or...or...

Now it is almost 9:00pm and there are only three more loads of laundry to do, a few bills to pay, and dishes to dry. Lord where did the day go?

I got to actually sit on those pretty new front steps this morning for just enough time to read Isaiah 40. I could not wait to share it with you...and than the rest of the day showed up. Verse 11 tugged at my heart more intently today and makes it all fall into place: "He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young."

"He gently leads those that have young." Come on, does that not just about make a mommy weep. The idea that He gathers these little lambs He has lent to me, alone makes me want to praise Him all the more...Glory.

 He knew the day that waited for me, even as I turned off that alarm clock. How much more tender His Word is to an over worked mama...way more so than my coffee.

Monday, June 13, 2011

I know, I know...

In theory, I know that I can't paint or stain in the rain. But I want to. The balcony is being done...well it is being done when it is not raining. But since parts of it are being painted and other parts are being stained, I want to get the work done before the carpenter comes back...but you have to let the wood dry out for "about three days" from what I am told. Sigh.
That of course means that whenever the carpenter comes back, he will go about sawing and nailing together the balcony, unpainted or stained. The who thing will look lovely, except of course now I will have to carefully paint and tape and stain. Grrrrrrrrr. It would have all been so much easier if I could have done my part first.

Kind of like real life huh? How? Seriously? Okay, come on.

"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” (Matt. 7:24-27)

Notice Jesus didn't say that there would always be sunny weather. He very clearly tells us that the storms come, the wind will blow and the waters will rise. In the house built on the firm Rock or sand. But only the one built on the Rock stands...the other is washed away.

Now here is the question for the ages: Can you come back? Lets say you built your McLife on sand, and you turn to the only real Builder and beg for mercy in rebuilding...will He tell you that you are on your own to clean up?  Have you met my Builder? Seriously? Is He a just God? Of course! But He is equally full of mercy towards His kids.
So if you have built an area of your life on sand, even while your faith is in that Rock, don't ya' think He will Daddy you through it? If you were defiant in one area and are reaping the pain of it, are you assuming you are on your own to rebuild? Seriously? Maybe if you tell Him what you have done, maybe if you confess, maybe if you admit that you can't fix the McDisastor that has been washed out to sea...maybe you will get to see the hand of the Master Builder at work.

The deck will get painted and stained...but now with all this extra work. If I had prepared a little bit more in advance, the whole thing would be done when the carpenter is done, whenever that may be. It may require work that could have been avoided, but I know in the end there will be a masterful job completed.



PS and the balcony will not be orange with purple poka-dots!

Friday, June 10, 2011

TGIF!

Ack! It's Friday...and I said I would have a post...and I forgot to write one until this morning...on Friday...okay, let us see what we can come up with....

The end of the school year push is on, as teens have parties and banquets and parties. Little kids have field days and picnics and field trips as well. Husband has a kick butt class that only lasts for four weeks. I have a carpenter working on the balcony who can't work because of heat index here in NY this week. Don't blame him at all! I love what I see so far and he will finish when he finishes!

So life in Schlusserdome is lived at the usual break neck speed for sure. But what of my time with the Lord? Well, funny you should ask. This past Sunday our pastor had a point about making a habit. There was more to it than I can remember but the bottom line to it was, Sow a habit, reap a destiny. I suppose that is the point the Lord was trying to get across to me.

I got me some habits for sure. Some of them are no good and I still love them. I can finally come to the Lord and admit that. I think that is because of the depth He has brought me to in the last few years and certainly in the last few months. No point in pretending on anything, He already knows.

These past six months have been busier to my life than I have ever been. Not so much with the run but with the combination of loss and needing to figure somethings out before Him. But that busy season didn't leave a lot of time for just being still before Him. It was more a time of consolation before Him.

Something amazing happened this past week to push my heart towards the habit of prayer time. Not just on the run or intercessory time but real time with Him. "Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me." Psalm 51:12

HE DID! As I walked around and prayed that psalm, stuck in my head were the words "Restore to me the joy of my salvation...." and He did just that! He did! He did! He did!

I can't explain it better. I am not talking about being happy, I am talking about being free in Him. The King James translation of Psalm 51 explains the "willing spirit" as a "free spirit" and I think that is exactly where I am. Perfect? Not by a long shot! But JOY, the joy of my salvation has been restored. That may just be something to write home about...and I guess I just did. Be blessed all. Happy Friday!


PS My friend Trish just posted the quote our pastor used on Sunday correctly. Same point but the whole thing! Thanks Trish!
"Sow an act...reap a habit; Sow a habit...reap a character; Sow a character...reap a destiny." ---George Dana Boardman :-)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

"It looks yellow to me!"

I know this cop, actually, he is a retired cop...he is also my room mate. Anyway, once upon a time, he was a newbie on the police force in the city he worked for. At the end of a day tour, he came in to headquarters and was chatting with a not so newbie (in other words the other guy's class graduated a year before him. Kinda like a freshman to a sophomore, but we don't tell that to them) that he gave a ticket to someone for blowing past a school bus.
The not so newbie asked the newbie what color the bus was.
"Um, yellow. Duh." Said the pretty sure of himself newbie.
"Look it up. And if you sit in front of judge so and so, make sure you answer the question correctly or the ticket will get thrown out." Said the older and wiser not-so-newbie.

Sure enough the ticket went to trial and sure enough, Judge So-And-So was on the bench. Officer Newbie gave his testimony. At the end of his testimony, Judge So-And-So asked Officer Newbie,
"And officer, what color was that school bus?"
"International School Bus Chrome, Sir. But that bus sure looked yellow to me!"

Fortunately, Judge So-And-So laughed and the ticket held. Well fortunately for the newbie, not the driver of the car that blew past the international-school-bus-chrome, bus.

Point? Like I don't have one. Duh. Just because we call something by a different name, does not mean what it is has changed. You can stand on your head, convinced that the sky is green and go on to tell everyone you know that the sky is green...and the sad things is, some may just believe you.

"Well, she has good data."
"Who said it wasn't green anyway? I mean who made that decision?"
"How can we deny her right to call it what she wants. Go Green!"

If you tell the same lie over and over again, you may just convince not just yourself, but others as well. It has worked for thousands of years. It worked for Saul when he went after David. It worked for the Pharisees when they went after Jesus. It worked during the Crusades. It It worked for Hitler when he went after the Jews. And it works today as radical Islam hopes to "push the Jews into the sea."

As the dialog changes to "Israeli occupation" make sure you know your history. As Netanyahu so eloquently put it, Israel does not have a problem with a Palestinian State...The Palestinian State has a problem with the existence of an Israeli State. Faithful or not. Believer or not. As an American, how can we not support the only true democracy in the Middle East? "Isreal is not the problem, it is the solution."

We are promised that God will bless those who bless Israel. That He will protect us and prosper us. Pray for the peace of Jeruselum, even though we know that it will not happen this side of the rapture. Do it becuase He said so.




Monday, June 6, 2011

Some things never change...

Okay, it's been twenty plus years, that much I can admit. But seriously, what are the chances it could happen again. Do a dream/tv moment with me, like Gilligan on the island...things get fuzzy and suddenly we are not in Poughkeepsie, 2011 but transported back to the early 1990's in Yonkers...

There I was, all cute and little in my washable silk black pants and purple blouse...four inch heals of course too. On my way home from work. Took the turn by the lumber yard. Right on the curve: I get a flat tire. As I walk around the side of the car, remember no cell phone, I assess the situation and get to work changing the tire...I know for sure, I won't be at it for long. I am in front of a lumber yard for crying out loud. Surely some one will come to my aid...NOT EVEN THE COP who drove PAST me stopped to help. Honestly, what hope do we have out there when the cute, little size two girl can't get help changing her tire in front of a lumber yard?

Come back to the present: in Poughkeepsie, on a warm June day. As Providence would have it a sainted woman stopped to tell me I had a flat tire. No longer a cute, little thing, I called that man I nabbed so long ago when I was a cute little thing. Just wanted to let him know I was on it. By the way, where is the tire? Why is it under the car? Do I have any tools to change this thing? Sigh. Yeah, I was on it. Hey look! A tire inflater thingy! I knew it is called a compressor, give me a break. Anyway, I hooked that bad boy up, inflated the tire and was about to drive away...that was when I saw it, mocking me. Reminding me that some things may not change:
The H-E-L-P truck that "helps" motorists in distress was parked not a hundred feet from me. Seriously, did this middle aged, not so much a size two, cute little thing (but almost 20 pounds littler than she was a few weeks ago) not look like a distressed motorist? SERIOUSLY?

With a huff I quickly drove to the nearest gas station, not to be mistaken for a service station. Nope no one there could change my tire...but there is an auto body shop in the back. Maybe they could help? I walked around back as the air I had just put into my tire escaped and left me with my deflated tire once again.

I walked into the shop:
"Can I help you?" asked the man at the desk without looking up.
"I am playing damsel in distress. I have a flat tire. Was wondering if anyone could help me out?"
"Sure."

In just minutes Schwartz Auto Body had my tire repaired. When I asked how much I owed him, he told me nothing and to just be safe "out there." Yes, the Schwartz was with me for sure! Restored my hope in my fellow man on that warm June day: Chivalry is not dead dear ones, just in a coma!

I know it's a twist on the psalms, but truly, some hope in chariots, some hope in horses, some hope in the
H-E-L-P truck, but I will trust the Lord, 'cause He got me home with the help of the Schwartz!