Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Raise your children well...

I've often joked that while fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, a little fear of mom is pretty wise too!

So now, imposing the words, "Most deeply impressed of..." into fear, are my children at least a little most deeply impressed of their parents?

Maybe I have this all wrong and if I do, I suppose the Holy Spirit will clarify for me, but maybe Mom and Dad are not just here to train up their children...Maybe we are here for practice.

Not wanting to take God's Word out of context here but if our children are proven trustworthy in the little things (and John and I are so little in comparison of our God...so teeny, tiny and nothing) then they will be trusted with the big things. I suppose I am saying that as our children have practiced respecting, being deeply impressed of the rules of our home, maybe that translates into respecting, being most deeply impressed of the rules set forth in God's Word.

I was recently explaining to one of the kids that the precepts of God are an awful lot like a fenced in yard...it is a huge yard and with in the confines of that property, you are free. Beyond the fence though there are zombies...walking dead that are there to devour you until you are as dead and walking as the zombies themselves. You may slip in and out of that fence now and again, thinking there is something you really need out there but the truth is everything you need is in the boundaries that were set up for you. Of course the risk you take going beyond that border is walking dead....There is incredible freedom in side that fence...and only death beyond it. Unlike some cable shows that can scare the crayons out of you, the fenced yard is not a prison...it is just the dirt side of Paradise!

I am so using the cultural relevance of the times here folks...don't judge!

Parenting is hard work...parenting aliens (teenagers) is unreal, hard work. I have questioned our parenting here on more than one occasion and am in a season of big, huge, what-am-I-going-to-do, questioning at the moment...maybe that will give my children a better mom and give them a better shot at knowing the Truth. There is no more flawed a mama on the planet than I...for sure. Proof again that my children may not always know how desperately they need a savior...but I do know how much I need Him and because I do, I know they will survive me.

We just passed the eight year mark that my own dad is gone.  In addition to teaching me that things can fall off the back of a truck very easily, Ed taught me that there is nothing I could ever do, ever, that would make it so I was not welcome back home...That is the lesson I have carried on: There is always redemption, there is always forgiveness, there is always reconciliation on this side of the fence....always. Because of The Cross there is no "too far" from our hearts.  Given the number of times that I danced with zombies, how could I ever offer anything less...

Practice precious children on us. "Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you." Exodus 20:12 









Sunday, October 6, 2013

Pft...Church? I am busy!

Today was church...but there is so much to do here at the kingdom of Schlusser. This coming week will have four teenagers living under our roof...there had better be cake, or I am in big trouble with the soon to be youngest teen.
Not to mention that after months and months of fixing and cleaning our rental, I need to fix and clean our home. Time is escaping very quickly on me and I have to paint the girls room...we have it half way done and we are still pretending we love the color, don't you know. I have a rug to rip out. I have doors to paint that lovely, not at all lavender but heather gray. I have trim to do....

There are meals to plan and prepare for the week.  I am just trying to write my blog and that almost-youngest-teen is here to discuss the fact that he wants me to go onto Dealdash to buy him an Iphone...okay, he got my point when I stared at him while typing...so glad I got that typing regents after all. Where was I? Right...

You see my point don't you? I am terrible at time management, I have no time and I have a kazillion things to get done. I want my family room back, so the girls room has to be finished...NOW. Church? Seriously, I am just fine with Jesus right now. He will understand. He knows I am commitment phobic or He would have been on me for blowing off prayer meeting this week. He knows that studying the Word and being in prayer for my church while we are in a season of prayer and fasting is time consuming. He would want me to clean and fix...after all, home is sort of a church....I am practically a deaconess here for crying out loud!

"WHAT?" Said in a don't-judge-me-tone...

After telling John I thought I would stay home and him readily agreeing with me (same thing happened on Wednesday night for prayer meeting by the way) I grabbed my cell phone so I could text the oldest teen that we were not meeting her at service...she had planned on skipping out too, after she taught her Sunday school class...'Cause she is very busy too you know.

A text and a voice message from a deaconess at our church, reminding me that the organic grape juice for communion had been set up for us in the copy room...we had discussed the potential for reactions when my kids receive so she addressed it with the church board... I just needed to grab it and bring it back to our seats and place them in the nifty, little communion cup holders we have in each pew. Be blessed, she said, see you in a bit, she said.

CRAP, I said!

Scramble people, this is not a drill! MOVE IT! John to the shower, me with out eye make up...everyone will just assume I was crying...again. Don't worry about pretty people, just worry about getting there!

We made it in record time...three cars to the same place all because I can't count and my nice, new little car won't fit six people. We skidded in side ways to both our parking spots and pews, still pumped with endorphins that would keep us awake the entire sermon.

It was a great sermon...one we all needed to hear. It is a great community, one we need to support prayerfully and in action. I have a blog post to write about sloth...not the one from Ice Age, but genuine sloth. Today reminded me why. I am busy, but so is everyone...so is He. Yet, He has never not had time. Somewhere my integrity of being a believer is wrapped up in my sloth of being a sinner...I am a new creation with some old, busy, poorly planned, habits to break. 

PS we sang one of my favorite hymns today...enjoy the Brad Paisley version there of...


Saturday, September 21, 2013

JH...

                                All of life is junior high...


                      What I have learned after two weeks of working in a junior high school:

 

Stomach aches always start when you wake up and get worse by the time math class starts.

Familiarity does not mean respect.

Other parents use the line, "Go to school and see how you feel. Call me if you need me." and don't mean it eihter.

I can love other people's children for seven hours a day but can pray for them much longer.

Just because I hear someone's voice as Foghorn Leghorn, does not mean that is how it really is.

Cramps are still a great excuse to get out of gym.

A disabled child still makes my heart skip a beat...oh the joy!

Getting a case of the giggles during a fire drill is normal...laughter still comes out of the shoulders.

Triple charting is still  silly.

Music makes the day go faster.

First period is really long, last period is longer.

LAST MINUTE is a life style choice.

People don't always like the truth.

Manipulation  is a tool often used...Use wisdom to fight it.

Praying for wisdom is a necessity.

Other people are carrying way heavier loads than I have ever nightmared of...I am blessed beyond compare.

Miracles happen in the nurses office.

Secretaries are demi-gods....if I believed in lesser gods, they would be the ones. Seriously, love them.

Bosses can me normal...who knew?

Don't quit when its really, really bad...the rewards may just be around the next semester!

Grace is sometimes just a hot cup of coffee sitting on your desk early in the morning.

The ridiculous happens side by side with the miraculous.

Laughter is still the best medicine: "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones." Proverbs 17:22

I love my job!

 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Tangled roots
















"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." Proverbs 9:10 is probably the very first scripture I ever knew by heart. Mom use to say to me all the time and it just so happens our pastor has been talking about it a lot of late.

 It has been a very hard year.  John and I attended prayer meeting at our church last week...there wasn't a hand clap, foot stomp, or arm waive to be had. Just prayer. There was no show, no where to hide and a community I have been trying to hide myself in for the last year and a half now knows that I am as broken as I have ever been...Being vulnerable in front of brothers and sisters in a tiny room dedicated to nothing but prayer...

Yesterday, our pastor replaced the the word, "fear" (as in Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom) with the phrase, "Most deeply impressed of..." and even though I have heard him say it at least a hundred times, it suddenly struck my heart with a question, "What am I most deeply impressed of?"

I am most deeply impressed of anyone knowing that I am this broken.

I am most deeply impressed of dying in a fiery crash when anyone but me drives.

I am most deeply impressed of being considered a flake.

I am most deeply impressed of being a widow.

I am most deeply impressed of not being able to pay our bills.

I am most deeply impressed with not getting enough sleep.

I am most deeply impressed of our rental not being good enough to rent so we can pay the mortgage....

See a pattern here?

I always miss my mom but I try to make a day it on the fifth of each August and have for the last twenty years.
Twenty years...and I just now understand what that simple statement of faith means. The hand clapping did stop, so did the arm waiving and a foot stomping. I like to think He finds our enthusiasm somewhat endearing...but the deep and tangled roots of my dogma are beginning to give forth a new and beautiful fruit...and while the process is long and somewhat painful, the fruit is delicious.

I am most deeply impressed of my God and that is the beginning of wisdom. Good advice Ellen gave her daughter so long ago.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wood floors...

Just about every waking hour is being spent at our old house prepping it and getting it ready for a new tenant or Wells Fargo is going to have another house to get rid of. I do not like being a landlord and yet here we are getting ready...UGH! This is not how I wanted to spend my summer.

There was a piece of broken oak flooring in the master bedroom...I lived with it for the seven and a half years we lived in the house. Our last two tenants lived with it...but the next tenant...Nope.  John was determined to replace it. 

But you can't just buy a couple of pieces of oak wood flooring...gotta' buy a case. But you can borrow a sample board for twenty five bucks....if you don't bring it back, they keep your deposit. I was fine with that. Twenty five bucks was worth making my man happy. I would just give up the deposit.

Little problem. The boys at the big-box home improvement store could not figure out how to charge me the deposit. 

Manager, "You are going to bring it back, right?"
Me, "Of course."
Jack, "Mom?"
Me, "Of course."
Manager, "Don't worry about it."

Of course I bring it the house and John dismantles the sample and puts it into the floor....and Jack and I look at each other. John is confused...we fill him in...now what do we do?

1) Go back to store and tell them it got tossed in the garbage! So lie to hide the fact that we stole? Seems like a problem.

2) Don't worry about it...it is just a sample anyway. Sounds like stealing to me.

So what did we do? We went back to store, same kid was on the register, same manager was also working. We explain that we kept the sample and that it was now a part of our floor. We would like to pay the $25.00 fee. 

Manager is annoyed..."Don't worry about it. I don't know anything. Keep your mouth shut."
John and I, "We don't want to steal it. How can we pay for it? 
Kid at register, "I don't think I have ever had a customer insist on paying for something."
John, "That is too bad. Can you do it?"

It took them about ten minutes to figure out how and what to charge us but they finally did.  

Kid at register, "That was something. It really was no big deal."
Me, "The Rule Book says 'Don't steal'...not 'Don't steal bit things but little things are okay.'"
Kid at register smiles.

Integrity is inconvenient. What is the old expression? The world is equally shocked at seeing Christianity criticized and practiced. Nice that we got to shock someone this weekend.
 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Like a cat shasing a laser...

"Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." Psalm 139: 23-24


Okay, I have read that psalm at least a kazillion times (and that is way more than a bazillion, just so you know) since I was a kid.  The very first line of psalm 139 states that, "You search me..." and out right says that He already has, in fact, searched us...He knows our every action, thought and word and work....He does not need me to ask Him to search me...He already has and since He created me, He knows every crease, every cell, every bump, lump or toe nail and which ones are fake...  But there is just a little turning in there where the psalmist requests that search....

1) "Search me, God"
 Okay, is anyone else marveling at what a scary idea that is? Seriously, come take a look at the mess my heart is Lord.

2) "Know my heart;"
Ah, what a wonderful thought (use sarcastic tone while reading that).....ever cried your eyes out when something you really wanted didn't work out? Ever consider that (remembering the whole council of the Word is seamless) He knows your deepest hearts desires and to give you what you believe you want would destroy what is the true desire of your heart?

2a) "test me"
Oh, God, no tests!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Except to live with out them, how else would He prove us faithful? To whom is He proving us faithful? Not just to the world but to our selves and to the faithful who has come before us...Recently, I got to pray with/over and anointed a dearest friend getting ready to sit for her RN boards...I prayed the same prayer my own mom prayed over me when I took my boards 20 years ago...He proved her a faithful nurse.

2b) "...and know my anxious thoughts."
There are so many. My biggest problem is how many times I have invited that anxiety in for cake and coffee...I have spent a great deal of time entertaining those anxious thoughts instead of entertaining the thought that He is thinking of me.

3) "See if there is any offensive way in me..."
Seriously, asking God to look for my sins? Why would I do that...after all the psalmist has already established that He already knows my sin, even the ones in the deepest recesses of my heart...so why would I have Him look for them? Ah...the answer of course is revealed in the next line...

4)"...and lead me in the ways everlasting."
So He can set me free, silly! It struck me last night that His Word is a lamp unto my feet and here I am running around in circles with a pin light trying to find my way in this dark world...when I have THE Light of the world as my tour guide! What an URT I am sometimes.

God does not mess with us...But He will allow us to follow a pin light like a cat chasing a laser if we insist...and even though He knows, He waits for us to come...each morning, He waits and longs to lead us in the ways everlasting.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Don't sit in the thing this time...



In October of 2010 we found a disemboweled something that had fought it's way out of the cat and won. You can read about it here. I reference the post because at the time, "The Thing" disappeared... Did the cat re-eat the now, dead-for-sure-Thing? Did it slither away because it wasn't really dead? Was it a Squirrel Zombie? Have not thought about The Thing in a very long time...until Last Night...(BUM-BUM-BUMMMM!)

I went out to sit on my balcony and sat in my favorite wicker chair...it was raining, so I didn't think anything of the damp arse I was experiencing...until I went in and the children began to scream because there were squirrel guts and an eye ball hanging from my rear end. Yup, either the cat left me a disemboweled squirrel or there is a Squirrel Zombie attack going on. Either way, I think we can all agree on    "EEEEEEEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!" for the rest of my life! Needless to say, I threw out the sun dress I had to shimmy down out of and scrubbed by butt...but I still have a memory of it and EEEEEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWWWWW! Perhaps it was the sight of that eye ball bouncing off of my dress and across the tiled floor that has me, well, floored.

It got me thinking about that post (the one you can get to by clicking on "here" up there) so I went looking for it. There was just something about the whole event that got me to thinking about how "A Thing" in our life can pop up over and over and over again kind of like a Squirrel Zombie. I've certainly had my share of Squirrel Zombie attacks in this life. 

There is not just one defining moment that that makes up the life of a Mair...Name that ONE defining moment? Which one is it...and why, at various points, am I in the middle of examining a new aspect of anyone moment. 

At the time, I wrote the last post I used this verse: 

"I am the door (gate); whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture." John 9:10

Today I saw this: 
 
Hmmm...Could our Heavenly Father use a Squirrel Zombie to get my attention? Not sure I am going to examine the significance of squirrel innards on my arse much longer...but I am going to examine this verse and all the ones surrounding it over the next few days. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Don't play right...

"Jesus went on to say, "To what, then, can I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling out to each other: "'We played the pipe for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not cry.'" Luke 7:31-32

I've read it a million times, probably acted it out in Godspell too since the same verse appears in Matthew. Never, ever knew what it meant.

I love the fact that Jesus didn't play right...Dig around that verse and see that no one could figure this guy out. He was suppose to act a certain way and here He was a friend of tax collectors and sinners..."But wisdom is proved right by all her children." Luke 7:35.

He hung out with sinners but never behaved like one. When He was with the religious dudes, He didn't get all hoty-toyty...Can't you just imagine how frustrating He must have been?

Being who I am and living the amazing life I have, has often sent my heart spinning....Here I would be, looking at the polished people assuming they were better than I....seriously, wouldn't you? I can be hot tempered, impetuous, emotional...okay, that just described my menopausal state, but in reality that is me!

I've spent a good portion of my life being so insecure that I was desperate for the approval of just about ANYONE in authority or whom I assumed was in authority over me. I assumed others were better because they were kinder or more successful or fill in the blank there...I had pretty low standards. I would be completely whipped around upon the discovery of their feet of clay. In theory, I always knew they had them...but when I peaked under the flowing robes and saw them...I was often set aside because I had actually seen them. I wasn't playing right.

In the last couple of years, I've lost more friends than I gained. I have, again, been spun around by it...but this last go around, I didn't crumble. Now don't think I didn't cry, 'cause you know I did...sometimes a lot. To some degree, I didn't have a chance to think twice but to stand firm in Truth...and I have found that Truth is still relative, even to believers. Compromising the Truth is a game of folly and I didn't play right. I paid for it...Oh boy have I ever.

 Now don't think for a minute I was standing on a pompous foot  and yelling from a street corner, "SINNERS! SINNERS!!!!!!!!!!" I simply asked that we pray, that we work towards deliverance, that we speak the Truth and deal with the problem. Needing as much forgiveness as I do, I just assumed that everyone knew that they did too...Not being willing to pretend something isn't wrong, is not a gift I have. The problem with having an elephant in the room is that it will crap on the rug...the clean up is way more involved than just removing the darn elephant. I just don't play right.

By now, you know that I am not all that "that" and a bag of chips...or least you should know that by now! When I get to Glory, I have no doubt there is a list of "should" haves and a whole bunch of "could" haves that are waiting for me...but I am beginning to realize that there are going to be a lot of, "That's MY girl" too. I am nothing short of nothing with out Him but with Him? Yeah, I'm pretty hot stuff!

I played by His rules and I am all the better for it...Jesus, friend of sinners...of whom I have often been the worst.


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Schools out for this school nurse!!!!!!!!!

YIPPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!

Over stated? Perhaps....Schools out for summer! Last night we spent the evening parodying "One Day More" from Le Mis and the brevity was welcome given that earlier I had a temper tantrum over my child who had broken my favorite bowl and the disastrous  kitchen...I cussed like an ER nurse and I think I made some words up. Just bein' real with ya's.  I know I can't have nice things so lets just move on...guilt trip to continue on another time.

 I had the best preceptor EVER in my co-worker Sharon. She is simply the kindest woman I have ever met...with a gift for sarcasm that makes me want to be her friend forever and ever. She even allowed me to Pinterest something in her office...seriously, am I blessed or what?  When I grow up (meaning when I have been at this in 10 years like she has been) I want to be just like her, just taller and probably more fresh. But you get it.

That said, what of this year? Oiy...if I were a drinking woman...okay, stop laughing at that and lets get back to the year, shall we?

Being a school nurse this year was just a few chapters short of having a "Cherry Ames" novel on our hands here...seriously, all I needed was my cap...




 
There were days when I could not say "It is well with my soul" because it was so disturbed with in me. I learned more than I knew I needed to know...and how desperately I need His grace way more than I need my own ability. It was sufficient, His grace I mean.

But I made a promise back in December to the blogesphere and my own heart...that I would remember not to forget. But I did. I didn't pray every day as I said I would. I didn't keep my own struggles in the perspective of what I said I would.

In the last two weeks or so, I remembered. Yes, I had a tough year, very...but it wasn't Sally Cox RN tough. Sally Cox RN, you remember, is the school nurse from Sandy Hook. She buried how many of the children who's immunization records she went over with a fine tooth comb. She buried her principle and her co-workers.  We all have moved on...I can't imagine she or her co-workers or the families ever will. 

So when you are relaxing or working or NOT reading with the kids...remember Sally Cox RN.  When it all seems heavy, remember them all.

Blessed and Humble summer all!

 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Go get 'em!








 What is a blog for if not to brag on my kid? Elizabeth is about to graduate from High School...today is her last day. She has complete and succeeded at what she was given to do. Why do we celebrate an accomplishment that was required? I mean, in all honesty, a high school graduate is seriously just completing the base minimum of what is expected of any kid in our country. I often remind my kids that their Poppy was on his way to fight in the Korean War by the time he was 17...so why do we make such a fuss out of doing something so cushy like graduating from high school?

Maybe we celebrate out of habit. When my own grandmother graduated from high school in the '20's it was a big deal...it meant that you were able to stay in school instead of working to put food on the table for your family. A generation later it meant that the kids of the greatest generation had successfully given to their kids what they were not given themselves. To my generation it meant we were heading off to college...for many of us we were the first to do so. My brother was the first to go to college in our extended family and the first to become an officer in the Navy, I became the first RN...that is a lot of accomplishment in a very short time.

But for Liz's generation what does it mean? I think it is the ending of "go do this" and the beginning of "what do you want to do" my dear. From this point on, she gets to choose how she learns, where she learns, and even the why of her learning. She gets to start a real job in a real office and drive and take trains and go to a school that is no longer paid for by the good tax payers around her. It has suddenly become HER LIFE.

HER LIFE? HER FAITH? HER LOVES and HER HATES? Wait a minute! WHY am I celebrating? Apron strings are getting cut with a hack saw but certainly not a scissor! Sigh...

Do I trust that I gave her everything she needs to go out in to the big, bad world? Some days. I told her about Jesus...I told her and I showed her. Or at least I tried. She will still ask, some times, what I think...but she is a woman who knows what she wants, as much as any about-to-be-18 year old woman can or thinks she can. I figure I have about four or five more years before she realizes I am not a complete idiot...but that is as it should be.

What can I say? I am so proud of what she chose to do in High School from rowing to theater...although referring to herself as a "thespian" just about sent her little brother into a panic..."No, Jack...not a 'lesbian' but a 'thespian' and yes those are two different things."  We did nice work there John...all by the grace given to a couple of parents who didn't even know how much we needed it until a Lizzy Lou came along and changed us forever...for the better.

Go get 'em tiger!

 Love,
Mom
 

Saturday, February 16, 2013


     ...Because I knew you, I have been changed for good.

And that I cannot change for sure.