Wednesday, October 27, 2010


I want to be a gracious person.

Today I found myself about to be anything but.

Well, maybe not even about to be...maybe all day I found myself in circumstances that brought out my flesh and not the part of me that is supposed to resemble my Redeemer.

I had tracked down a place that sells bare minerals makeup.  I had about 15 minutes to spare before I ran to get Sam.  I told her the shade I needed.  She then went thru every single jar (which were stored in tall glass apothecary jars) trying to find my shade.  To no avail.

So, we spent some time trying to find a shade that might work.  I told her repeatedly that I can't wear "Light" because it is too dark in the winter.  So, we decided on "Fair." 

I quickly bought my purchase and made a bee line for the school.  I decided to look at the makeup for the hay of it and what do you know?  LIGHT.

Anger welled up in me so fast that it was as if I had been transformed into some mean Transformer. 

I was shocked at how angry I was.

And then I heard God say, "Are you going to choose to be gracious?"

I have been reading some about grace over at chatting at the sky.

I have been thinking more and more about how I choose to respond to situations and people.

Grace or no grace.

He loves me, He loves me not.

I am so glad He chose grace.

I am so glad He loves me.

Is it not the least I can to do extend it to others?

And yet, I find myself so angry at people's incompetence.

And I find myself angry at myself  for being angry at people's incompetence.

Goodness knows I mess up all the time and desperately need people to be gracious with me.

I returned the makeup.  I chose my words more carefully.

I decided to choose grace.

How do you define grace in our every day circumstances?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Just in case there was any doubt...

...this child belongs to me.

Because I promised you dreadlocks.

And here he is.  I bought up tons of more picture space, so whoop, the blog is good to go!
 This was my first race experience.  I guess I had an idea in my head of what it would entail, but the experience is so much more fun!  The first few people that make it through (our station was after mile 10) are sooooooo intense.  They were running quite fast and wouldn't even slow down to take the trade off for the drink.  Which meant that most of the time, the drink went crashing to the ground during the tradeoff...and they kept right on going.  Hello?  Hydration???  The first guy to make it to our stop looked he was from Kenya and probably was.  He wasn't even breaking a sweat, people!  He had this nice long stride and it looked like he had been born to do this...which, I have, no doubt of.  If a person can run beautifully, then he had it mastered.  He made it past the 10 mile mark in one hour.  One hour.  One hour.  Goodness.

The next thing that cracked me up is that everyone throws their cup on the ground after slamming whatever liquid into their mouth as will allow in one fatal swoosh.  The first time I saw this, I thought, "Now that is the rudest thing I have ever seen.  Here we are serving you, and you just throw the cup and remainders of the cup right at our feet."  I guess nothing is supposed to interrupt your gait/or whatever you call it.  Stride, now that sounds better.  (I definitely rode horses growing up instead of running.)

Another fun thing was to see how everyone was dressed.  Some people were barely dressed at fact I was thankful they wore a sports bra, ya know?  Others sported things like dreadlocks and angel wings.  Not at the same time, although that one would have taken the cake.

 Here is miss E.  She was one of our sign makers.  I told her to smile with her teeth and this is what I got.  I deserved that one.  Miss E is one of those little girls that absolutely steals my heart every time I feast my eyes on her.  Her big brown eyes do me in every single time.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Ummm, now that the boys are getting a little older...

This is what Eric said to me today:

"Ummm, now that the boys are getting a little older..."

I am telling you, in the span of 10 seconds, a million things were running through my head, none of which were computing because:

*I am dressed in their presence
*I usually have some sort of bra on
*I have gotten my favorite cuss word under control
*We have no indiscretional movies or books to hide

But this is not what I was prepared for:

"When you are at Kroger, you might want to make sure we always have some chips on hand for them to eat.  Because boys, you know, they like chips."


He says this as he is dumping "Stacy's pita chips" in a mass mound next to the ham sandwich. 

Me:  "Oh, I get it:  you want cheetos, doritoes, and lays sour cream and onion chips available in mass quantities but you are going to blame it on growing boys who apparently think having chips around is a rite of passage or something."

He denied it.

I am still laughing.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

YAY Racers!

OK, all you runner people.  You are the bomb.  My hero.  The one I envy.  I am so hot-diggity-dog proud of you!  Anyone that can run 13 miles is a trooper!  So here is a shout out to Michelle, Erica, Julie, Heather, Kim, Jenni, and all those other awesome peeps! 

I have all these fun photos, but picassa is telling me that all my space is used up.  Has blogger always used picassa as the storage site?  Has anyone else ever had this problem?  Do I really have to buy more space at picassa or can I somehow delete some of the old photos on there?  (I tried, can't figure it out!)  Help me, techno peeps!  

I know you want to see the pic of the guy with dreadlocks down to his butt...but I can't figure out how to get it on here!  aggghhhhh!

Friday, October 22, 2010

When God Sings

This morning was just plain perfect.  I met my man at Starbuck's for a morning date with a little coffee and chatting.  After my love tank was pretty much full of a healthy mix of caffeine and affection, he decided to leave and in walks Miss Erica to send the love tank over the brim.  Erica and I decided to have us a little spontaneous girl date while she studied funny looking body parts for school and I studied Lamentations.  I am pretty sure I picked the most rewarding subject, although her pictures were quite gross fascinating.

One of my favorite set of verses is in Lamentations.  I think it is the only verse in the whole bible that talks about God singing.

It made me wonder what His voice sounds like. One of my most favorite voices is that of the man in the DVD "Love Comes Softly" actor Dale Midkiff. His voice is just plain tender. Not tender in a feminine way, but tender in a "I am the most compassionate man in the world and I have come to rescue you" kind of way. I think I could listen to that voice all day long.

It is probably wrong to think God's voice is even comparable to a human's, but I still wonder...if He were singing over me, just what would that sound like?

Here are the verses:

“14 Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! 15 The LORD has taken away the judgments against you; he has cleared away your enemies. The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst; you shall never again fear evil. 16 On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: ‘Fear not, O Zion; let not your hands grow weak. 17 The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing’” (ESV).

On this incredible text, C.H. Spurgeon said:

“I can understand a minister rejoicing over a soul that he has brought to Christ; I can also understand believers rejoicing to see others saved from sin and hell; but what shall I say of the infinitely happy and eternally-blessed God finding, as it were, a new joy in souls redeemed? This is another of those great wonders that cluster around the work of divine grace! … The Lord takes pleasure in them that fear him, imperfect though they be. He sees them as they are to be, and so he rejoices over them, even when they cannot rejoice in themselves. When your face is blurred with tears, your eyes red with weeping, and your heart heavy with sorrow for sin, the great Father is rejoicing over you. The prodigal son wept in his Father’s bosom, but the Father rejoiced over his son. We are questioning, doubting, sorrowing, trembling; and all the while he who sees the end from the beginning knows what will come out of the present disquietude, and therefore rejoices. Let us rise in faith to share the joy of God.” (sermons from 1837, #1990)

If you are waiting quietly for Him with expectation and prayer, He is singing over you. If you are trusting even though it seems like you don't have a reason to, He is singing over you. If you are returning to Him after a long drought of doing things on your own, He is singing over you.

He personally delights in you and one day you will hear Him audibly sing a love song over you.

Not to cheapen God and compare Him to man, but if you could pick any voice to be the voice of God, who would it be?

(And don't say Charlton Heston!)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Post In Which We Do The Pumpkin Thing.

It does my heart good to have a Jesus lovin', big earring wearin', three boy raisin', eyeshadow applien', food cuisine addict friend like Anna.  I must say she has always been a gift from God to me.  We loaded up the bus full of a bunch of barbarians sweet little boys and had ourselves a nice little time at the Pumpkin Patch...along with every lovin' kid from Greers Ferry.  Good fun times, I tell ya.

 Anna told me I looked like the chicken below.  I didn't know what to make out of that.  I think I misunderstood her...when she said the chicken looks like me...she meant the color scheme of my house.  Oh, good save, sweet thang.  :)

 Hey Sam, "You calm his head down and keep him hypnotized while I yank his horns out.  Thanks.  Your a bud."

 Three out of four works for me!
 The baby never gets any loving.  Isn't that right, Sam?

 Excuse me, Miss, but you have a spider on you lovely cheekbone.

 YAY for Anna who captured Sam smiling!  Score!
 She had better luck than I did at getting a Mommy/son photo!

 And the best photo of the day!   Girlfriend, we know what it is like! 
Nothing a little Chick Fil A ice cream won't fix.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What I Didn't Learn In Sunday School

Isn't it fun to always be learning?  When I was first married I wondered what on earth I was going to do with myself when I was an old woman, because I would for sure have everything figured out by then.  I mean, what more of the Bible would I need to learn when I was 84?  I would have that thing down pat

You can laugh at my arrogance and ignorance!  I sure do!  Now, I find myself on the opposite side realizing that I will never have everything figured out.  The Word will always have something to teach me and show me.  And I wouldn't have it any other way!  It keeps it alive, so to speak.

Enter Exodus.  One of those books that you think you have at least the basics down, and then you have your eyes opened to the fact that you might be at the preschool level instead of the 3rd grade level.

So, here is what I didn't learn in Sunday school regarding Exodus.  ( And if I did learn it, then I am going to blame it on the loss of brain cells due to um, age.  And kids.  And grief.  And, well, you get the picture.)

1.  The Ten Plagues.  God is showing up, telling Pharaoh 'Who's Who' and allows the Israelites to be affected by the first three plagues.  There is nothing that I can find that says they were 'set apart' until the fourth plague which says "But on that day, I will set apart the land of Goshen where my people dwell."  He makes a division starting with the 4th plague. 

That means the Israelites endured their water being turned to blood, frogs being in their beds, mixing bowls, and ovens, and gnats consuming every ounce of air.

At first I was a little troubled why God would allow his children to be a part of this.  I mean, He had come to rescue them, not curse them, right?  And then, I remembered that He had been pretty silent for about 400 years and perhaps giving His people a holy dose of fear wouldn't be such a bad fact, it might even help them down the road with that thing called obedience.

2.  Which came first?  The manna or the quail?  (Which came first, the chicken or the egg? hee)
I have it in my head a certain way, so when I read Exodus 16:12-13, I was a little dumbstruck.  "I have heard the grumbling of the people of Israel.  Say to them, 'At twilight, you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread.  Then you shall know that I am the LORD your God.  In the evening, quail came up and covered the camp, and in the morning, dew lay around the camp."

Am I the only one shocked here?  I always thought they got manna, then grumbled, and later got quail.  So I researched a little and found Numbers 11:31-34 which is the passage I think of when I think of quail.  Guess what?  They got quail that first time in Exodus, then not again for awhile, which caused their grumbling.  My commentary says that "quail (small partridges) migrate north across the Sinai Peninsula in the spring and return in the fall, so although the Israelites had eaten some in the previous year, these were not a regular dish.) 

3.  Who did God speak the 10 commandments to?  I always thought it was Moses.  Just Moses.  Wrong.  It was pretty much everyone...all the Israelites.  Moses has them consecrate themselves and brings them to meet God at the base of the mountain.  God was giving some smoke/fire/trumpet/thunder/lightning and it freaked every one out pretty good...but He voiced His holy requirements in a way that all could hear.  Were the people grateful that the One True God, the one who had rescued them was speaking directly to them?  Not so much.  They told Moses, "YOU speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die."  (Along with experiencing some of the plagues, I think God wanted to instill some holy fear into these people lest they start to run off to idols and such.)  which didn't take long...ha.

Well, that is enough to blow apart my brain for today.  I'll wrap this thing up later!

Sunday, October 17, 2010


I had a really fun shoot this afternoon at Hendrix and look what I found!  They actually had the fountains turned off...which makes for some really fun reflection photos!  YAY!

Friday, October 15, 2010


I did something today that I have never ever done.  I entered Starbucks (the one in Target where you can hide in the very back) purchased a Toffee Mocha and sat down to read the Bible.  I was there for over an hour and it was awesome!  I didn't think I would be able to concentrate, but since I was in a corner facing the wall, it all worked out.  I spent a lot of time on Exodus.  How is that I think I know that book and then I realize I really don't know it at all?

Right before I got up to go (Target shopping was calling my name) I flipped to Psalms and read this:  "Return, O my soul, to your rest; for the LORD has dealt bountifully with you."  (116:7-ESV)

That just stuck with me.  My mind has been going a thousand different directions this week...wondering what God is up to in so many areas of my life and the ones I love.  But that word.  Bountifully.  It was just leaping off the page.  I later looked it up in the NIV and it simply said "good."  (Not as pretty and compelling, is it?)  But, the King James says "bountifully" as I knew my Hebrew word would come from that. 

And here it is:  "gamal".  I think you say it like this:  gaw-mal'.  It means to treat a person well, to benefit them, to ripen (okaaaaay?), to repay, to bestow on, and to if you are weaning a child.  That last one threw me a bit, so I found some other verses where this word gamal is used and here are a couple:

1.  Psalm 131:2 "Surely I have behaved and quited myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother, my soul is even as a weaned child."

2.  Isaiah 28:9  "To whom will he teach knowledge, and to whom will he explain the message?  Those who are weaned from the milk..."

Our job is to literally rock our souls as if we are rocking our children.  We rock our souls to rest in spiritual security by speaking the promises of God over them. 

It is easy in this world to be overcome with disappointment and confusion.  We can easily lose our confidence in God.  So, returning to "rest" is an act of faith and confidence.  As we return, we remember God's nature towards us.  He is long suffering.  Patient.  Kind.  Good. 

We quiet our souls by choosing not to occupy ourselves with things too great and too marvelous for us.  We simply aren't Sovereign God, and so we must rest in the fact that He is. 

We know that while at rest, we are able to remember that God has dealt very beneficially for us in the past.  And here is the best we are at rest (weaned from the milk as a weaned child) we become people that are able to be taught from God.  Able to receive whatever message He has to give to us.

Those that rock their souls back to spiritual rest are able to hear from God and be taught by Him.

To me, that sounds just plain bountiful.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Skulls, Falling on my bootie, and Give me a shout!

1.  This is for the buyers of boy clothes for different stores including Old Navy, Target, Gymboree, and Kohl's.  I have a lot of friends with boys and not a single one of them dress them in clothing/hats/socks/shoes/pajamas with skull heads on them.  We really aren't impressed with the new "death" fashion.  These items are only going to end up on clearance, and thus, end up costing your store more money than they are worth.  We aren't buying into the death thing, so you can allow this insane fashion idea to die instead.

2.  I took Savannah for her vet appt. tonight, got tangled in her leash on the way out the door and fell flat on my bootie.  *Fell flat for everyone to see...wish I had made it out the door first.*

3.  Say hello!  I would love to meet you...even if you don't have a blog!  Seriously, I don't know why anyone reads this (except for my Mom and Dad) why do you keep coming back?  I would love to say hi!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Day in the Life...Picture Style

Here was our pictures!  We are going backwards...we ended the day with McDonald's Hot Fudge Sundaes...with nuts!

 And before that, Eric got a haircut from yours truly.
 And before that, Savannah girl got a bath.
 Such a good girl she is.

 And before that, I basted a chicken with lemon and rosemary and put it in the oven to roast.

 And before that, Sam played swords with colored pencils.  Which is an every day occurrence.
 And before that, I made banana bran muffins.  And before I put them in the oven, I spilled the brown sugar all over my freshly swept and mopped kitchen.
And before that, I got my hair did.
No pic. 

Just a day in the life...of us!

Redeeming Back the Time

Kiley has been in our Savior's presence for 2 years and 8 months. I miss her wild, curly hair. I long to see her hazel eyes spiked with green. I just want to enjoy the things that sisters enjoy together...talking about boys, shopping, eating good food, telling each other what Jesus is teaching us. I'm getting that all back one day. And then some.

The below is something I wrote more than a year ago. Suicide is something that many won't talk about. The ones left behind are so traumatized  that they don't know how to proceed.  (The American Psychiatric Association says that "the level of stress resulting from the suicide of a loved one is ranked as catastrophic-equivalent to that of a concentration camp experience."  Everyone left on the spectator stands simply don't know what to say.

And so, nothing gets said. Many don't get healed. And the beautiful people that God created that decided to listen to the enemy's lies are stamped with the letter "S."

Would you read the below and maybe open your heart to what God has to say about His children that chose to take their lives?

Redeeming Back the Time 8/30/09

I have had a "theme" etched across my heart for about a month now. It is the concept of redeeming something. But this theme is not necessarily in the reference to Christ's redeeming blood that sets us free; although is there anything more precious or worthy of words? Instead, it has taken the shape of two very different forms. The first form is a very practical way for believers to live their day to day lives. The second is more of an act of God, something we can only hope for.

There are many definitions of the word "redeem." For this first concept, I like the idea of "to make up for," or to "recover ownership of by paying a specified sum." Our lives were bought with a price. Do our lives reflect our grateful hearts? Our pastor, Ken, said awhile back that in the KJV, Ephesians 5:16 says, "redeeming the time because the days are evil." We are to make the most of every chance we get. Colossians 4:5 says to "walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time."

I think we have a great challenge ahead of us: we need to understand what the Master requires of us. Our time is not our own. God bought it. God gifts it back to us to allow us to bring glory to Him. Matthew Henry said that "Time is a talent given us by God and it is misspent and lost when not employed according to His design." I don't know that I ever really thought about time being a talent from God. But, what we do from day to day will echo in eternity.

The idea of being disciplined with my time makes me smile in some areas and swoon with passivity in others. John Wesley said that we are to be "buying up every fleeting moment out of the hands of sin and Satan."

It dawned on me that one practical way to redeem the time in my life would be to immediately start praying about things instead of dwelling on things to the point that worry becomes all consuming. Instead of feeding Satan my worrisome thought life, I can approach the throne of grace with my thoughts and snatch away any stronghold the enemy might gain over my thought life.

Only the things that are done for Christ will last. All else will be burned. The wind will carry away the ashes of new clothes, shallow entertainment, and expensive get-aways. What am I doing that will matter even when time does not exist?

The second concept of "buying back the time" really doesn't tie into the first one. The second concept is all about God. Can you picture being face to face with your Savior and all of the sudden, everything is set right? Every desire of your heart has been given? Every ounce of worth and reputation has been restored?

We live in such a fallen world, that I think it is hard to picture one that is not. And yet, it awaits us. Things hurt down here. But, redemption is in God's character. How silly we are to think that He only redeems our souls. He will also redeem every hurt and sense of loss.

Selah has a song out called "Unredeemed." My favorite line is "When anything that's shattered is laid before the Lord, just watch and see, it will not be unredeemed."

Part of my desire in writing my story of grief down is to point to God’s faithfulness in “buying back the time.” Being a suicide survivor threw me into an inclusive, never-ending club that I never desired to be a member of. Being a member of this club has cost me everything and paid back zero in dividends.

As if there isn’t enough self condemnation that swirls around after losing a loved one to suicide, there seems to be an unspoken aura of questions that linger between the survivor and others. It is easy to take on shame for the inability to prevent the tragedy. It becomes second nature to defend the loved one and try to get others to see the person in a glorious light instead of darkness full of confusion and judgment.

Suicide seems to be the purest form of spiritual warfare. It is the war of a person’s mind. The only problem is that those around the possible victim aren’t always privy to the battle book. When a loved one’s deep and possibly dark thoughts remain unspoken, it is hard to go to war on behalf of those thoughts.

I have recently been reminded of the story, The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne. It takes place in 17th century Puritan Massachusetts where legalism always trumps grace. The main character, Hester Prynne, has been convicted of adultery. Her penance is to wear on her bosom a scarlet letter “A” made out of cloth. She is to wear it until the day she dies. Her sin would forever be marked upon her chest with the entire town to look upon and condemn.

After rereading bits and pieces of this American classic, I was dumbstruck at the physical description of Hester. It says, “The young woman was tall, with a figure of perfect elegance, on a large scale. She had dark and abundant hair, so glossy that it threw off the sunshine with a gleam, and a face which, besides being beautiful from regularity of feature and richness of complexion, had the impressiveness of belonging to a marked brow…” The lines could have been penned for my sister.

We later see the townspeople who have known Hester, behold her as if for the first time after her act that changed everything. “But the point which drew all eyes, and, as it were, transfigured the wearer,--so that both men and women, who had been familiarly acquainted with Hester Prynne, were now impressed as if they beheld her for the first time,--was that SCARLET LETTER, so fantastically embroidered and illuminated upon her bosom. It had the effect of a spell, taking her out of the ordinary relations with humanity, and inclosing her in a sphere by herself.” The end of the book says of the large cloth letter “A”: “Never afterwards did it quit her bosom.”

I feel in my heart that suicide victims go to their graves with a large letter “S” stamped on their chests. But, since they are not able to walk the streets themselves, their family members wear that “S” for them.

I have been struggling with wanting to remember Kiley for Kiley and all that God created her to be in her 24 years of life. And, yet, when I think of her, I often just think of that horrible day and the fact that she in no longer in our presence. I want to remember Kiley for her life, not her death.

I know that if I struggle with this, then people who barely knew her will think of her in this light, as well. Suicide is nasty in that is doesn’t leave the survivors any closure. Without an answer to the “why” in the death, it seems hard to move on to a celebration of the life.

I have to believe that grace covers the “S” we wear on behalf of Kiley. I am praying that God will redeem back the time and convert the “S” of suicide into an “S” of sovereignty. We are marked with the power of God. In Him, we live and move and have our being.

I have no authority to buy back any shame that has encircled Kiley and her actions. But her Savior has already taken care of that. He has set her free. He restored her honor, worth, and reputation. He bought back February 13, 2008 from my sister. She doesn’t walk the streets of gold with a letter “S” marked upon her bosom. She simply isn’t viewed that way in Heaven. Why on earth do we continue to view her that way on earth?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Dream Vacations

Per Request of the spunky Erica:  "What is your dream vacation?"

I am not a dreamer.  I live in reality because sometimes it just plain hurts to dream.  You never know if your dreams are going to match up with God's will, so sometimes it is easier for me just to be along for the ride, so to speak.  That way I am shielded from disappointment.

I am sure a lot of you are gasping, saying, "where is the joy in your life?"...but really, this approach seems to make me quite content rather than disappointed.  I have know idea what the Bible would say about just seems to be how I roll.

So, for me to speak of my dream vacation is kinda testy.  It makes me jump out of my comfort zone and acknowledge the fact that the inner parts of my heart really do long for certain things.

So, I will throw out a couple of dream vacations for ya, o' shiny one (because Erica seems to know the secret of getting struck by lightning and living to tell about it.)  I bet she is a dreamer.

1.  The Holy Land.  Israel.  Jerusalem.  I know it sounds cliche', but I want to walk where Jesus walked.  I want to find the old city "Bethel" (I have no idea what it is called today) and just sit and marvel at all the things that took place in this city.  Bethel means "house of God".  It is where Abraham first called upon the name of the Lord.  It is where Jacob had his infamous dream about the ladder that reached into heaven.  It is where people often went to seek God's counsel.  It seems that people have amazing experiences of meeting with God in this place...hence, the "house of God."  How awesome would it be to sit at the place where all these profound events took place? 

I have a love for the Jewish people that I know only comes from God.  I often wake up in the middle of the night praying for the "peace of Jerusalem" and that God would open their eyes to the fact that Jesus is the Messiah they are longing for.  I pray that Jesus would be the peace of Jerusalem.  I am promised that one day it will happen...that they will recognize Him as their Savior...I am just ready for that day.

So, that is one of my dream go to a place that just might help me understand the Word better...especially if I can get a visual on how things are laid out and also a feel for Jewish culture.  After all, Jesus was Jewish.

2.  My second dream vacation would be to take a photographic journey of the States.  I would love to capture Mt. Rushmore, the Golden Gate Bridge, Niagara Falls, whales in the Pacific, and on and on.  The most feasible way to do this would be to buy a motor home/coach/whatever, load up the family and travel for about a month.  I have no idea what all we could get accomplished in a month, but what a fun and awesome memory for all of us!  When I was about to be a 5th grader, Dad bought a motor home/coach/whatever and we loaded up and headed to California.  We saw the Grand Canyon, the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest, Disneyland, Knots Berry Farm, San Diego Zoo, and a hundred KOA campgrounds!  It is something I will never forget...all of us being together like that...just enjoying life and what God had created.  It would be a joy to get to do something like that with our kids someday.

So, there you have it.  I jumped out on a limb and dreamed a little.  Maybe, just maybe, those dreams will align with what God has in store...

Monday, October 11, 2010

Invisible Muffins and the Invisible Lover of My Soul

In an attempt to make Sunday morning a little bit easier for all, I decided to make some blueberry muffins on Saturday night.  Eric quite often fixes us breakfast and I thought this would make things easier on him as he could cook up some eggs, reheat some muffins, and wham, bam, a healthy breakfast is served. 

I didn't really think to tell Eric of this plan, I mean the muffins were in a huge glass cake server...visible for all to drool upon.  They were sitting right in the middle of the counter top...really hard to miss since our counter tops aren't that large.

Enter Sunday morning:  I walk into the kitchen at 7:15, gearing up for Praise Team practice and I smell sausage and biscuits.  I throw a dumbfound look at the muffins on display and then cast a trillion looks at disbelief and anger at my sweet husband who was clearly serving us by whipping up some awesome breakfast.

"Uh, why aren't we eating the muffins I made?  You know, the ones I made for this morning?"  "Didn't you SEE those muffins?"

He responded with "No, I didn't see them until I got back from the grocery store getting the biscuits."

"Seriously, you didn't see the muffins there last night or this morning?  I mean, really, could they be on better display?  I mean, how often do I set out muffins on the glass cake isn't like something that your eyes have gotten used to seeing."

{insert small argument where I later had to confess my anger and ask for forgiveness and tell him thank you for serving us breakfast even sans muffins where we agreed that the muffins would be quite tasty come Monday morning}

Enter Monday morning:  I walk groggily into the kitchen where I see bowls of cereal set out for the morning.  I throw a dumbfound look at the muffins and then cast a trillion looks at disbelief at my sweet husband and then I burst into laughter.


For some reason, those muffins had simply vanished from his site.

And that is exactly where I am in my spiritual walk..

Me walking...perhaps even on that road called Emmaus. 

And no Jesus.

Or maybe I just haven't been given eyes to see Him right now.

There seems to be a cycle in my life and I am just now starting to understand it and get a bit more comfortable with it.

He simply doesn't reveal Himself to me all the time.  I hate that.  I want Him desperately.  But, sometimes, He is building my faith, you know, the thing you need when you can't SEE.

My first inclination when this silent phase of the cycle starts is to check my life and start confessing sin.  This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I think it comes from a heart that believes that God isn't pleased to delight me with Himself.  Satan tells me that I am not worthy of knowing Him, and I get into a tizzy about what I can do to make Jesus feel near.

The righteousness of Jesus on my life is sufficient for God to reveal Himself to me.  And there is nothing I can do to make Jesus talk.  I can definitely invite Him, but I certainly can't make Him.

So, I need to learn to rest during these quiet times.  Keep reading the Word, even though nothing seems profound.  Keep praying even though I feel like those prayers are hitting the ceiling.  Keep living for the next time that Jesus falls fresh and reveals Himself in a beautiful way.

It almost causes me anguish when Jesus "vanished from their site" almost immediately after he revealed himself to the two guys from the road to Emmaus. 

He allows them to recognize Him and then poof, He is gone again.

Sounds eerily similar to my life, too.

I think Jesus is like a glass cake server full of blueberry muffins.  He is ever present, but we don't always have eyes to see Him.

Oh, Lord, give me eyes to see...and in between those glimpses of You, allow me to live in a way that still brings you glory.  I want to see You all the time, but I also see the need for my faith to be built when You remain silent.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

All Request Hour

I will blog this week.
I shall blog this week.
I must blog this week.

Any requests?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Happy 39th Eric!

Happy 39th baby!  Or as Cade said this morning, you only have 365 days until you are 4 decades old.  Don't you just love him?!  :)

 You are a great coach to our sons!

 You are always setting such a good example to those around you.  :)
 Our dog thinks you hung the moon.
 The boys would rather be in the backyard with you than anywhere else.
 You are always good for a great laugh...thanks for keeping me laughing all these years.
 You provide such security and protection for our home and souls.
 You always come to my rescue...even when I cast my line into a bush.
 We love you and hope your day is extra special!  (And that these 365 days until you hit 4 decades are pretty dang awesome, as well.)