Thursday, March 31, 2011

Have You Considered...

For me, writing is an addiction.  It is holy.  It is how I process who God is and how on earth by His grace I am supposed to reflect His glory.  Writing is healing.  Uplifting.  Joy Giving.

I woke up this morning at 5 am (no, that never happens) tempted to get up and write.  It is a craving, but the craving for another hour and a half of sleep won this round.  God gave me something to write about in the wee hours of the dawn, and I agreed, thankful that it would take a little research so that I wouldn't feel guilty about going back to sleep.

I love to write.  But I am not a good storyteller.  I have shied away from the art of story because, well, details and characters and plots are not my thing.  Researching Hebrew and Greek is a little more down my alley, even if I am in the early phases of learning.

So, when God gave me the idea to write about my Great Grandparents, from the perspective of my Great Grandfather, I was a little terrified.  I don't do story.  Not in the written word and definitely not in the spoken word.

I think God is keeping things simple for me.  He told me to tell my small story from the standpoint of my Great Grandfather's last day on earth.  This is a little tricky since I wasn't there nor was I inside the head of my Grandpa Pitts.

So, I think it will be a story embellished with who I knew him to be.  Part of me thinks all the details have to be perfect and the other part of me thinks that I will never sit down and write about him if I continue with that thinking.

On a different subject...

Last night, Eric asked Eli what story from the Bible he wanted to read.  The little guy chose Job.  I mean, really???  Eric asked him if he wanted the part of the story that Eric liked or if he wanted the beginning.  Eli chose the beginning.

Talk about a book you can wrestle over.

Sometimes hearing the Word out loud is much more powerful than reading it to yourself.  Last night proved the case.  When Eric said,  "Have you considered my servant..."  I had to pause.

Satan's authority falls under the governance of our Sovereign God.  We can rest in that.

But, does God know that we fear Him enough that He can freely offer us up for a period of testing?

Does that seem like a curse more than a blessing?  Once again, His ways are not our ways. 

I think we want to know if it was worth it.  For Job, who was stripped from loved ones, possessions and health, when the end of the testing came, was it worth it?

And I think that he might say that to know God in the right know Him as Jehovah Tsidkenu (God our righteousness) is worth any loss that Satan throws our way. 

Do I fear God or fear the possible circumstances?  Am I one of whom God might say, "Have you considered my servant...?"

And that is scary to even type.  But, should it be?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Unlearning of Self Conceit

For me, writing isn't something I can just sit down and do.  The house has to be quiet.  I can't have any background noise.  I need things simple so I can hear what the Holy Spirit might say. 

Background noise has made its way into the foreground.  Planning bake sales, photography sessions, Soaring Wings Ranch fundraisers, two bridal showers...taking boys to practices, going to my own singing practices, reading up on four separate bible studies...things have been very noisy. 

My ears hurt.

I just want to hear what Jesus might say.  There is one passage that He seems to keep bringing up.  I wanted to say "I get it already" when our pastor taught from it last Sunday.  It is Philippians 2:5-8

"Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself.  He had equal status with God but didn't think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what.  Not at all.  When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human!  Having become human, he stayed human.  It was an incredibly humbling process.  He didn't claim special privileges.  Instead, He lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death--and the worst kind of death at that:  a Crucifixion."

Those words reflect the beauty and humility of my Savior.

And, after pondering them, I wonder if I reflect Him at all.

The self is such an interesting thing.  We have this innate desire for survival and blessing and well being.  There is no room for selflessness when the self is involved.  Perhaps that is why God calls us to die to our selves.

And so, when things are quiet enough for me to think and write, I wonder what this death should look like.  I know I am dead in Christ, for it is no longer me, but Him who lives in me.  But, I know that I fight the flesh of self on a daily basis.  I wonder if it truly died what Christ would look like in my frame.

I think it would be a beautiful thing.

And so I find myself in a place of self loathing which can be a good thing since it can lead to repentance.  But, what am I sorry for and how do I change?  I want to know how to live like Christ did...voluntarily emptying Himself.

How do I go about making myself nothing?

That is foreign to me, and yet, the word says that I am to have the same attitude as Christ.  I am to literally have the same mind on this issue.

I have so far to go.

CS Lewis says, "Now repentance is no fun at all.  It is something much harder than merely eating humble pie.  It means unlearning all the self-conceit and self-will that we have been training ourselves into for thousands of years.  It means killing part of yourself, undergoing a kind of death."

"Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit."  John 12:24

It seems God's ways are full of irony.  To be the greatest, you have to be the least.  To live, you must die.  To love your life is to lose it.  To hate your life is to keep it.

Oh, God, give me the mind of Christ and invade my being by making me like Him.  The inner part of me that shouts self-preservation doesn't know how to go about being like the One who emptied Himself of everything that He had the right to be.

Give me grace to crucify the "I."

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Can you help a girl out...

I am tossing around the idea of entering a photo into a zoo contest.  It would make my day if you would check out the lion photos here and tell me your fave!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Day the Baby Chimp Stole the Show

The perfect day for the zoo!  Can I tell you how much I am loving this week "off?"  It has been so nice to have a calendar free for a change.  The boys and I headed to the zoo thinking that the crowds would stay away since it was going to be cloudy, but that didn't stop the masses.  The good thing was that since it was cool, the animals were willing to come out and play!  It was probably the best "animal" day we have seen yet!  I gotta tell you, I want to bring this little baby chimp home with me.  He absolutely stole the show today.  His momma is finally letting him go off and play a little by himself and he is eating his freedom up!!!

 Will someone tell me why orangutans love to cover themselves with something.  It is like they are 2 year olds that won't go anywhere without their security blankets.

 Well, you know I had to throw in a zebra bootie.  It was like the zebra knew I was was all posed for me, ready to model.

 Little Rock now has a penguin exhibit.  Big time, we are.

 What on earth happened to this eagle?  His eye is blind and he has lost a wing.  I don't know if something attacked him or if he has some strange disease...but it is a very sad sight!!!
 The spider monkeys look like they are in the throws of grief.  It makes me sad just to look at them.  Is this how they sleep?
 And...we're back to the baby chimp.  Because, really, he deserves a couple more pictures after the show he put on today.
 yep, he's a boy alright.
Thank you, God, for being so fun and creative!!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Shoving Them Outside

I have come to full terms with the fact that my boys are ruined.  They hate the camera.  It doesn't help that their momma is obsessed with it.  So, I have set them free.  I don't make them go out for mini photoshoots very often.  Much to the depression of my little heart.  We simply gotta keep the peace around here.

BUT, today I snuck it up on them.  I ushered them outside before they had a chance to change clothes from church.  It didn't matter to me that they weren't perfectly coordinated...I just wanted pics of their cuteness!  I am in love with Eli's hat...and as you can see later, I think I wouldn't mind having my own Fedora. 

I love these boys of mine...but I still wonder if it is possible for ME to get a good pic of them...all smiling their natural smiles and looking at the camera.  sigh.

hope you are having a good spring break!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Kirby and Jennifer!

My brother and his super adorable fiance' came to town for soccer games and engagement pictures.  We had a ton of fun!  We ended the day with stuffed Papa Murphey's pizza which was pretty much out of this world good.  Kirby was even walking without a walker or cane!  I think I wore him out with all the locations and positions, but he was a trooper.  It does my heart good to see that he is on the road toward healing.  There are lots more pics up over at Lulu....the guitar series is definitely my favorite!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I just want time

It's late.  I could use a shower as the heat of Arkansas snuck up on me today while I donned jeans.  White jeans.  But, jeans nonetheless. 

My heart has been screaming for time.  Time to be still and know that God is God.  Time to cuddle my boys after they are clean.  Or before they are clean.  I don't really care.

Time to make something homemade and take it to someone in need
Time to once and for all get the laundry room organized so I don't well up with anger everytime I enter
Time to sit by my husband and laugh
Time to give my dog a good bath
Time to paint the boys' bathroom
And hang the new shower curtain I have had picked out for months
Time to fill out an NCAA bracket and join in on the family fun
Time to tell the boys vivid bible stories
Time to go to Kroger and get milk since we have been out for two days

I just feel like the Thief is stealing lately
Stealing all my time

I know I have the same amount as always, and I can't seem to figure out why it feels like it is being snatched away...
faster and faster...

I have prayed for God to remove anything from my schedule that He hasn't ordained to be there.
Even if it is a "good" thing or a "church" thing.

But right now, He is silent about that.
So, maybe He is going to make the sun stand still. 
Just long enough for me to catch up~
And snatch back time from the Thief.

In the meantime, I will celebrate in the simple joys that He has been throwing my way...
~getting to see my Nana and Grandad midweek
~celebrating the birth of my cousin's baby and getting the honor of taking her pictures
~praising God as He has seen fit to put an adopted daughter into my friend's arms...very soon!
~warmer weather and blooms all around
~anticipation of a slow spring break and a few deep breaths

Teach me to number my days, that I may gain a heart of wisdom, Lord.

I read this quote today and smiled all over myself:  "Make every day a celebration of who you are in Christ!"

Recipes...per request

These are some Derby Pie recipes at the request of Kathy...hello to you and all my St. Louis blog friends!

Derby Pie
1 9 in.  pie shell, uncooked
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup butter, melted
6 ounces chocolate chips
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 tsp. vanilla

Combine eggs, sugar, flour, and butter.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Pour into pie shell.  Bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees.  Serves 8.  {You better eat it warm and with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream...just sayin'.}  I usually double this recipe, because there is only one thing better than Derby Pie, and that is 2 Derby Pies.  :)

Corrie's Kentucky Pie  (Paula Deen)  (see pics in post below)
4 eggs. lightly beaten
2 cups sugar
12 oz. semisweet choc. chips, melted
1 cup sifted self-rising flour
2 sticks butter, melted
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups chopped pecans
2-9 in.  unbaked pie shells

(As you can see, Paula has already doubled this for ya!) 

Preheat to 350 degrees
Combine eggs, sugar, and melted chocolate in large bowl.  Add flour and mix well; stir in remaining ingredients except for pie shells.  Spread mixture into pie shells.  Bake for 30-40 minutes.  Serve warm with ice cream.  Freezes well. 

There you go!  I am surprised at the difference that melting the chocolate will have to try both and tell me which you prefer!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Derby Pie or Fudge Brownie Pie???

Have you ever made Derby Pie?  It is also called Kentucky Pie or Thoroughbred Pie. 
It is tasty.
I have a tried and true recipe for Derby Pie, but I thought I would branch out...
and give Mrs. Paula Deen a try.
This first picture is for you, Erica.
Because I know a pic of baking goods will make your Monday
a little bit happier.
So, Paula has you melt the chocolate before adding to the other goodness.
And that is where things got kind of weird for me.
Because the end result was more like a fudge or brownie pie.
And less like a Derby pie.
But don't you worry, all things with
butter and chocolate
are finger licking good.

happy monday.

Friday, March 11, 2011


have you ever taken a photowalk?
it is very therapeutic
especially when the tulip trees are in full bloom
pick a warm sunny day
your body will love the vitamin D

your kid will love the mini adventure
a smile will break out
when you stop and notice God's attention to detail
you will feel patriotic
when you see cottage homes
with gingerbread detailing
and flags flying proudly
the glory of the tulip tree will just undo you

thanks for joining us on our photowalk!