Monday, October 31, 2011

The Racer

I just can't tell you how amazing Saturday was!  It was truly a dream come true for Eric.  He had started running only 14 months prior and could barely make it once around our park's gravel track.  He persevered, stuck with it, and absolutely shocked me...he can now run for two and a half hours straight...or 13.1 miles, baby!!!  He participated in the half marathon that promotes Soaring Wings Ranch.

The boys and I helped man the aid station at mile marker 10.5.  Here we have our first runner, very Kenyan, and at this mile marker in only 1 hour.  A-MA-ZING!

 The boys made a sign for their Daddy...we asked Sam what he wanted on it...and he went with Go Daddy!  Daddy Win!!  Daddy Win!!

 Tiff and Jen
 Watching the race is always high never know what you are going to see!

 Here he is...stopping for the very first time!
 I am so proud of this man, I just am floored at his accomplishment!
 Here are some of my other favorite runners!

Friday, October 28, 2011

You Are Safe Here

I've been wanting to tell you that since August.  I just haven't had the guts.  Because in the telling, I have to get a little personal.  And the personal isn't always pretty.

I was driving home from seeing my family.  All by myself, I had Joyce Meyer cranked up hungering for a Word.  Well, God was clear.  I wasn't going to be allowed to try and make a name for myself any longer.  He simply wasn't going to share His glory.  I told you the personal isn't always pretty.  Sometimes pride rises to the surface just as fat congeals on top of cooled meat.  Whether or not we let God skim it off is the real question, I guess.

I guess I should back up, though.  In my first year of blogging, I wanted so badly to get one of those "Site counters" they offer for blogs.  You use them to see who has visited and where they are from, etc.  I always had a check in my spirit and even though I knew countless other Christian bloggers who had them, I couldn't ever go through with it. 

Then, Blogger decided to incorporate some sort of counter/who visits info. into their own site, so I was off the hook.  Seeing who hopped on over to Moop and Saba was kind of fun.  It was nice to know that after investing hours into a bible study and writing about it, someone actually read it! 

I think stay-at-home moms can be tempted to want to make a name for ourselves as much as men in the corporate world.  We change diapers, fix countless meals, and fold underwear, all the while wondering if we have any worth.  Somewhere along the way, Satan tempts us with the desire to make a name for ourselves, even if it is cloaked in making God's name great.

{Jesus came to make Himself nothing.  Is that not the least I could do for Him?}

God told me I was no different than David.  You remember the story in 2 Samuel chapter 24?  David is King of all of Israel.  His army is powerful.  He has the Name of Yahweh on his side.  But, pride seeps in.  He orders a census, longing to know how Israel had grown and prospered.  He was transferring his trust in God to trust in numbers.  He wanted to take credit for the kingdom.

Perhaps it was just ambitious curiosity.  But, wasn't I just ambitiously curious?

As king, David knew Exodus 30:12 which doesn't say that taking a census is a sin.  But, it better be ordered by the Lord, because God is the owner of the people, not the leader. 

David was counting what didn't belong to him.  The consequences were harsh.  70,000 of the people died from a plague.

Moop and Saba is a tiny pinhead in the blogworld galaxy.  If God wants readers to come read, then He will direct them here.  I will have no part in trying to gain readers.  My prayer is that God will manifest Himself to me, and that He will give me grace to pen (or type) what He reveals.  If you are encouraged, then praise Him, not me.  I'd love encouragement along the way, just not praise.  I just want you to know that if I have learned anything in God's Word, then it is grace.  The purest form of grace.  There is nothing in this congealed fatty heart of mine that has done to deserve it.

Perhaps you want to surrender your blog to God's glory as well?

This prayer says it all to well...
and now I have chills because I wrote all this before I realized what her topic was for this very day.

Perhaps God is saying something to us all...

{May my only fame be that I bear your Name}

All the above is for me to simply tell you that you are safe here.  I love having you with me on this journey, but if you want to remain in the shadows, I am perfectly alright with that.  I am kind of a shadows girl myself.  God tells us that we can find rest in His shadow.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Competitive One

I never dreamed I would enjoy this sport this much.  I mean, I always knew I would be a Soccer Mom, but actually having fun while watching the sport has surprised me a little bit.  I am learning bit by bit, which makes it even more fun!  This year, Eli has had the opportunity to join a more competitive league with a coach that is the girls' soccer coach for a local college.

What he is learning is invaluable.  They haven't won a single game yet, but it is because they are playing kids 2-3 years older!  The good news is that the beat-down they receive every week is making them extremely good little players!

{unfortunately for my fiercely competitive son, the losses aren't always received as a good thing}

I think this might end up being Eli's primary sport...he is fast and good with his feet.  He is so athletic and has the instincts to play the game well.

What can I say, he gets it all from his Momma. {insert snort}

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

50 Things That Drain My Energy

While at the retreat, we were encouraging to jot down 50 things that drain our energy.  The idea is that we can change those things and allow those things to bring us energy instead.  I don't easily tackle this kind of project because I know how overwhelmed the process of "knowing" is for me.  I can't change everything at once...and some things I can't change at all...and so the process of writing it all down and becoming self aware makes me dream of mice living in my car when I write down that my messy car is an energy drainer.  (Which I did in fact, dream, last night.)  But, in the spirit of seeing what good can come from are my 50, which were penned in about 3.3 seconds.

1.  cluttered desk
2.  garage
3.  laundry room
4.  ironing that builds up
5.  trying to find time to work out
5.  the blah feeling when I don't work out
6.  having to cover up furniture so dog can lay on it
7.  trying to squeeze cleaning and grocery shopping into one day
8.  day always interrupted midday to go get Sam (not that I don't love getting him...just hate the interruption)
9.  the drive to and from school...sometimes 1 1/2 hours in car daily
10.  neck ache/tension/headaches
11.  Eric traveling (I have pity on single mothers)
12.  too much stuff on calendar...everything conflicts
13.  crammed closets
14.  unorganized photography props---where to put them???
15.  dog smell, dog hair, dog running away
16.  too many Bible studies...trying to keep up with three is too much
17.  Loud noises...the unnecessary noise of life
18.  T.V. on...hate the noise
19.  always trying to figure out what to feed our family
20.  always cleaning the kitchen
21.  dirty carpet that needs to be cleaned and perhaps even replaced
22.  picking up after others
23.  rinsing other's dishes when the food has dried
24.  putting other's clothes into laundry basket
25.  toothpaste on boys' towels
26.  need to lose 10 pounds
27.  maintaining so many relationships and not having the time to do them justice
28.  junk mail
29.  organization of papers...always sooo many papers!
30.  other kids' bday invitations that crowd our schedule (sorry that sounds mean!)
31.  junk mail emails/forwards
32.  not enough time in Word (for myself, not a study)
33.  believing the Enemy's lies
34.  not enough prayer
35.  no "me" time
36.  Eric relaying too much work info (fine balance here, cause I want him to share!)
37.  dealing with vehicle issues...I hate getting it serviced and gassing it up
38.  kids talking back or arguing
39.  unexpected expenses
40.  no caffeine drains the ol' energy!
41.  toilet lids left up
42.  being a taxi mom
43.  unanswered prayer/not resting in God's sovereignty
44.  grief and always wondering the "why"
45.  messy car...hard to keep clean when we are always in it
46.  clothes and shoes that won't ever fit when you need new ones
47.  people not listening to my heart
48.  striking up conversations with people I don't know well
49.  how fast cash goes
50.  what it costs to simply live

How do you like them apples?  Wish I didn't have to transfer that list over into my dreams.

All 50 things don't occur at the same time...and I love my life and the blessings God has bestowed on me, so I not complaining...just trying to realize what drains me and if there is anything I can do to change it.  Do you have any ideas on turning those things into energy boosters?  :)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

R and R

Women from our church got to get away for a much needed retreat!
Sunsets, yummy food, good teaching, solitude, lake, time in the Word,
 campfire, smores, games, sleeping, laughing, Hog watching,
it was all pretty much awesome. 

thank you God for a chance
to get away from it all!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Celebration of Another's Dream

Her name was Rebekah.  She could get under my husband's skin like no other.  Known to him since he was four.  And always pestering.  The culmination of that pestering came about when they entered the Buckle as high school students to go shopping.  Rebekah proceeded to introduce Eric to the gay guy at the checkout...knowing full well that would wig his heterosexual being totally out.  She was good for a laugh.

Today, she is good for a song.

In a way, Jessica and Rebekah and Bethany were the sisters Eric never had.  They grew up together.  They harassed the mess out of one another.  As a married couple, Eric and I celebrated with them during Jessica and Rebekah's double wedding.  We also mourned with them after the tragic loss of Bethany.

Losing a sister, we get that.

Today, we celebrate with their family all over again.  Rebekah has just released her CD, Come Awaken.  You can buy it off of itunes...just type in 'Rebekah Sullivant.'

If your heart is in need of a new song,
then give this former Arkansas girl a chance.

Friday, October 14, 2011

the grace of red. white. blue.

today I am reminded of the grace
to live in a country
such as ours

the grace to worship my God
befriend whomever I wish
buy whatever I need

the grace to sleep unafraid
send my boys to a good school
and drive anywhere I desire

the grace to pray for our leaders
elect those leaders
and pray again for those leaders

today I am thankful for the grace
of this red. white. and blue.
place of grace

let us not forget that grace
is simply
unmerited favor

let us not strut around
as if
we have done something to gain it

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Lyrics of Longing

He's right, you know.  Eric said it happens every year.  KLOVE is traded for KSSN, Christian lyrics for those of trucks, rivers, and young love.  It's the time of year.  A country girl just can't help herself when Fair Season rolls around.

I so want to don my Wranglers and Ropers, but they were swapped out for Skinny Jeans and Ballet Flats a long time ago.  There are no longer any cattle in my barn, or a barn for that matter.  There is absolutely no reason at all for me to hop in my minivan and stroll through the cattle barns at the State Fair.  But, what I would give for that smell of clean heifers and hay just about now.

I was Cade's age when I started showing, not even knowing the difference between a heifer and a Hereford.  I was green and naive and young and innocent and had no idea how this one simple word, cow, would knit me together with my Dad.  It's in my blood now.  There seems to be no escaping it.

Something about this time of year brings hope.  Fall just seems to dip into the jar of all things happy and bring forth an extra measure.  The sunlight falls on the trees in less harsh ways.  The days end cooler and quicker.  The crisp mornings beg you to take some coffee outside and relish in both the coffee and the morning.  The happy country lyrics speak of dreams fulfilled and good times with friends. 

October was always the culmination of everything I had worked for when I was younger and entering the sawdust ring, heifer, steer, or bull by my side, wondering if the judge had the sense to know if my animal was as perfect as I knew it to be.  That moment of stepping into the ring at the State Fair, laying your heart on the line and wondering if your hard work was going to pay off was always the pinnacle of the year.

I know now it always paid off.  No matter what color ribbon I brought home.

Teaching me how to work to work towards a to put oneself under the authority of what the Judge to walk out of the ring with your head held high when you didn't agree with the Authority...I now know the work of those childhood days paid off.

Here are my thoughts on this topic when I visited it last year.

And the lyrics of longing always running through my head...
strawberry wine, 17...
I run to you...
check yes or no...
dust on the bottle...
go rest high on that mountain...
stuck like glue...
if I die young...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Early Riser

The door makes its funny air-suctioned slamming noise.  It is Cade's door, almost 50 years old and still serving its purpose.  But with noise.  I always say that those who live longest have the right to say anything.  I guess it goes that way with doors as well.  I know his routine.  He dresses.  Makes bed.  Opens Word.  Reads Proverbs.  Opens obstreperous door ready to face the day. 

Only this day, it is 4:50 a.m.  Eric had just flown out the door, headed to another city for another week of ensuring his family eats.  He doesn't complain.  Sometimes his beloved does.

I smile as the oldest, the responsible one, comes into my room to feed the ever hungry laundry hamper.  I tell him what time it really is.  He flusters, not grasping the reality of it all.  Why, what is he to do now that he is dressed?  I laugh, tell him to put his PJ's back on and enjoy an additional two hours of sleep.

And God whispers that I am no different than the oldest, responsible one.  I hunger to be in the center of His will, terrified I might miss it.  I am walking ahead of Him.  I am ready-to-go and prayed-up but my timing is off.  I just need to go back to sleep.  Wait on God to wake things up.

Allow myself a couple more hours of much needed rest.

Just Rest.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Bash

We had to rag the old man just a little bit...giant clothespin to prevent snoring, giant ear to aid in hearing, and medicine bottle to carry around at all times.  A huge thanks to Michael Clanton for making Eric a surprise shirt to wear with only 2 days notice!  

There's a story behind the night vision goggles.  Eric has been dreaming of getting some, perching himself on top of our shed and shooting the skunk that keeps spraying our dog.  I bet the kid version goggles will do just the trick! 

 And the doc among us hooked him up with a plethora of drugs to aid in the ailments of old age.