Wednesday, October 31, 2007
“whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.”
“Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.”
I had one of those phone calls yesterday. A voice I had not heard in a long time apologizing for the fact that once again it has taken a sad occurrence to put us in touch with each other and wishing we had done better at calling during happy times. A dear friend from our Florida days, when we were younger and newly married, called today to tell me that the man who had been our beloved Sunday school teacher and friend went home to be with his Lord this weekend unexpectedly, leaving behind his wife and teenaged children.
Drew and I have been crying and praying together for our friends and also for the time that has gone. We matured as a married couple and grew spiritually in that church and Sunday school class, and the friends we made there are the kind of friends who, even if we haven't talked in a while, can pick right up as if we just saw each other yesterday. This life is so fleeting. I’ve really been thinking a lot about how much I take for granted. We are never guaranteed tomorrow. I’ve been thinking so much about how my heart aches for this wife and children who are left behind to pick up and carry on, though I know that in the midst of their shock and grief they have the comfort and hope of knowing their husband and father is with Jesus now. But also I’m so reminded that I want to live my life in such a way that I will not have any regrets should someone close to me be taken unexpectedly. I spend too much time saying, “I’ll get to that soon,” or “I’ll call that person next week,” and I need to do a better job of not putting things off. I also do an awful amount of whining about things that don’t really matter. We don’t know when the day will come when there isn’t another tomorrow. But God does know the days of our lives. Our friend has lived the days that were written for him and now can rest in the glorious presence of Christ. This is the blessed hope we have who trust in Christ alone.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
With all the blog slumpage going on, I realized today that I missed the big one-year blogiversary. On October 20, my blog turned one year old! Hooah! The celebration slipped up on me with a whimper, but I hope soon to get back to better posting. Once I get the house back in some kind of order and everybody feeling better that is. Hope to be back to better blogging soon!
Sunday, October 28, 2007
What a way to welcome home my husband after 5 weeks! Bummer.
But, this morning was so worth being there for. The music was worshipful and the Word was preached and taught, and we were with fellow believers. A good morning, indeed.
Here's one of the hymns we sang, and I never can sing it without crying. Especially when we get to the last verse.
Crown Him With Many Crowns
Crown Him with many crowns,
The Lamb upon His throne;
Hark! How the heav'nly anthem drowns
All music but its own;
Awake, my soul, and sing
Of Him who died for thee,
And hail Him as thy matchless King
Thro' all eternity.
Crown Him the Lord of life,
Who triumphed o'er the grave,
And rose victorious in the strife
For those He came to save;
His glories now we sing
Who died, and rose on high,
Who died eternal life to bring,
And lives that death may die.
Crown Him the Lord of peace,
Whose pow'r a scepter sways
From pole to pole, that wars may cease
And all be pray'r and praise;
His reign shall know no end,
And round His pierced feet
Fair flow'rs of paradise extend
Their fragrance ever sweet.
Crown Him the Lord of love;
Behold His hands and side,
Those wounds yet visible above,
In beauty glorified;
All hail, Redeemer, hail!
For Thou has died for me:
Thy praise and glory shall not fail
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Something I saw this morning was interesting. This article talks about a sleep study that has shown a link between sleep deprivation and emotional overreactions. Duh. I could have told them that one. Read my last post for evidence! Anyway, ignoring the evolutionary biology biases in the article, I do think there is definitely something to be said for making every effort to get a healthy amount of sleep. I’m not talking about being lazy, by any means, but just being purposeful in the kinds of decisions we make with our time. I, for one, know that much of my temptation to give in to emotional melt-downs is heightened to a large degree when I’m tired. We moms will have many sleep-deprived nights that are beyond our control, granted. That’s part of being a mom when kids are sick or nightmares hit them or any number of things. But, knowing that’s the case, I’m a wise mom if I recognize my own tendency to overreact when tired and learn to deny myself that late night blogging session or time spent watching a brainless TV show or playing just a little bit longer on that stupid PlayStation game I found myself addicted to (what a waste of time that is when I let it eat up time better spent elsewhere!) or whatever because I want some “me” time. God created our bodies and we’re wise to take care of them so we can be better able to face the day each day and be a woman who honors Him.
And, to tie the two things together, it is pretty hard to have focused and meaningful prayer time when I’m so tired I fall asleep halfway through my prayers. If I want to learn better how to pray, I’m wise to get the rest my body and mind are screaming for. Because there are times I have a shamefully prayerless life, and it shows. I’m speaking from real time experience at the moment. It’s looking like I may have caught the virus Boo had and then passed to M, who is finally beginning to feel some better today. I’m feeling crummy and tired, and my husband is still away doing his Army stuff, though we are finally down to counting the hours until his return. I think he’ll be home tomorrow night. Anyway, while reading some of Our Covenant God today I was really reminded of the power and comfort of knowing God is my covenant friend. Friend is a covenant word full of meaning that has been stripped away by our casual use of the word ‘friend’ in our culture. But today, while rocking Boo and feeling like my head is on fire, I was thanking God that He truly is my covenant friend, and I am not alone in this. His grace is sufficient even when fever rages and I’m so tired I just want to go to bed but can’t. And because His love is so great and vast and true, I want to live for His glory, even in this. Even today. Because He is my covenant Friend, I can pray and should pray and line up my will with His. What a privilege to take everything to Him in prayer and to learn to love the things He loves and long for them as the deer pants for the water! Praise Jesus He is our greatest Friend and Lover of our souls.
You know, in 1 Kings 19, when Elijah was running from Jezebel, after that great victory on Mount Carmel against the prophets of Baal, he was despairing and depressed and felt he was the only one left who served the Lord. But God sustained him and gave him the rest and refreshing he needed and the angel acknowledged he needed it because the journey was too much for him. But God gave him strength to go on. And I’m trusting Him to give me the strength, too.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
I went to our office at 12:15. No one there. 30 minutes later, while I was trying to call the doctor again on my cell phone, the woman who cleans the office came up and said she could let me in. I told her I'd been waiting for 30 minutes. She called Dr. K and he talked to me and said he hadn't talked to me this morning. I asked who I talked to then, and he said it must be the doctor who was covering for them this weekend. I then explained what was going on with the kids and he told me to give them Motrin and bring them in tomorrow morning if they still had fevers. It was quite providential that this woman drove up right when I was wondering what I should do next. I believe that God is so very kind, in spite of my mistake!
When I got home there were two messages from Dr. F at the other pediatrician’s office! I had mistakenly called them instead of our pediatrician’s office because the phone numbers are right next to each other in the phone book and I was tired and panicky and had a screaming 17 month old and headachy 6 year old fussing in the background. He waited for 30 minutes and I never showed. I listened to the messages, swallowed pride, and called him back and apologized profusely and explained what I'd accidentally done in my frazzled state this morning. He was very nice about it and asked if the kids were okay and had I been able to get help. I'm glad he was so nice about it, because you know he's probably thinking I'm one of those people who make his job difficult and frustrating. I feel horrible about that, too. This is why I almost NEVER call the after hours numbers, by the way.
I feel like a DOPE! And now two local pediatricians know it, too! Thank You, Lord, for allowing the humbling of my self-sufficiency and perfectionism today.
But, both kids seem to be doing okay while the Motrin is in their system, and I think they'll be alright. They just have a mom who goofed very publicly today. My mother in law, who I just called in tears to tell her what was going on, says I need to laugh about this, so this post is my attempt to lighten up and quit fretting about it, and if you're laughing, well, okay then....
Friday, October 19, 2007
Oh, and the e-mail that just won't die is apparently making its rounds again if the hits from sitemeter are any indication. Have I mentioned how much I don't like most e-mail forwards? I'm just sayin' is all......
Monday, October 15, 2007
Anyway, J had a great attitude about it all and doesn’t seem too upset, but it bothers me. J and M enjoyed the scavenger hunt with the cute poem riddle clues that were so fun to write. Uncle M and Gram and Grandad were here so we had pizza and cake with them and I mowed the yard (our riding mower is fixed!).
We go to a very small church and there are no boys J’s age there that he could invite over so he had asked friends from school whose parents don’t know us, and I imagine that’s why the low (non) turnout, but it’s sad, anyway. One of my biggest frustrations about living here is how very hard it has been to make friends here. We have been here for four years and tried to be involved, but I still feel very lonely, and it makes it hard when your kids are experiencing it, too. I am extremely thankful for an answered prayer, however. I had been praying that J would be strong enough not to be too disappointed and heartbroken if this happened, and he had such a good attitude all day. Along those lines somewhat, there is something we are praying about, by the way, that I do not feel ready to blog about, so if you read this and feel inclined to pray for us and some decisions we need to make, I would be grateful.
So, the boys had fun in spite of it not being the birthday bash we had planned. It’s a good thing they are close. Having a brother has it’s advantages, right, J?
J with the one guest who will always RSVP - his very supportive little brother, M
Blowing out the candles
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
I can’t believe it’s been nine years since we were sitting there at that Sunday school party having dinner when I realized, quite suddenly and unmistakably, (oh, my goodness it’s still 3 weeks until my due date this can’t be what I think it is!), that it was time to go – and there was no question! J was in a hurry to get here it seems, and he’s been in a hurry to grow up ever since.
Happy birthday to my nine year old J!
Thursday, October 11, 2007
*And, lastly, to Heather, I really have to say I'm passing it right back to you! You were on my draft list that I was working on but put on that back burner, and you have really been an encouragement, especially this past year as you've shared so transparently about your trust in our gracious God through it all.
There are two others I had wanted to pass this on to, but they have recently announced that they are closing the blogging chapter of their lives for now. It always feels so sad when a favorite blogger leaves the blogosphere, and I will definitely miss Rabbit at The Hutch and Jules at Everyday Mommy. Ladies, thank you for sharing the snapshots of your lives and faith in Christ that you did through your blogs, you will be missed!
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
“Therefore the Lord said:
‘Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths
And honor Me with their lips,
But have removed their hearts far from Me,
And their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men,
Therefore, behold, I will again do a marvelous work
Among this people,
A marvelous work and a wonder;
For the wisdom of their wise men shall perish,
And the understanding of their prudent men shall be hidden.’”
When I read this yesterday, I was overcome with the thought, “I don’t want to be like that.” I don’t want to just talk about my faith in Christ, I want to live it. I don’t understand how people often think you can compartmentalize faith into a little box to take out when it is convenient. If you really believe this is the truth, if you really believe that God is Who He is and that Jesus is the only way to Him, you can’t just put that in a little box on the shelf to be put on like a badge when you're doing "Christian" things and taken off and put back on the shelf when you want to go on about your business. The things you find important begin to change as you walk with Him. I want my faith in Christ to inform how I live and think and move in all I do, even and especially how I behave as a wife and mom and neighbor, and even as a blogger. I don’t want to just intellectually assent to what I say I believe, I want to live it out day by day, by the power of the Holy Spirit in me.
I also don’t want my fear of God to be only defined by the result of the rules laid down by men. No, I want to rightly fear God because I have a biblical understanding of who He is. I want it to be because as I grow in faith I am consumed with the joy of the Lord and that I am becoming consumed with the desire to live for His glory. That is only going to come from knowing and spending time in His word and in prayer. If you’ve been reading a while, you know I’ve been thinking a lot here recently about what it means to seek and find my joy in Christ. This also comes from having a right understanding of Him and of my security in Him.
There’s a line in the hymn “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing” that says,
“Prone to wander, Lord I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love.”
I often find that I struggle with loving God with all my heart, with all my soul, and with all my mind. And yet, this is the first and greatest commandment. And when we struggle with that, we also struggle to love our neighbor as ourselves. In the pilgrim walk of life, I fear I’m terribly prone to wander at times, in my attention, in where I place my affections. I don’t say all that to excuse hypocrisy, but to recognize it. But, oh, aren’t you glad God is a covenant keeping God. I am redeemed by the blood of Christ Jesus, clothed in His righteousness, upheld by His righteousness. He is mighty to save, and I bow before Him in humility and awe that He would love and save and redeem one like me. I am amazed that Jesus would take on human flesh and live and walk among us and live perfectly for God’s glory, and as the only One able to save, die for those who would repent and believe on Him, taking our guilt and shame and clothing us with robes of righteousness, washed in His precious blood. His righteousness making us whole. And I’m amazed that He always turns my eyes back to Him. And I’m amazed that He offers grace in abundance to sustain me and enable me to be the mom and wife I’m supposed be. It humbles me to think how often my attention strays and how often I find myself being so self-centered that I have a hard time climbing out of my comfort zone to be a more effective witness.
"Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace."
How I want to offer more than empty words and a distant heart. How I want to draw near to God, for drawing near to God is good. How I want the fragrance of His righteousness to be evident in all I do. How I hate the wandering ways that lead to selfishness and temper and misplaced affections.
“Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.”
Monday, October 08, 2007
And the neat thing is that tonight while we were listening in the car, I found that I was worshiping and singing along. This CD is so much better than some of the kids' music I have for the car which I kind of tolerate because it keeps Boo happy when she's feeling cranky. No, this one I actually like, too!
Friday, October 05, 2007
But she is awfully cute, I must admit. But I'm not biased at all, you understand.
Better....(please don't look too closely at my dirty floor.)
I finally got one of her "wrinkled nose" face! I've been trying for weeks to get that one! She was very proud of the mess she made in her room and the grin proves it.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Oliver was up at 2AM last night wandering around the house making his jingle, jingle, jingle noise as his dog tags heralded his pacing. I have no idea what his problem was, but, because he has been having potty accidents every so often, I decided I’d better get up and let him out. It was really, really dark in the back yard last night. I let him out and then filled up his food bowl and checked his water bowl and then went to let him back in. He wasn’t at the door and all was silent in the pitch black darkness out there. I whispered, “Oliver,” not wanting to yell it and wake up our kids or the neighbors and even tried to whistle. Finally I heard him jingle, jingle, jingling toward the door.
Whether that’s what he needed or not, he finally settled himself out on the couch after two unsuccessful attempts to jump on my bed. I am really, really glad I bought a waterproof mattress protector for our new, still being paid for mattress, by the way. The other day one of his potty accidents was right in the middle of the bed. Grrrrrrrrr. I just found another one by the dining room table. That must be due to the constant rain we’ve had for two days straight now. He doesn’t like to go out in it. He is neurotic, I’m telling you.
He also barks at invisible people. That must be what it is because he’ll stand there at the front door barking up a storm and when I go to check who’s at the door, there is NO ONE there. There isn’t even anyone walking past the house. There aren’t even any squirrels. It’s merely annoying when he does this during the day. It’s down right spooky when he does it at night. It’s even spookier when he stands there with his hair standing on end and growls at the deserted front door at night. I don’t like that at all.
I suppose people who aren't dog lovers don't get why we would choose to put up with all the "dogginess," but, he’s awfully cute and snuggly, and we’ve had him since he was 8 weeks old. He picked me out when we went to “just look” at the puppies Drew’s aunt’s friend’s dog had had. Unless you’re ready to be a dog owner, never go to “just look” at puppies. You’ll end up with a dog. Oliver is the only dog I’ve ever owned. Drew had dogs growing up, but we didn’t, and we didn’t particularly want one, either. I told Drew when we were sitting there “just looking” and coming closer to deciding to adopt Oliver that I knew nothing about dogs and I’m kind of grossed out by the idea that when they get sick you have to clean up doggie vomit and when they have accidents you have to clean up doggie messes. Well, of course he said he’d take care of all of that. My husband is in the Army Reserves and he’s gone a lot. Guess who takes care of doggie messes? I got over it.
The first time I sprained my ankle happened when Oliver was just a little puppy, but he had been housebroken, and Drew was away at his “one weekend a month” Army drill. I managed to get myself back home and called Drew’s unit in tears because my ankle was swelling up as I sat there and I needed help. He came home. Meanwhile, puppy Oliver needed to go out. We lived in an apartment complex – no screened in back yard. I thought, he’s just a little puppy, he won’t go far, I’ll just let him out back and get him back in, then I don’t have to hobble around with him on his leash. Dumb, dumb, dumb. He didn’t go far, that’s true. He did his little puppy business and then promptly laid down in the grass right behind the back door. I called him and called him and he just looked at me like, “Who you calling? Surely it’s not me. I’m just enjoying the fresh air here, lady.” My ankle was so painfully swollen by that point I was hanging onto the door and crying and hoping some neighbor would come by and offer to help. Then Oliver decided it was time to come in, so he did. Then he sat on the couch next to me and looked very sad that his mommy person was hurt.
That was 11 years ago. Come to think of it, Oliver was pretty good preparation for parenthood in some ways. I got over a lot of my ick factor before kids came along. And he’s been a good little dog. You can tell from my picture that he spends a large bulk of his time sleeping on the couch. He thinks it is his. I don’t really want anyone to be in the market for my neurotic little dog. But he is driving me crazy these days.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Having all my baby-friendly plastic dishes in a low, baby’s level cabinet is a good idea for multiple minutes of sheer exploratory fun, especially when she can climb all the way into the cabinet. (Short attention span at her age, minutes equals hours in "toddler time"…..)
Having my cleaning supplies in a low cabinet in my bathroom is not a good idea, because even if I am good about remembering to close the bathroom door, the boys don't always remember. Guess I'll be reorganizing the cleaning supplies during naptime today.
Praising my Savior is a blessing.
Blogging friends can be very encouraging.
Attitude is important.
I am thankful to have a car to drive. Though the van is being temperamental and I won't have time and someone to follow me to the place to have it checked out until Saturday, Drew's car is working and I'm thankful to have it.
Getting a good haircut and having a light-hearted conversation with the stylist who has been cutting my hair the whole (almost) four years we’ve lived here is nice.
Boo really, really enjoys walking around the dentist’s waiting room while her brothers are having their six-month check-ups. She was cackling, loudly, at her reflection in a mirrored cabinet they had there. In fact, she got so loud, and was having such a good time that when she tripped over her own feet and landed flat on her face, hard, on the floor, she was much perturbed. So perturbed I found it expedient to take her into the outer part of the waiting room so she would not be a nuisance to the office staff who were on the phone until I was called back to hear what the dentist had to say about the boys’ check-ups.
The words, “No cavities,” are downright musical. The words, “I’m giving you a referral to an orthodontist to have both boys evaluated,” do not have nearly the same musical quality.
Listening to your oldest son talk to his grandparents on the phone for 30 minutes is a very sweet thing.
Preparing for your son’s birthday party can be really fun, especially designing your own invitations with pictures of Legos and seeing his eyes light up when he sees the finished project. Priceless. Oh, and writing out cute little poems for the clues for the treasure hunt on which he and his guests will embark at that party a week from Saturday was so incredibly fun last night. I can’t even tell you how much fun I had. Maybe when I blog about his party (you know I will) I’ll include my lame little poem clues then. I can’t wait for J to see them. (Oh, how I hope this party really happens! The past two years this poor kid’s birthday parties were a bust – one year due to a very untimely stomach bug and one year due to Mommy’s poor choice of party time on Saturday morning when all the invited guests had soccer games.)
The rain that looks to be settling in for the whole day has up and down sides. I sat in the church parking lot this morning listening to the end of John MacArthur’s sermon and the beginning of Chip Ingram’s while waiting for someone, anyone, to show up for our Wednesday Bible study. I didn’t want to haul Boo out in the rain if we were not going to end up staying. I finally pulled my car up close to the front door and knocked for the secretary and asked if our study had been cancelled and I hadn’t heard. Nope, just no one had shown up. I gave her the video and said that I would wait five more minutes then I was leaving, and at least the tape would be there for next week. As I was pulling out, one of the other young moms finally drove up, sorry to be so late, and as we talked we decided to just wait until next week since there was no one there to watch the kids anyhow. Sigh. BUT, that same rain that made driving around this morning difficult, I am saying prayers of thanks for anyway because an all day rain like this means NO FOOTBALL PRACTICE this afternoon!! The same kitchen that saw me in a heap of tears yesterday is now witnessing my dance of joy today. We so needed to not have to go to practice tonight.
Boo is so cute when she takes her blankie and puts it over her head while sitting in the carseat on the way home and falls asleep. Just a little pink “ghost” sitting back there when I looked back at her.
AND, I need to say a very humble, “Thank-you,” to Kim for the kindness she showed me on her blog. It is quite humbling to think that people actually read this blog and find it a blessing. That means so very much to me, because I do want it to reflect my love for Christ and encourage others to love Him and find their joy in Him, even in my more frustrated moments like earlier yesterday. So, thank you, Kim for the kind words and for being a blessing yourself. If you haven’t read Kim’s blog, you should visit her, she is a very encouraging person. I always have a hard time narrowing down who to pass these blog awards on to because so very many of the blogs I read demonstrate a passion for Christ and are a real blessing to read, so I may have to think about it for a little bit.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
I’m having one of those days.