Thursday, July 31, 2008

Love really does redeem.

One of my favorite books is Francine Rivers "Redeeming Love". If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it. It is a historical fiction novel based on the book of Hosea. Yesterday as I was flipping through my bible, I decided to read the book of Hosea through it's entirety. I read chapter 1. Hosea 1:2 reads: When the Lord began to speak through Hosea, the Lord said to him, "Go, take to yourself an adulteress wife and children of unfaithfulness, because the land is guilty of the vilest adultery departing from the Lord." I was struggling to figure out why God would have asked His prophet Hosea to marry an adulterous woman. I know the obvious answer is because "the land is guilty of the vilest adultery in departing from the Lord." I read the commentary in search of better understanding. It talks about the feelings Hosea may have had when asked to do this. Of course, it focused on Hosea's steadfast faith that he would be willing to obey God knowing the hardship that it would bring. But thrown into the last sentence of the commentary was a question that I haven't been able to get out of my mind...It says, "Will you be able to accept the fact that the pain involved in obedience may benefit those you serve, and not you personally?"


I reread it many times and I was quickly convicted of how often I choose whether or not to obey by the way it would make me "feel". Of course Hosea was benefited by his decision to be obedient to God. But, he lived out some real-life major consequences. He walked into a situation knowing that it was going to be a long, difficult road being called to love a woman who would betray him. He would have to seek her out and bring her back. He may even be called to pull her from another man's bed and then take her to his home and love her unconditionally. That's a hard road if I've ever seen one. That requires some big-time faith in your God.

I can't wait to explore this story as it unfolds. I am always humbled by the human illustrations that God provides in His word to reveal His never-ending, unconditional love.

Monday, July 28, 2008

the buddy leash

Warning: This post may be difficult to follow outside of my brain. Inside, it makes perfect sense.

During worship yesterday, I felt as though the Lord were showing me an illustration. I was singing "You Never Let Go". The chorus says:

"Oh, no, You never let go,
Through the calm and through the storm.
Oh no, You never let go,
Every high and every low.
Oh no, You never let go,
Lord, You never let go of me."

As I sang those words I started talking to the Lord. I started thanking Him for the reality that He never has let go. I have wandered. I have struggled. Sometimes, I have tried to hide. But, He has never let go. Then I got this picture in my head of a toddler on a buddy leash. You know, those little backpacks with the tails that you can hang onto so your child doesn't bolt into oncoming traffic, etc. I thought, that's the truth, isn't it, Lord? It's not so much that I am trying to get out of Your grasp, I am not. I really do want to be safe in Your will. It's just that I sometimes wander, unaware of the dangers that could be just ahead. My next thought was that I have been walking with the Lord long enough, that I really should know better. I can't expect Him to put me on a buddy leash as an adult. I should be more mature in my walk than that. And instantly, I felt the Lord revealing this to me: If my child, no matter how old, was a danger to herself with her wandering, I would not hesitate to slap on that buddy leash. Her safety is more important than the fact that she should "know better".

So, I asked the Lord to strap on my monkey backpack and hold onto me to keep me from wandering into dangerous territory. I have no doubt that He will use this time to continue to teach me and train me to be able to walk side by side with Him without the assistance. But, until then, I will continue to remind myself of the visual of me walking next to my Savior wearing my buddy leash.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Random Thoughts

  • A yard sale when it is approximately 142 degrees is sweaty work. I have to say that the Deadliest Catch's swamp cooler was a beautiful blessing that made it bearable.

  • The Cutie has had her whine-o-meter on high these days. Consequently, my patience seems to be at an all time low.

  • I have come to the realization that she has officially hit the age where I have to be willing to tackle the hard stuff. The binky is seeing it's last days this week. And the bedtime routine will be set and followed. Don't judge me, just pray for me.

  • My kitchen is officially unpacked. I had a few stray boxes that have been lingering and mocking me with their presence. Today they were conquered!

  • I love, love, love hanging out with my friends/family and their kids. It really is a bright spot in my life. They are each so different and complex and so full of joy.

  • Even though my house is still not put together, I love having friends in our home.

  • And, my mocks me. It works approximately 1 out of every 7 attempts to start it. So, most of the time, you can find me with a dryer full of wet clothes. It's super fun when I get to wash each load 3 times...

Thursday, July 24, 2008


It's one of those...WEEKS! Seriously, what a doozie. Between the cabin fever, the heat, the odd turn of a friendship, the stress of figuring out what to do about a second vehicle....

I give.

I can't take anymore screaming.

Umm, that is all.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I'm Back!!

After being without internet service for a month, we are officially hooked back up.

I am sure I have much to catch you up on, but I won't bore you with the boringness.

I will just return to regularly scheduled randomness. (Actually not scheduled at all...but you get my drift.)

I leave you with this...The most important thing I have discovered this past month is that I find it incredibly beautiful watching my husband fall in love with his daughter.

Enough said.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Back to School Shopping

Apparently my boy does not care for underwear and sock shopping for his sister.

It makes him queasy.

Which would explain why he barfed all over himself.

In the store.

That's one way to get me out of Target.

Don't tell your dad your little trick.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Random Pictures

Firstly, I have to tell you, moving is exhausting! Even the baby doll neeed a break!

This was my car on the way to Baby Blues birthday celebration. The balloon release was beautiful, but getting there was comical.

This was an example of the delicious and healthy food options at the fair we went to on our vacation. Really? Chicken on a Krispy Kreme??

Dirty Jobs shirt says: Stud Muffin seeks Cupcake.

Cutie's shirt says: Little Miss Cupcake.

A perfect match? I think so.

These are a couple of pics of our kids doing life together.

I have a feeling I will being seeing this much in my future.

(That's a phone tucked into her shoulder.)

I love this one because it shows the ironies that are my girl. Those are her high heels that she put on to go help Daddy work on the truck.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Elvis has left the building...

Today my boy was singing Old MacDonald for his sister and me. After he was finished, we clapped for him.

No lie, he took a bow and said, "Thank you, thank you very much."

I love him.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Baby Blues,

It's your birthday. And you're not here to celebrate it with us. My emotions are conflicted today. In every way I want to celebrate all of who you were and are in our lives. I'm not sure how to do that alongside the underlying sadness that lingers even as time moves on. My intention is to do it honestly, to cry tears that need to be shed for the loss, and to laugh fully when thinking about all of your precious qualities.

We made cupcakes to celebrate you last night. My girl asked what your favorite flavor of cupcake was. I sadly replied that we didn't get to know that about you. If you are anything like your brother, Dinoboy, you are certainly enjoying some heavenly chocolate cake. But in case you are not as inclined to love all things chocolate, we got the marble cake. What Not To Wear thought that would be best.

As we poured the batter into the tin, one was clearly overfilled. My girl said that one was for you, because it's your day. We frosted it and she wondered how we'd get it to you. I told her that you were having a WAY BETTER celebration in heaven, and that I'm sure you were having a much better cupcake as well.

Dirty Job contributed by taking a single bite out of nine of the cupcakes before I frosted them. He's sneaky like that. I wonder what kind of mischief you two would've gotten into...he certainly did love you. Just in an all up in your space way. And just so you know, I totally frosted the cupcakes and am taking them to the cemetery to celebrate with those who love you. I just haven't decided if I'll warn them about the missing piece of their cupcake yet...

I gave your brother chocolate donuts for breakfast on his first birthday. I wish you were here to do that for. He made all these bird sounds around one...would you be doing that, too? Would you be attempting to walk yet? What would your favorite food be? I have so many questions, sweet boy, so many...

One year ago, I held you in the hospital nursery, never imagining that this was the plan God had for your life. And yet, you taught me many things in your short time, and even in your passing. Thank you for teaching me more about friendship, forgiveness, and the sacred importance of appreciating the day-to-day. God has used you mightily to change this mama's heart.

But still, I miss you.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Happy Birthday, Baby Blues.

Dear Baby Blues,

Tomorrow is the day that we celebrate your birth. Last year at this time, we were anticipating your arrival. Because you were "scheduled", we knew you were coming on this day. I am pretty sure this auntie couldn't wait to get her hands on you. I had so many kisses to bestow upon you. I was just certain you would be beautiful. And have a big head:) You were. And surprisingly, you didn't. After your daddy and brother got a visit, then gramma, it was finally my turn. I held you in my arms and introduced myself. You repeatedly stuck out your tongue at me. The days and weeks that followed did not allow me enough extra hours to hold you uninterrupted, what with your cousin who did not like the idea of another baby in her mama's arms. But, oh the love. We were so happy that you had joined our family.

In a little over an hour, it would be your first birthday.
I wish you were here to celebrate it with us.
I mean, I don't, because I know you are celebrating big time up there with Jesus.
But...I do.

We miss you so very much. But, today, I choose to celebrate. To celebrate your life, your love, and who you were to each one of us. I will celebrate that you are in a perfect heavenly body. Celebrate that we will see you again someday. And celebrate the time we had with you and the memories that time will never take away. An celebrate the lessons that you have taught me in your life and in your death.

We will have a birthday celebration. There will be cake and balloons and bubbles. Your friends and family will be there. And I think you will be there too.

I love you baby boy.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

"Get me outta here"

Did I mention that on our drive home from So Cal our car decided to stop working? No, I didn't? Well, our car has protested our return to H-E-L-L and shut itself down about 25 miles from home. Lovely, I know.

For the past two days, I've been hanging out at home because, really, who wants to take hubs to work at 4:30am? Umm, not me! I'm not what you'd call a "morning person," as in, I don't actually function before 9am. So, we've been at home, developing an ailment known as "cabin fever." And apparently an affinity for "quotation marks."

My girl and I busted out of the joint this evening to see Kit Kittredge. And now I have a "reporter/detective" on my hands. Maybe she will be able to solve a few questions I have, such as:

  • Why does the weatherman find it necessary to tell us how many days in a row it's been over 110? Really, is that something we need to be reminded of?
  • Does every parent love the Webkinz games as much as I do?
  • Do they also find it more challenging to keep up the care of more and more Webkinz, just like actual human children?
  • Who EVER thought white tile was a good idea?
  • How come in the original Alvin and the Chipmunk movies (the ones I watched when I was younger) the Chipettes look like people instead of chipmunks?

This is what happens when my brain is left without activity for too long...

Monday, July 7, 2008

Beach Recap

Me and my girl. At the beach. Where it was cool and breezy. And not so hot that I want to cry. I wore my hat faithfully because I have an appointment with the dermatologist tomorrow, and I didn't want him to have to stare at sunburned skin along with adult acne and previous sun damage. WHY OH WHY didn't I believe in sunscreen or sunglasses in my high school years?

We went to the beach twice while in CA, and I was a little nervous to take Dirty Job there. I didn't want him to be overstimulated, nor did I want him to be disobedient while we were there. A giant ocean isn't exactly the place where I want Dirty Jobs to challenge authority. Or more likely, not be able to process instructions.

All my fears were quickly put to rest. We had such a fantastic time! The beach was like a giant therapy room for my boy. He was able to follow directions and he demonstrated a healthy fear of the water. He enjoyed building sand molds and playing with his sister. I'm feeling pretty certain that we should live at the beach for Dirty Job's sake...I'm pretty sure that's a covered therapy cost...a girl can dream...
I just love the beach. And going with these 2 makes it all the more fun.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

A vacation in which I need a vacation to recover from our vacation...are you following that?

Our family has been on vacation the past week. We've been soaking up some breezy, cool weather. We also had an exciting surprise - Cpt's family had a last minute vacation to So Cal as well. We got to celebrate the 4th together, which was a blast. It's something special to celebrate our freedom with a soldier who has stood protecting it.

It's also something special to fight your friend on a pedestal while laughing so hard you pee.

Don't be jealous of our fancy headgear. It was previously worn by many a sweaty adolescent boy.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Nothin but Fireworks

Dear What Not To Wear,

6 years ago I held you for the first time, crying expressing so many of the emotions I felt. I was overwhelmed with the love I felt for you and terrified at the responsibility of it all. You've rocked our world since your arrival, my girl. Our life has not been boring since you entered it!

Over this past year, I have seen you learn so much. Kindergarten became a great adventure for you and you loved art, recess, music, and math. Reading has been "our" challenge and you are not a big fan of PE. Maybe because it's blazing hot and you don't want to suffer heat exhaustion. Maybe because you inherited your mom's coordination.

We've already walked through some self image issues. Who'd have thought we would have to face those already? I'm glad you can share those things with me. I'm glad I have enough tools to teach you your beauty through the Truth. Chats with you forced me to deal with some of my own stuff. God sure is smart to use you to teach me.

There are so many things to love about you, but one of my favorite things about you is your compassion. You love to care for others, and you do it with such a pure heart. Your heart is tender and reflects the Lord's unconditional love. Even when you overdo it, you really are trying to help. I watch you love your brother and it makes my heart just melt. You offer your love to him even when he can't always reciprocate...what a precious gift to have. I pray the Lord will use that in you to minister to all kinds of people in need.

Having you as my daughter has been one of God's greatest blessings in my life. Daddy and I couldn't have picked a more perfect match for our family. You make our days brighter and alot more fun! I love you the morest.