1)HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DRAMA QUEEN! She turns 17 today. True to her personality, she was a week early and came out sunny side up (my back STILL remembers!) She's always wanted to do things her own way.
One of my favorite stories about her comes from her toddler years. When she was two years old she memorized verses as part of Sunday school. No matter what the verse was, she always repeated, "Be willing to share." We worked and worked with her to say the others, but she always responded, "Be willing to share."
One day after church we went out to Burger King and her older brother wanted to swap part of his cheeseburger for her chicken strips, but she would have none of it. She hoarded the chicken in her little fists, holding them close to her body, refusing to give any up. Little five-year-old Drummer Boy looked at her and said, "Drama Queen, what's your verse? Be willing to share."
"No," she said, shaking her head and staring him down, "it's do good."
She's always been a kick, I tell you. She's a great kid turning into a lovely woman. She is full of tenacity, perseverance and intelligence and possesses a beautiful tenderness inside. We are so proud of you, babe. We love you!
2) Drama Queen was born the day the World Trade Center was attacked the first time when a car bomb exploded in an underground parking garage killing six people. Who would have guessed then the destruction that would take place later? It's weird to think about.
3) After my whine fest last Friday about how it bothers me when people think I have the perfect life, a friend offered an observation which made me feel better.
"You're like a duck," she said, "all cool and collected on the surface, but swimming away like crazy underneath."
I never thought being compared to a duck would feel like a compliment, but it did the trick this time. Thank you, friend!
4) Kevin and I took Miss Innocent One out for lunch the other day. While he was waiting for our food, I had a good shot to soak in his view (mmm mmm!) When he sat down I didn't waste any time telling him so. He blushed and reminded me we were not alone as he pointed to Miss Innocent One who giggled.
Later she and I were out doing some shopping.
Miss Innocent One: It's nice to know you and Dad will never get a divorce.
Me: I really like him. He's so fun and cute and he's got a really good butt.
Miss Innocent One: Okay. . .
Me: Wait, is that TMI?
Miss Innocent One: WTMI! (Waaayyyy too much information.)
But she laughed. It's good for kids to know their parents are crazy about each other, right? How else would she have the security of thinking we'll never get a divorce?
5) Ladies Man ate some Walmart brand oreos otherwise known as Twist and Shout. He attempted the classic oreo move of opening the cookie to lick out the cream, but couldn't get the sucker apart. "What are these called," he said, grabbing the bag, "they make me want to shout first!"
He reminded us of the time Kevin was eating the same cookies and out of nowhere started yelling. When we all ran into the room to see what the problem was, he pointed to the bag and said, "They're called Twist and Shout. So I twisted and shouted."
Of course. Doesn't everyone do that?! Do you wonder where my kids get it?
6) "My gerbils are bored," Miss Innocent One announced, "They don't have anything to do."
Is it not enough pressure to keep my kids fed, occupied and happy? Now I have to entertain GERBILS?!
7) Every weekend in February I've played in the orchestra for a community theater production of Beauty and the Beast. It's been a lot of fun, but quite time consuming. This weekend is our final push as we perform FIVE shows. By Sunday night my lower lip and bottom teeth are gonna be hurtin'!
And then Hoss told us our final week of boot camp, starting Monday, is going to be tough. In order to understand the significance of this, you must understand he calls everything easy.
"C'mon, c'mon, this is easy," he says as you're panting and think your abs are on fire.
You're running up the stairs for the hundredth time and he yells, "C'mon, faster, this is easy."
"See how nice I am to you? This is easy," he says as you're squatted up against a wall, holding a medicine ball in front of you, sweat dripping down your face, between your girls, your thighs quivering.
So when he says, "Yeah, you'll be puking next week," it makes me slightly worried.
By mid Monday morning I may be in a heap, people. Let the prayers begin.
Hopefully I'll still be alive for next week's Quick Takes. Until then, catch what other people have to say by clicking over to Conversion Diary. Have a great weekend!
Friday, February 26, 2010
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
I watch you and I know you aren't right. Your eyes reveal sadness, weariness, hurt, but I don't know how to help. Honestly, I don't quite understand your pain, but I want to. I ask God what you need, what I can do. I want to see you smile again, to be relieved of your burden. I want to wrap you in my arms and whisper in your ear, "Hold on. Have courage. There is a reason. God is working."
You inspire me with your efforts and your desire to be more for God. I see in you a treasured, beautiful woman, unique and loved and special, NOT forgotten, overlooked or unimportant. You are not being punished. God is chipping away at you to reveal a diamond, all in His perfect timing.
I notice you and though I have no magic words, I care. I pray. I ask for wisdom in knowing how to help. And though I may not say it enough, I love you. I'm proud of you for pushing forward, for persevering, for admitting to your struggle. In doing so, you find help in others. I look forward to glimpses of the masterpiece God is creating in you.
Jesus said, "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
He sees. He knows. He is working. He WILL overcome.
Are you struggling? Do you need someone in your corner, someone to talk to? Can I pray for you?
You are wholly and dearly loved, my friend. Believe it.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
So with a painted grin, I play the part again,
So everyone will see me the way that I see them…
Are we happy plastic people, under shiny plastic steeples,
with walls around our weakness and smiles to hide our pain,
but if the invitation’s open,
to every heart that has been broken, maybe then we close the curtain,
on our stained glass masquerade…. Casting Crowns in Stained Glass Masquerade
by Casting Crowns
lyrics from the song
Stained Glass Masquerade
I see it often, the church foyer full of people spilling out of the sanctuary and classrooms, greetings with hugs and smiles, "How are you?"s met with "I'm fine"s. Yet behind the the happy faces, eyes tell a different story--weariness, pain, worry, inadequacy, struggle. They're holding something back.
When I notice it, I keep asking questions. I listen intently. I watch closely. Eventually I'll ask, "What's the matter? Are you really okay?" Sometimes they fess up and release whatever is bothering them, sometimes not.
I know. I've done it too. Is it necessary for everyone to know all your junk? They're only being polite, not really wanting an earful from you. You don't want to get into it all. You tell yourself your issue is probably stupid and will make you look foolish. No, better keep it to yourself.
But what if we risked it? What if someone asked "How are you?" on a tough hormonal day or after a rough week at work or when the morning with your teenager left you feeling angry and incompetent, and you told them the truth? Is there relief in sharing the burden? Could we find a kindred spirit, an encouraging word, a helper for a difficult journey? Could the kindness and prayers of another lift you, enabling you to push through?
If we don't trust others with our true thoughts and feelings, are we missing out on God's provision? Opening ourselves up makes us stronger, utilizes the gifts of His people and teaches us how to develop intimacy, a vital ingredient in any satisfying association, including our relationship with Almighty God.
If we get too used to hiding ourselves from others, will it cause us to hide ourselves from God?
Do I damage my connection with Him by not being honest? If I practice saying the "right" things to people, it may become easier do so with my Lord. When I put on a good Christian facade with Him, denying any ugly feelings, do I get stuck in a stale, impersonal relationship with Him? Does He shake His head wondering why I don't trust Him? How can He heal my hurts if I don't acknowledge them?
Oooh, that's dangerous territory, friends. We can't let it happen. Let's be honest with each other and destroy Satan's stained glass masquerade. Let's reveal our own pain, helping others do the same, taking off our masks to find strength in true relationship with both God and man.
It's worth the risk.
Join the rest of the In "Other" Words gang at Writing Canvas.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
He's not perfect, my husband. He gets under my skin plenty.
He piles his clothes on the floor by the bed, though the laundry basket is only a few steps away. If he's home for the evening and I'm not, I'll probably come home to a sink full of dirty dishes (at least they're all in one spot, not scattered across the kitchen, I guess). He likes to stay up late, exhausting this early riser.
He snores. He turns on the television. He steps over the garbage bag on his way out the door. He leaves the cereal and milk out. He forgets to shut off lights in the middle of the day. And I can't tell you the number of times I wished I could sprout a computer keyboard to pique his interest in the evenings.
No, he isn't perfect, but I easily overlook all these annoyances because of one wonderful quality.
I never doubt his love for me.
He may forget the garbage, but never a kiss goodbye. He notices my blah days. His eyes don't roll. There is no muttering under his breath, no sighing or checking his watch as I speak. He listens. He responds. He smiles at me. He says, "I love you."
He leaves no doubt.
His flaws mean nothing compared to this.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
1 Corinthians 13:4-6
Friday, February 19, 2010
1) Ever have one of those weeks where for no good reason you're feeling blah? Yeah. That would be me this week. It's gonna be tough coming up with anything creative or funny today. Please accept my apologies in advance.
2) Drama Queen doesn't know it, but we are now tied in number of Facebook friends. I'll never forget the condescending tone she used when telling me, "Mom, there's no way you'll ever catch up to me." She truly didn't know who she was dealing with, did she? Can I get a holla from my fellow ridiculed mothers out there?!
Take that, my little mouthy missy! This mama train just started rolling, babe. Look out.
3) We survived another round of boot camp. . .barely. Hoss let us have it this week, although he keeps telling us, "This is easy." The devilish smile on his face tells me otherwise. Since he knows my husband works at church he often says to him, "You pray for me." Kevin always responds, "No, I pray for ME!"
On Tuesday after he'd run us up and down a flight of stairs for fifteen minutes straight (hey, give it a whirl--it's harder than it sounds!), Hoss was quite proud of himself.
"How you doing?" he asked Kevin.
Kevin only shook his head.
Hoss laughed, "Ah, God is good."
"Yeah," my friend panted, "God is good, but Hoss is NOT!"
4) Why does it bother me when I sense people think I live an idyllic life? It's like a termite eating away at my wood. I'll be talking with someone and they shoot me a look which says, "You're kind, but you wouldn't understand. Your life is perfect." They don't really listen to what I have to say, thinking I have it easy, I guess. I experience pain. I have problems. Everyone has junk and I'm not immune. Yes, I have a full life with quality relationships both in and out of my home. Yes, I have wonderful opportunities, but along with the fullness and the relationships and opportunities comes a LOT of responsibility. I spend a majority of my life feeling pulled and overworked and tired. It says in Luke 12:48, "From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked." I know exactly what Jesus is talking about.
Sigh. I sound like a whiny baby. Moving on. . .
5) After school yesterday, Miss Innocent One went over her piano lesson, Ladies Man jammed on his electric guitar and Drama Queen set up her drumming pad next to the computer to play along with a practice exercise. All three did it on their own accord, with no provocation from me which makes me a happy woman, but. . .well. . .think about it. A piano, an electric guitar and a mad drummer all playing at the same time in three different rooms of my house, yet easily heard everywhere.
Is there any wonder I crave quiet?
Actually, it makes me smile, knowing they're finding as much enjoyment in music as their parents do. And I'd rather hear them than the television!
6) Though it's sort of a working vacation for him (he's playing for a wedding), Kevin and I will have an overnight getaway in about a month and boy do we need it. With all the illness in the house last week and his subsequent dashing to catch up on lost time, it feels like we haven't had any conversations besides those talking about who needs to be where when. I miss the guy!
7) I got every mother's favorite reward yesterday when Ladies Man came up to me, arms wide, saying, "Hug!" Why is it in those moments you have a tendency to forget the frustrations of parenting and find your children completely wonderful? In the chaos of adolescence, it's nice to know he still needs his mom every now and then.
And that's a wrap for me, folks. Hopefully I haven't bored you to tears. Read more exciting Quick Takes at Conversion Diary. Have a nice weekend.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Carefully consider this quote by Watchmen Nee.
God must bring us to a point--I cannot tell you how it will be, but he will do it--where, through a deep and dark experience, our natural power is touched and fundamentally weakened, so that we no longer dare trust ourselves. He has had to deal with some of us very strangely, and, take us through difficult and painful ways, in order to get us there. . .But then at last it is that he can begin to use us. . .
We would like to have death and resurrection put together within one hour of each other. We cannot face the thought that God will keep us aside for so long a time; we cannot bear to wait. And of course I cannot tell you how long he will take, but in principle I think it is quite safe to say this, that there will be a definite period when he will keep you there. . .All is in darkness, but it is only for a night. It must indeed be a full night, but that is all. Afterwards you will find that everything is given back to you in glorious resurrection; and nothing can measure the difference between what was before and what now is!
I have had a few "nights" in my life, deep and dark experiences where God seemed distant, yet on the other side of them, I saw how close, how faithful, how divine He really is. Though they were full of tears, my nights taught me of His great love and superior plan for my life. My nights, more than anything else, brought me to the throne of God.
If you're going through a "night" right now, friend, don't give up. Take heart. He's preparing you for something better. Wait on God to bring you through to the other side, whole, stronger, equipped to be used by Him. Let Him soothe your sorrow.
. . .weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.
Hold on until the morning. Lean on Him, seek Him wholeheartedly and your night is not wasted. It will bring about His perfect, beautiful work in YOU.
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.
Are you in the middle of "night?" How can I pray for you?
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
After our oldest moved away to college, I found myself living in anxiety. What if I didn't teach him everything he needed to know? Will he take care of things like he should? What if he fails? What if he doesn't grow up to be a productive adult? How will he make a way for himself? So many questions. So many fears.
It's been a year and a half now and you'd think it would have gotten better, but sadly, not so much. When I realized my fear indicated a lack of trust in God, I knew I was dealing with a spiritual problem.
I know this to be true in my head, but somehow my heart and stomach don't get the message. I think I've resigned my life into His hands, only to find myself stressing over my son again. It's not right or healthy.
True freedom from fear consists of totally resigning one’s life into the hands of the Lord.
Resigned into God’s Care
I'm not trusting God.
My fear is not produced by my son's absence. It comes from my own spiritual downfall. How can I remedy the situation?
I admit it to God. I pray for my son. I pray for peace. And every time the fear sneaks up, I remind myself, "TRUST Him. TRUST Him. TRUST Him." The anxiety flees only briefly, so I must practice the surrender over and over and over. Eventually peace will replace worry, strength will take over my weak mama's heart, courage will overtake fear.
The process is not easy, but it is doable. Peace awaits me as I learn to surrender.
You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trust in you.
See what others think of this quote by visiting our host, Debbie, at Heart Choices.
Monday, February 15, 2010
Since Valentine's Day fell on a Sunday this year, there was very little celebrating done at our house. Playing in the orchestra for a matinee performance of the community theater production made the day more hectic than normal for me. Kevin and I are more likely to celebrate on February 9th anyway, as it's the day we got engaged, but even that was out this year as he had the stomach flu and half the house was sick this week. So Valentine's Day/week ended up being pretty uneventful.
Imagine my surprise (and delight) then, when I went to bed last night to see this.
Sometime during the day Miss Innocent One made our bed (gasp--I don't make my bed every day--horror of all horrors), a card for both of us and personal notes with pixie sticks attached. How sweet is that?!
Of course now the other kids will roll their eyes and say, "Oh sure, Perfect Baby Angel Child." When will they learn from her it takes so little to please their mother?
Friday, February 12, 2010
1) We've had better weeks at the Boesiger house. Remember how Drama Queen had the stomach flu last week? Well everything went down hill from there. I sat in the emergency room with Ladies Man Saturday night/Sunday morning where he was diagnosed with a sinus infection that triggered his asthma AND the stomach flu. He was out all week and just today is going back to school. Tuesday morning Drama Queen woke up with a fever and Kevin got his own turn at the stomach flu, all while Ladies Man still laid in misery on the couch.
I got an e-mail Tuesday afternoon from Drummer Boy who said, "I texted Drama Queen this morning and it sounds like the house has turned into somewhat of a leper colony."
When I wrote back saying, "Stay healthy! Drink lots of fluids, get plenty of sleep, all that jazz. . .," he responded, "I think YOU should be the one doing those things even more than me. I'm not surrounded by some form of the plague."
Thankfully, everyone seems to be on the mend now. . .unless Miss Innocent One and I fall.
2) Now it's time for some sisterly love.
Drama Queen to Miss Innocent One: You were born to press my buttons.
3) My dad had this little trick to opening fudge bars or popsicles. You know how the paper often sticks to the food? He used to rip the end off and blow some warm air into the paper to thaw it away. This week my kids informed me, "I think of Grandpa every time I eat a fudge bar."
4) Kevin and I got our booties kicked at boot camp. My poor husband did two sessions while battling the stomach flu, one day losing his lunch in the middle. I did okay until Thursday when I felt a little woozy myself and now am nursing a sore leg. We've been asking ourselves all week, "Why are we paying good money for this torture?" We should have known we were in for it with an instructor named Hoss who's as solid as a brick wall. Yet, it does feel good to push yourself and Hoss is a fun guy. Hopefully by next week I'll be able to say I even like it.
We did suffer a casualty though. My friend who
pushed me talked me into doing this in the first place broke her tail bone yesterday during our session. She's out for six weeks. Don't let anybody tell you this class is for sissies.
5) Here's how I knew Drama Queen was feeling better Thursday morning. I hear her yelling down the stairs.
Drama Queen: I lost my britches. I lost my britches.
Me: Honey, they're in the laundry room.
Drama Queen: No, they aren't.
Me: Yes, they are. I just hung them up an hour ago.
It's quiet for a few seconds.
Drama Queen: I found my britches. I found my britches.
6) This is a hectic time of year at our house. Starting this Saturday, we're gone every Saturday until March 27th! And in February we're talking multiple activities on each day. So perhaps I should put out a warning to any of you who may wander over to my house in the next six weeks.
If you're looking for clean, you won't find it here. It won't be pretty!
7) I've been whining to Kevin about how we don't have any pictures together, so for my birthday he arranged for our amazing friend Kara to do a little photo shoot. When it started snowing last Friday she suggested we take some "magical pictures in the snow." Of course I was all over that! We've posted a few on Facebook, but here's a few more (along with a couple indoor shots) I especially love. Thank you, Kara!
That's all she wrote today, folks. Enjoy your weekend and read more Quick Takes at Conversion Diary.
Tuesday, February 09, 2010
“Christian is a great noun and a poor adjective.”
I listen to a Christian radio station. I read Christian books (along with others not classified that way). I've attended a Christian writing conference. I am indebted to my Christian friends who hold me up consistently in prayer. On Technorati, this very site is classified as a Christian blog. So I understand the appeal of using the label "Christian." It is descriptive, helping us be more discerning in our choices, giving us the tools for spiritual growth.
But sometimes I wonder if it is a selfish convenience which hinders the cause of Christ.
Is it detrimental to nonbelievers to use "Christian" as an adjective? In doing so, do we discourage them from participating in some great music or literature or education strictly because the label turns them off? Many unbelievers may never attend a Christian concert, but a concert that honors God without being labeled that way? Maybe. They would never have a desire to read a Christian book, but if there's a great story without the descriptive adjective tacked on, they may give it whirl.
Adding the term "Christian" to our activities separates us some from the world too, doesn't it? It insinuates we are a special group, making some feel unwelcome. It isolates us from the pain of those not included in our circle. Immersing ourselves in Christian activities and products may be great for our personal spiritual growth, but how does it benefit those who don't share our faith? How will they hear of God's love and mercy if they don't come to our "Christian" gatherings? Does using "Christian" as an adjective close us off from the world, thereby limiting our exposure and opportunity to "share the good news?"
Plus, using the tag "Christian" causes us to be complacent, giving us a false sense of security, turning off our discerning filter. We think if it's "Christian," it's okay for us to participate in which is not always true. I've read plenty of "Christian" books which were not biblical.
Many years ago when Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith crossed over into the pop market, they drew much criticism from Christians for selling out, succumbing to the world in an effort to make more money. But what about the masses of new people exposed to music infused with the Holy Spirit? Whether God's name is mentioned repeatedly or not, does His touch go away in a musician who is devoted to Him? Does God stop using them because they are not specifically targeting fellow Christians? Absolutely not! Didn't Jesus talk to the masses? Didn't He go to those deemed improper by the religious leaders? Don't nonbelievers deserve to be reached too? If they aren't part of our "Christian" groups, how will they be exposed to Truth?
One of my favorite things is finding God in movies and books and songs not deemed "Christian." The recent movie Blind Side is a good example. Never billed as a "Christian" movie, it certainly displayed many Godly themes. How many people would have missed out on it if it had been marketed as "Christian?" And don't even get me started on the number of books published in the "secular" market containing great lessons of Truth.
Is it necessary to proclaim something "Christian" for God to use it? No. God is much bigger than that, my friends. I completely understand why it happens and like the convenience for myself, but do we better serve nonbelievers by not using it?
Well, enough out of me. Time to take a breather and let YOU pipe in on this discussion. What are your thoughts, ideas, frustrations? I am fully aware this quote may bring on dissenting opinions and I welcome them. I want to learn. I desire greater understanding. Give me your honest views. Don't be shy. Join us by linking up below.
Sunday, February 07, 2010
I thank God for Ladies Man as I sit with him in the emergency room in the middle of the night, grateful he breathes better, feels better, finally rests. I thank Him for bringing us through many episodes like this and grooming in my son a spirit of perseverance because of it.
I thank God for Drama Queen, who's had a rough week herself, battling the stomach flu. Sometimes her independent nature makes me think she doesn't need me, but this week reminds me otherwise. She will always be my strong little girl who makes her mama proud.
I thank God for Miss Innocent One, our sweet spirit, who responds to my yes with, "Thanks, Mom. It means a lot to me" with a gentle kiss on my cheek. Thinking of it makes me smile days later.
I thank God for Drummer Boy and for seeing him through the rough passage to adulthood. Though he's struggled, he's learning, pushing through, making his own mark, slowly finding his way, becoming a man.
I thank God for my husband. How could I live without this man, whose steady presence makes everything better?
They are my flesh and blood, my joy, my sorrow, my life.
We are family, united in good and bad, bonded in love, belonging to each other forever.
And we are blessed. Thank You, Lord.
Saturday, February 06, 2010
Hey friends! I am the happy hostess of this week's In "Other" Words. I've purposely chosen a quote we may not all agree on in hope of spurring some thoughtful discussion. It is my prayer this quote will cause you to think deeply and search for scripture to back up your personal feelings.
Are you nervous yet? Don't be. We're all adults here. We can handle it. Here's the quote.
“Christian is a great noun and a poor adjective.”
I find this a fascinating statement and would love to hear your honest thoughts on it. Don't be shy or hold back. Tell me what you really think. Aren't we supposed to be iron sharpening iron? I'd love to read all your impressions and be challenged by some smart sisters. Come back this Tuesday, February 9th and link up, ya hear?
Friday, February 05, 2010
1) Because I'm trying to convince my children vegetables are their friends, I've been cooking different varieties in hope of finding something they'll enjoy. The other day I stir-fried snow peas and carrots.
Me: You have to try at least one pea and one carrot. This stuff is awesome and look how pretty it is.
Ladies Man and Miss Innocent One turn up their noses at each other: Okay, we'll get some.
Kevin: Bring it in here and eat in front of us. I want to see you chew and swallow it with my own eyes.
Ladies Man: Aw.
They complied, but before the dirty deed was done, Ladies Man gagged. Kevin's mother will find this especially sweet as he used to do the same thing with broccoli.
2) Shhh. Don't tell Drama Queen, but I'm quickly approaching her in number of Facebook friends. Remember her cocky teen attitude about it a few months ago? Well, sister, I'm only behind by fourteen now. FOURTEEN! Keep those suggestions coming, people. We're talking about saving face for an entire generation of mothers!
When I say game on, I mean, GAME ON!
3) I learned a new term this week--"wangster". Ladies Man describes it as a wanna-be gangster, usually a white kid who wears baggy pants with their boxers showing, a huge necklace, and a flat-top hat, cocked sideways. Often they don aviators and chew on their pens, thinking they're really tough, or at least that's the impression Ladies Man gets. He doesn't find them so tough though, as he says they act like girls, with their drama over who is and isn't their friend on any given day (He pretty much slammed girls AND wangsters with that comment, but I'm sure he meant "no offense." Yes, I'm rolling my eyes.).
Now you know. You're welcome.
4) My husband makes fun of me for eating prunes. I tell him prunes are a great source of nutrition, sweet and satisfying with terrific health benefits. I honestly like them and think he might too if he ever tried them, but he's not convinced.
"Give me my prunes," he says in his most wobbly, shaky voice, "This old lady needs her prunes."
"Hey, these prunes are helping me raise your eyebrows, so you should love them."
5) This week on Facebook, people have been posting pictures of celebrities they've been told they look like. I wasn't going to participate until my husband did and in one of those weak moments when you're going with the flow of the evening and you can't resist your cute husband's urging while sitting on the couch together, I decided to play along.
It must not be too far-fetched because my own mother left a message on my phone saying she was shocked to see how much I looked like Demi Moore and asking if Drama Queen had straightened my hair! The next morning Ladies Man asked, "You know your profile pic? Is it you?"
I'm not sure if I should be flattered my mother and son thought it could be me or offended they still needed to ask. Whatever. I'll take it. Now if only I had her knock out body. . .
6) For weeks my good friend has been coaxing me to join the Caribbean Boot Camp at our local YMCA. I've been watching her die through the glass windows all month and not feeling the need to do so myself. In high school my band director wanted me to try out for the Army Band, thinking it a huge honor to get accepted, but all I could think about was how scary boot camp would be. It's ranks right up there among my biggest childhood fears--escalators, snakes and boot camp.
Last Friday, my friend and I were accosted by the trainer for Caribbean Boot Camp and he gave me a free taste. Talk about feeling the burn and he only worked us 15 minutes! At least I wasn't as sore as I thought I would be all weekend. I know my friend would say it proves I'm ready for the challenge, but yikes.
Then in a stroke of one-upping-his wife, my dear husband, the guy who hasn't stepped foot in the YMCA for at least nine months, announced he signed HIMSELF up for boot camp. What?! Now the pressure's on. Ugh.
Hey, wasn't Demi Moore in a movie called G.I. Jane where she suffered through boot camp and attained that gorgeous, toned, buff bod? Ah, now we're talking. . .
7) I think Miss Innocent One and Ladies Man need more to do. They made this video last weekend. Enjoy or feel sorry for me or whatever. (Special note to my Facebook friends--If you want to see this video, you'll have to click on the link at the bottom of the note titled "View Original Post.")
That's it for me this find Friday, friends. Have a good weekend and check out more Quick Takes at Conversion Diary.
Thursday, February 04, 2010
I get bad news about a friend, a tearful phone call, my kid has a problem, or I don't see any hope and I don't know what else to do. Only One can rescue.
"Please, Lord, please intervene. I'm asking for a miracle. Please, Lord. Please."
I'm pleading with God, shooting up a panicked appeal and something about begging God for what I think is best seems wrong. Guilt sets in.
Is pleading, trusting?
I'm reminded of my children begging to have their way. I find their pleading annoying, often giving me enough reason to decline their request.
Does God see my pleading that way?
I'm not asking to win the lottery or for personal gain. I'm beseeching Him for help only He can give on behalf of people I love. That can't be wrong, can it?
Except it feels wrong.
Is pleading trusting?
The Bible says, "Do not be anxious" and "let your requests me made known to God." Neither sounds like begging.
Yet David cried out to God all the time.
Listen to my prayer, O God, do not ignore my plea; hear me and answer me. My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught. (55:1-2)
Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me. . . (57:1)
Hasten, O God, to save me; O Lord, come quickly to help me. (70:1)
Rescue me, O Lord. . . (140:1)
O Lord, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief. (143:1)
And David was called "a man after God's own heart."
Is pleading trusting?
Even while God says, "Trust Me," He remembers we are dust. He knows us. We may as well be honest. I've got a long way to go in learning to trust God, but coming to Him, even in my pleading, is a step in the right direction, forming a habit of taking everything to Him. The more I come, the more I enter His presence.
As I enter His presence, I am changed, seeing Him for the great God He is, giving me reason to trust. I will learn.
And I will keep coming, even if all I have is pleading.
Hear, O Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. Guard my life, for I am devoted to you. You are my God; save your servant who trusts in you. Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I call to you all day long. Bring joy to your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
Wednesday, February 03, 2010
F. B. Meyer
Lord, have mercy. Use us in Your wisdom.
Monday, February 01, 2010
Cue soft music. Candlelight. Me in a shimmering red dress, completely captivating, he in a tuxedo, winking in my direction. He tells me I'm beautiful. I smell his neck in delight. We dance in beautiful rhythm, each step a picture of grace. The full moon shimmers in the window and he lifts me off my feet, carries me off to the bedroom, planting a passionate kiss on my lips.
Wake up and smell the coffee, people! This is real life! Ladies Man has an appointment in another town, while Miss Innocent One has her piano lesson and Drama Queen has to be back at school by 6:00. Drummer Boy needs more cash for another set of mallets, I have to prepare my Bible study lesson, do some laundry, and clean up the kitchen. Kevin has a meeting and a stage to reset. When we're finally in the same place at the same time, I fall asleep on the couch while he checks his e-mail. Then it's getting kids to bed, helping Drama Queen with trigonometry and answering phone calls. By the time we make it to the bedroom we both collapse in bed and give each other a friendly pat. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is tired.
I'm pretty sure we'd have a wonderfully passionate, exciting, titillating relationship except for one thing.
So is romance an impossible notion? Should married people forget about it and settle for an every day, predictable existence? Ugh. I can't stand the thought. I'm not sure if I should admit this or not, but to me romance and sex are exhilarating, hinting I possess an amazing secret life no one knows about. So it's important to us to keep the thrill alive. Here's how we attempt to do it.
We talk. All the time. About everything. Till all hours of the night.
I know this doesn't seem like it has anything to do with romance, but there's something about connecting emotionally that lights the fire of passion. When I know he's heard me, I want to get closer.
We hold hands.
Holding hands keeps us aware of the other. Any ordinary event--kids' activities, church, movies, walking into Walmart--can be transformed as physical touch spurs loving feelings.
We spend time together regularly.
We truly enjoy each other's company. He's funny and smart and uber cute. I'll take him any where, any time. We slip in an evening date once a month and have a standing weekly lunch date. You can't feel close if you never see each other.
We schedule intimate time.
It's never more important to connect than when the stresses of life weigh in, so when weeks gets super busy, we pencil in sex. This sounds very unromantic at face value, but one should never underestimate the power of anticipation. During some weeks if we wait until we have time for it, we won't and in the hiatus we grow distant. It's important. We make it a priority.
We have fun together.
Even after being married twenty-three years, my husband still teases me. And I still like it. I hear, "I'm just being playful," as he sneaks in a squeeze. Though I hate to admit it, it's irresistible. I send him suggestive texts. He e-mails sweet sentiments. We get silly. We laugh at and with each other. Laughter softens defenses and lightens the mood, paving the way to romance.
We get away for a night or two a few times a year.
Spending time together without the pressures of parenting is critical. Being able to live for a few days according OUR schedules is freeing. This can be cost prohibitive at times, but we've found ways to make it work, even if it means staying in a crappy motel. The atmosphere isn't as important as the company. Besides, a crappy motel experience is good fodder for laughter! We also take full advantage of our terrific parents who live nearby. Grandparents are GREAT for picking up the slack with the kids. Do they know they enhance our marriage when they offer to keep them? Probably. We owe them big time. THANK YOU!
This list is by no means exhaustive, just our favorite ways to keep the passion going. Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments. I'd love to hear your creative ideas. And be sure to look for other tips by checking out more Marriage Monday posts at Chrysalis.