1) Ladies Man is always hoarse. When I ask him if he feels okay I get this answer.
Ladies Man: It's just from the weekend.
Me: The weekend?
Ladies Man: I do a lot of screaming.
I can understand screaming at football games or hanging out with friends, but is there any reason to be screaming on Sundays?
Ladies Man: Hello? Youth group.
Is it just me or is something not right with that picture? Kevin tried to convince him if he screamed right, he wouldn't lose his voice.
Kevin: You've got to breathe from your diaphragm and push from your gut not your throat.
Only a musician would instruct their son in proper screaming techniques.
2) At 3:15 on Saturday morning, 3:15!, Kevin, Drama Queen and I all received a text from Drummer Boy.
Drummer Boy: On my way to Oklahoma State with a $80 stipend. BOOM!
It was his first overnight trip with the Husker band and he had a great time (even while sleeping on the floor in the aisle of the bus). The last time he traveled with them was to the Big 12 championship last December where they left, WENT TO TEXAS and came back home all in the same very long twenty-four hour period.
Oh to be young and excited about no bed, no sleep and loads of junk food.
3) Lately Ladies Man has taken to adding some cultural charm to his requests as if speaking in another language will gain him special blessing. He adds "por favor" to nearly everything he says.
Hey, get me the milk, por favor.
Is it okay if I stay up late, por favor?
I want to have a friend over, por favor.
Can I get a new car, por favor?
I think it's time I get a cell phone, Mom. Por favor?
I hate to break it to him, but even if Antonio Banderas added por favor to everything he said, I wouldn't fall for that mumbo jumbo. My boy may be able to make all the girls in Sunday school giggle at everything he says, but I've got his number.
Be as charming as you want, Ladies Man. Go ahead and lay a little foreign flair on me, but I'll be the Mom who sees right through you. Muchas gracias.
4) You know how they say you shouldn't buy groceries when you're hungry? I discovered it applies to bras too.
My girls and I had too much fun bra shopping last Friday (You'll be happy to know Ladies Man stayed on an entirely different floor and managed to live through the day without trauma.). Boy, oh boy did we have a good time trying on all sorts of goofy numbers! Drama Queen and I tried a model called a "Poof Bra" which promised to increase you two cup sizes instantly. Whoa baby. No kidding. I'm not sure if we suffered from some sort of bra euphoria or hunger pangs, but somehow we brought one home. A few days later I tried it on with a sweater and I'm telling you the look I achieved made it irresponsible to step out of my bathroom! When I showed Drama Queen, even she said, "What were we thinking?!"
So there's your public service announcement for the week: Never shop for bras when you're hungry.
5) Miss Innocent One showed me another disadvantage to being the youngest. Whenever I'm leaving somewhere with the kids, Drama Queen and Ladies Man perpetuate the same routine.
Ladies Man: I call shot gun.
Drama Queen: Nope. I got it. I'm the oldest.
Ladies Man: We'll see who gets there first.
And the race begins to see who can get to the front seat first. Miss Innocent One calmly walks by my side.
Miss Innocent One: I don't even try to get shotgun. I'll never get it anyway.
Don't you feel sorry for her?
6) Do you have any tell tale bodily noises that give you away? Apparently my younger son does.
Miss Innocent One: I can always tell when Ladies Man is the one walking to the bathroom at night.
Miss Innocent One: His toes pop when he walks.
Dude. I'm not sure toe popping fits into the cool category. I bet he gets more points for his hair.
7) I went to our nephew's military send-off yesterday. I knew it would be sad, but didn't anticipate how it would get to me. I remember the days little Ben would sit on the floor as a baby with his wild hair and dimpled cheeks, pointing at everything and calling it "ba." And now he's a man, serving me and you and his country, sacrificing time with his own loved ones to do it.
We're so proud of you Ben. We love you. We'll pray for you. Stay safe.
Say a pray for our troops this good Friday friends and visit more Quick Takes at Conversion Diary.
Friday, October 29, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Be careful not to do your "acts of righteousness" before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
They were having a rough day, so when they left to pick up a friend, I thought I'd make some chocolate chip cookies for their return, something to distract from the problem and attempt to brighten an otherwise rotten day. It seemed the perfect way to love some hurting teenagers.
But they didn't come back right away and when they did they didn't really want cookies. They went to Dairy Queen instead.
At first I thought my efforts wasted, an hour out of my day for nothing. But if I baked cookies out of love, wasn't the love still given even though they didn't want the cookies? Does it matter they didn't recognize my effort?
It's no different than when I pray for people. Rarely do I make others aware of my prayers. I love them by praying for them. Period.
Adopting this outlook on loving makes every effort worth it. No act is a waste. So if I take a casserole to a family who hates it and throws it out, there's no loss. I loved them. If the compliment I give isn't understood as such, there's no tragedy. I expressed my appreciation and in doing so showed care. My love is not nullified if I stop by to check on someone and they're not home. If I do something kind and it isn't noticed, it doesn't negate my love in doing it. My affection isn't voided if I stay up late and get up early doing laundry for my family and they don't acknowledge it.
Love is love, no matter the outcome or response.
If my loving receives no attention, no appreciation, no recognition, it feels more pure. I can't be doing it for my own glory if what I've done isn't even known. It makes me happy to think no effort is wasted. No loving thought, gesture or prayer is dependent upon the loved person knowing.
So love freely friends, without worry about how it will be received. It's not the receiving that counts. It's the giving that loves.
Photo Credit: dev null
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Though the convenience store bustled with activity, the clerk behind the counter greeted us with a smile and cheerful hello. The only remarkable thing about her was the effort she gave to display a pleasant attitude in the midst of a chaotic afternoon.
"Hmm, nice lady," I thought.
We retrieved our items and waited in a long line. All the while the lady at Casey's waited on the customers with poise and cheer, not appearing rattled in the least. The mother in front of us clutched a baby in one arm and led two young girls to the counter.
Peering at the clerk, one of the little girls asked, "What's wrong with your teeth?"
Honestly I hadn't noticed the woman's teeth. Except for her calm demeanor during a busy time, she seemed perfectly normal to me.
Without hesitation the clerk said, "I used to do drugs and they made my teeth a mess."
The little girls stared at her with big eyes.
"I'm living proof that drugs are bad for you," the clerk continued, "I have to live with a jack-o-lantern smile for the rest of my life because I did drugs. Don't ever do drugs, okay?"
The little girls shook their heads slowly, their big eyes never leaving her face. Their mother smiled weakly and led them out the door.
I wanted to hug that clerk. I wanted to say, "Oh honey, your teeth don't look as bad as you make them sound." I wanted to tell her how much I admired her vulnerability to spare a stranger the pain she walked through. But there was a big line behind me and I didn't want to annoy anybody, making them wait longer as we talked (Basically I'm a chicken.).
But she made an impression on me. She taught me not to ignore my past mistakes, but be willing to talk about them to warn others. The road she's walked couldn't have been easy, but instead of complaining about it or making excuses about it or wallowing in self-pity over it, she uses it to benefit someone else. She showed me being transparent and open is another way to love. I pray God gives me that kind of courage. I pray He helps me recognize the moments when one comment could affect a life. I pray He makes me more like the lady at Casey's.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
The Chapmans experienced tragedy of major proportions. To lose your daughter in an accident at your home, your son at the wheel of the vehicle that killed her, is horrific. I can't imagine the painful memories that will haunt them forever.
“I know a lot less about God, but the things I know about God, I know a whole lot more, for sure.”
Steven Curtis Chapman on Larry King Live
after the death of his 5-year old daughter, Maria
In my own crises situations (which pale dramatically in comparison), my first question is often "Why?" As I've gotten older I realize God doesn't explain. He just says, "Trust Me." That's hard to do as you watch your dad die a miserable death too young. It's hard to trust He's got the situation handled when He says no to your lifetime prayer to restore your parents' marriage.
It's hard to trust God when He doesn't make sense.
Why did He let my social grandmother lose her speech in a stroke and live for years without the ability to communicate? Why did He bring me close relationships only to tear us apart? Why did my energetic, hard-working father-in-law have to fall and lose mobility when God knew it would frustrate him more than others? Why did my mother have to endure an abusive childhood? Why God didn't jump in and rescue? How does a compassionate God let events change lives and cause pain?
In my experience, not making sense is how God operates. Of course I can't understand. I have human eyes.
The hard times I've lived through rarely yield huge revelations about God's plan. God doesn't explain. He doesn't have to. He's GOD. But one thing I learned a whole lot more of was God's sovereignty. God is GOD--immense, omnipotent, omnipresent, beyond my comprehension. I can't possibly touch the tip of all there is to know about Him. The more I understand God, the more I'm forced to trust Him. He doesn't always make sense, but He promises to make good of everything. If I say I trust Him, I need to do it through the good and the bad.
Do we really trust Him like we say we do? Will we follow Him even when we don't get what He's doing? How serious are we about our relationship with God? Do we only want Him to grant our wishes or are we willing to carry a cross too?
When God doesn't make sense, He's strengthening our faith.
If life seems hard right now take heart my friend. If God's not making sense, trust He's building your faith. Believe in His deity, His power, His wisdom. KNOW He is making good out of it. Trust Him and take the next step.
"But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him."
But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.
Don't shrink. Live by faith. Know a whole lot more of His sovereignty.
Join our host Jennifer at Scraps & Snippets to link up with the In Other Words gang or read their impressions.
Monday, October 25, 2010
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.
Dawn approaches and I wonder what this day will bring. What surprises await, good or bad? Will I experience sadness, joy, defeat, laughter?
Will today bring tragedy or will it be completely, wonderfully ordinary? Is this the day a dream is born or an epiphany made? Will I greet peace or trudge along in frustration?
At the end of today, will I lay my head in utter exhaustion or blessed satisfaction?
No matter what I encounter today, horrible or amazing, I am rooted in unfailing love. With my eyes on the prize, focused on the Lord Jesus Christ, my trust securely placed in Him, nothing can separate me from His love. Nothing, good or bad, can snatch me from His hand. Nothing can sway me or crush me.
I may feel pain. I may feel exhilaration. I may feel nothing at all. And it's okay. TODAY is His gift, ordained before I took my first breath. I make the best of it by accepting whatever it brings with thanks.
Let the morning bring word of His unfailing love. Believe it and rest in it, despite what the day may bring. Lift your soul to Him. Let Him show you the way to go.
Let the morning bring word of His unfailing love.
Photo Credit: sgatto
Saturday, October 23, 2010
I thought those of you in my vicinity who entered the giveaway for Havah but didn't win, might be interested in knowing you can get your own autographed copy soon. Tosca Lee is having a book signing at the Southpointe Barnes and Noble on November 6 from 12-2. If you go and meet her, tell her I sent you!
Have a great weekend friends!
Ready to see who the big winner of Havah is?
We'll get there, but first I need to direct you to a Christian devotional site called ChristianDevotions.us. Click on over and see a familiar name this morning, okay? Don't make me beg. Just do it.
And now, drum roll please . . .
After a random selection process (Kevin drew a slip out of a basket), giving everyone who made a comment on the blog, on Facebook or e-mailed me a chance, the winner of my first giveaway is . . .
. . . Amanda Luedders!
Thanks to all of you for taking a stab at it and look for more giveaways in the future.
Have a great weekend friends!
Friday, October 22, 2010
1) It's one of those weeks where I feel a disclaimer may be needed. I've spent lots of time preparing and repainting my front and back porches and I am one tired cookie! I don't get it. I work out faithfully. How can scraping and sanding and painting wear me out so much?! Don't you dare say it's because I'm getting older.
The stupid project started out as a quick task--cleaning the porches, but as I scrubbed the floor, chips of blue paint came up too. I thought I better paint the floors so we wouldn't have any rotten wood after another winter of being dumped with snow, but once the floor was so pretty the rails looked awful. ARG! After scraping and sanding and cleaning and sealing all day yesterday, I'm ready for the satisfying coat of white, but there's rain in the forecast today. Grrrr . . . this project will never end.
I just realized in my porch angst, I totally forgot to give the disclaimer: This woman is tired. Who knows what may follow in this week's Quick Takes. Proceed at your own risk.
2) Can I brag on my daughter a little bit?
Drama Queen was one of five finalists for Homecoming Queen. I think she enjoyed it eventually, but this girl was stressed out. I tried to snap a picture before the ceremony and got the evil eye.
As soon as I took this picture she waved me away. "This isn't the time." Here are the five female candidates waiting to be announced.
And the walk to the front of the field while their biographies are being read.
Then they stop for a moment under the arch. Hey, she actually looks like she's having fun here!
She didn't win, but it didn't matter. She looked so pretty and grown up (sigh). Being included at all was a boost for her. She makes this mama proud.
3) Drummer Boy was home for fall break. Because I'm constantly gunning for Mother of the Year and my laundry skills are my best chance (or I'm glutton for punishment--you decide), I voraciously attacked the mound of dirty clothes he brought home. Now I could be wrong (I am advancing in years), but I'm thinking it had only been two weeks since he'd done laundry. Would you believe I folded 26 t-shirts? 26! Who can wear 26 t-shirts in two weeks?!
4) Is it part of the training for employees of any cell phone company to learn the art of completely frustrating their customers? Drama Queen's phone went kaphlooey on Tuesday. Since I was busy and she isn't easily intimidated, she went in herself to take care of the problem. She waited for half an hour before being told she needed the account holder's social security number and password. She came home, got the pertinent information, waited in line ANOTHER half an hour only to be told she couldn't take care of it because she was under 19. The next day I went in with her and we waited maybe 15 minutes, just enough time to scope out the phone options. The tag on the phone said $.88, but the customer service representative said it was $70.88 with a $50 rebate. Then she tells us we can order the same phone online ourselves for FREE (why, oh why do they have different prices for the very same phone?), have it shipped to the house and even activate it ourselves.
Now why didn't she just tell Drama Queen that from the get go?! Can you hear me screaming?
I haven't had good experiences in our local carrier's store. One time I even uttered in frustration, "Boy, you guys know how to stick it to a person in every way." They merged with another company last year and I hoped for better customer service, but so far I'm not seeing it. To be fair I should say I get a yucky feeling in my gut walking through their parking lot. I'm like the dog on edge waiting to hear sic 'em.
5) Kevin and I saw Life As We Know It a couple weeks ago and I'm still thinking about Katherine Heigl's wardrobe. It's a nice story and all, but I confess the most memorable thing about the movie for me was her clothes. I realize her cute attire may have more to do with the beautiful person the clothes hung on than the clothes themselves, but a girl can dream, right?
6) Drama Queen and Ladies Man competed in the Minden Bandfest on Saturday.
They received a superior rating (woo hoo!) and I managed to get this shot with both of them in the same picture. Ladies Man is the trombone player (the second band member) behind the xylophone and Drama Queen is the middle snare player directly behind him.
If you've followed this blog for long at all, you'll know my photography skills are sorely lacking, but I think this shot should earn me a few points.
7) You may want to pray for Ladies Man today. The kids don't have school and I'm taking them to Lincoln to do some clothes shopping which he considers torture. I'd leave him at home, but he has an appointment too. To make matters worse, we girls need to do some bra shopping. Yeah. You feel sorry for the poor guy yet? I like to think of it as preparing him to be a good husband, but I doubt he'll buy it.
That's life at our house this week.Have a terrific weekend friends and catch more Quick Takes at Conversion Diary.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
I want to be a good person. I want to be kind and compassionate, effective and inspiring, attractive and approachable. But in my quest to be more for God, somehow I get sidetracked and my efforts become more about me--MY impact, MY goals, MY name.
How can I escape myself? How can I be what God deserves?
Draw me nearer Lord.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
How'd you like to win a free book?
Havah is one of my all time favorite Christian novels (Read my review here.). For the past three weeks I've spent some time with the author and have an autographed copy of the book to give away. To be included in the drawing, all you need to do is leave a comment either here or on Facebook.
Could it be any simpler? Leave a comment. Get an autographed book. I'll choose a winner Saturday morning, so to be in the running, comment by then.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
The spirit of complaint is born out of an unwillingness to trust God with today. Like the Israelites, it means you are spending your time looking back toward Egypt or wishing for the future, all the while missing what God is doing right now.
One in a Million: Journey to Your Promised Land
There's nothing like having a senior in high school to wake you up to savoring every day. I look at Drama Queen and wonder what happened to the pudgy baby with a mind of her own? Where is the toddler who said, "You hurt my fleelings?" What day did I get the last picture she'd draw for me?
I can dwell on that (and sometimes I do), but what do I miss now as I look back? What amazing quality does she possess today that I overlook when I mourn the chubby cheeks I used to kiss?
When my kids were small, there were days I dreamed of peace and quiet, a clean house and spotless clothes, time for me, time for my husband, freedom and more money and the chance to hear an entire sermon or read the paper without interruption.
What did I miss as I wished for that? Whose little hand did I fail to grasp as I stared out the window wanting the future too soon?
God told me then as He tells me now, Enjoy every stage. Find the beauty of today. Take delight in each moment. When I fail to do that, when I live in the past or the future instead of the present, I am apt to be dissatisfied with what IS. And even if I never vocalize it, a spirit of complaint will rise in my heart, clouding me to the beauty of God's every day work. When I wish for what was or what could be, I devalue today, in essence telling God I am dissatisfied with the gift of now.
I don't want to do that. I don't want to miss His present of the present. I choose to trust Him with TODAY without looking forward or behind.
What about you? Are you willing to be satisfied with this day, trusting He's got it handled perfectly for you?
See what others think about this quote by joining our host Debbie at Heart Choices.
Monday, October 18, 2010
I seek God for inspiration, for perfect words, for opportunities, for ideas that will resonate with others.
I take my burdens, my concerns, my dreams and place them before Him, asking for His favor.
I speak the names of people I love, beseeching His blessing on their lives, begging Him to make Himself real to them, requesting divine intervention.
I ask for wisdom and clarity and strength and courage. I implore Him to make me more than I am.
When I am finished I listen and His words break my heart.
Why don't you just come?
Without questions. Without needing anything. Aren't I enough? Rest in Me. Sit with Me. It's true I'm here for you and want you to lay your burdens before Me, but sometimes all you need is to rest in My presence.
Let Me soothe your spirit, still your anxious mind.
. . . you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed . . .*
. . . Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.**
Photo Credit: Uncle Paul the bird man: Off till further notice
Friday, October 15, 2010
1) Should we be worried that this is post #666 in the history of this blog? It may be best to turn around right now folks. At least it didn't fall on Halloween.
2) Last weekend our family experienced a surreal event.
All the people who live here were home. At the same time. On a Saturday night.
It happens with the same frequency as a total solar eclipse. I suppose we should have commemorated the event with some special activity, but we spent it laying around the living room, watching episodes of The Office on Netflix and snoozing. Yeah, we're a lively bunch, but MAN did it feel good.
3) Drummer Boy is in our town every Monday night for drum line rehearsal. Sometimes he doesn't have time to eat before he leaves class to trek down to the high school and gives lessons before and after rehearsal. Often I send food with his sister because she's just getting off work and hasn't had time to eat either, but last Monday she ate at home, so I texted him to see what he wanted.
Me: Do you want me to send food with Drama Queen?
Drummer Boy: Only if it'll make you feel better.
Smart aleck kid. And yes, I did send food with a sticky note attached saying, "It DOES make me feel better. Love you, Mom."
4) It's been my pleasure to hang out with a bunch of artsy people for the last two Tuesday evenings. When I found out one of my favorite writers was hosting a writing workshop, I cleared my schedule, ditched my husband (literally--I'm supposed to be at orchestra rehearsal he conducts on Tuesdays) and signed my excited little self up. Tosca Lee is a lovely woman and beautiful writer. Her book Havah is one of my all time favorites. If you visit Christian writer types of sites, you'll see her mug among the best. And she lives in Lincoln, Nebraska!
If you haven't read her books Demon and Havah. Do it. Now. You won't be disappointed. Look for a chance to win a free copy of Havah on this blog next week!
I'm hoping some of her skill will rub off or somehow morph into my brain. The first week of class I felt encouraged thinking maybe I knew what I was doing, but last week I walked out feeling like a schmuck. The creative people at my table showed me I have so much to learn. Writing doesn't come easy to me. It's work. Hard work. Sigh.
5) Ladies Man is nearly fifteen. I suppose this explains his split personalities. Either he's a sleeping sloth or hyperactive, melodramatic goofball of wordy comebacks. The other night as we sat down to eat dinner I politely asked him to chill out (Yeah, I'm sure I was polite).
Ladies Man: You don't like me? Fine. I'll sit over here.
He proceeded to drag his chair ten feet away, sitting with his back to us.
Drama Queen: Oh brother.
Kevin (just joining us): What are you doing over there?
Ladies Man: Nobody likes me.
Kevin (rolling his eyes): Just get over here.
Eating commenced with Ladies Man joining us, eating at a rapid pace.
Me: Uh, you might want to slow down a little.
Ladies Man: Is that a fat joke? See everybody hates me.
Drama Queen: Don't be stupid.
Ladies Man: Thanks for taking my self-esteem points to -50.
Shall we all groan together?!
6) Congratulations again to Drama Queen who found out Wednesday she is in the top 5 for Homecoming Queen. Her response?
"Now I have to find something to wear."
7) We've got a busy, busy weekend planned. Friday night we were supposed to go to a wedding, but changed plans when Drama Queen landed in the finals for Homecoming Queen. Saturday morning is a dress rehearsal for a concert on Sunday. Saturday afternoon we head to Minden for a marching band competition. Sunday is full, full, FULL. Among our regularly scheduled activities and rehearsals, we're cramming in a community chorus and orchestra concert. We'll be on the go from 8 to 8. Who says musicians have a cushy life?
I hope your weekend is full of all kinds of FUN. If you have a chance, wander over to Conversion Diary and read more Quick Takes. Enjoy!
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Miss Innocent One entered middle school with one objective.
Meet new people.
In our town, six elementary schools empty into one middle school so the odds of sparking relationships grows exponentially. She's grown up with older siblings telling her most of their friends are kids they did NOT go to elementary school with so she started her new school with high hopes of adding to the great friends she already has.
She connected with one girl the first week of school. We heard about Curly-headed Cutie every day. She came over to to hang out with us. She invited Miss Innocent One to her birthday party. Miss Innocent One fell in love with her sisters and family. All was right with the world and her newfound friendship until last week.
When she walked in the door Friday after school, Miss Innocent One threw her back pack on the kitchen floor hard enough for it to thud. I didn't get my customary smiling "Hey Mom." She slumped onto the bench.
"Curly-headed Cutie is moving to Maine," she said through tears.
"Maine?" I asked, "When?"
"On Tuesday. Today was her last day at school."
I tried to remind her what was true.
"I'm sorry, honey. That stinks. But you have other friends."
"She's my only new friend."
"You've only been in middle school a couple of months. It takes time to form friendships. You'll get there," I offered.
She wasn't convinced. We decided to take something over to Curly-headed Cutie, make sure she had our address and say good bye.
Monday after school she lamented about missing her friend. "I need to find someone to talk to in periods 3, 4 and 5."
Tuesday after school Miss Innocent One came home a different kid.
"I met two new girls today!"
"This other girl I know introduced me. They were nice. I really liked the one girl. She told me about her horses."
"See? It'll work out."
Wednesday after school she was all smiles.
"Remember Horse Girl I told you I met yesterday? We were talking today and she said her mom said she could have a friend over on Friday or Saturday. And I said, 'oh that's good.' And then she was all awkward for a minute and then she said, 'I was thinking maybe it could be you.'"
"Hey, that's great, honey."
"Yeah. I prayed about it last night and asked God to let me know if she would be a good friend for me, then today she asked me to come over!"
I must admit my shock in hearing she had the foresight to ask God for such a thing, yet my spirit rejoiced, both at her wisdom and God's grace. How sweet of Him to answer her prayer so quickly. How wonderful He made Himself real to her.
Tomorrow Miss Innocent One is going home with Horse Girl. She couldn't be happier and I am an amazed and thankful mother, in awe of the personal way God woos my daughter, letting her know He hears and cares.
He reminds me this is how He cares for all of us. He is concerned about our lives. We don't have to figure everything out. Life does not have to be so complicated. All we need to do is ask.
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Chances are you've been hurt by a fellow Christian.
“When we are going through desperate, difficult times, the hardest thing can be hearing the voices of condemnation, rejection, and shame from others. The Enemy – the accuser of our brothers – loves to use people to kick us in the stomach when we’re down. The Enemy loves to use our sin to condemn us rather than allow us to hear the conviction of the Holy Spirit . . . Jesus silences the condemning voices and commands them to leave. Listen to the kindness in His voice as He says in John 8:10-11:
Jesus straightened up and asked her, 'Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?'
'No one, sir,' she said.
'Then neither do I condemn you,' Jesus declared. 'Go now and leave your life of sin.'”
By Beth Redman
God Knows My Name: Never Forgotten, Forever Loved
It's likely you've offended a brother yourself.
Yep, raising my hand on that one too. Guilty. So very guilty. Ugh.
How does that happen?! How do we wreak havoc on each other so easily? How can people committed to the same God, immersed in the same Bible, see things so differently? Aren't we supposed to be united by our love? How do we hurt each other? How do we become tools of evil instead of beacons of light?
An Enemy prowls around us. He points out our faults, our poor judgment, our weaknesses. How do we fight?
We remember truth.
1 John 4:4
Jesus is in your corner friends. Go and leave your life of sin. Greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world.
Join this week's host, Loni, at Writing Canvas for more thoughts on this quote.
Monday, October 11, 2010
"I was on the floor for you today," she said.
On the floor. In prayer. For me.
Though I made some silly comment and laughed it off, my soul was deeply touched. To think anyone would pray that hard on my behalf moves me, humbles me, fills my heart with gratitude.
Makes me feel extravagantly loved.
Thank you friend. Your words, coupled with your generous, most perfect action soothe my spirit and raise my confidence in our Lord. I glimpse God's love for me through you.
You help me grasp the love of Christ. My spirit is stirred. My heart is touched.
You model the best way to love.
On the floor.
Photo Credit: jiadoldol
Friday, October 08, 2010
1) I helped Miss Innocent One with some homework. We answered questions about Canada with a map in front of us.
Miss Innocent One (looking over the map): What is the national capitol of Canada? I used to know this. Let's see . . .
I stared at her in disbelief. It was clearly labeled right in front of her.
Miss Innocent One: Hmmm . . . I know I saw it earlier. It seems like it begins with an A or an O or something like that.
I pointed to the bold red letters in the middle of the page.
Miss Innocent One: Oh, duh, blondie!
Though I was thinking the same thing, I shook my head and chuckled.
Miss Innocent One: But I do have to say there's way more stupid people in middle school than me. Really. I'm not kidding.
I know I should have said something very proper and set her straight about respecting her peers or something like that, but I couldn't help it. The way she said it just made me laugh. That Mother of the Year continually slips through my fingers.
Except that I'm a pro at pronouncing difficult Canadian provinces like Saskatchewan. Try it. It's great fun.
Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan.
2) We knew we may be in for a long night when walked in our back door Saturday night to this.
The kids had friends over. And these were only the shoes left at the back door. There was another mess of them at the FRONT door. I bet twenty-five teenagers sprawled out over our living room. I would have taken a picture but they had the lights off watching a movie. Besides, a mom taking pictures of adolescents hanging out is probably a kill joy, right? Hmmm . . . maybe next time I want my house back I'll know what to do.
3) Congratulations to Drama Queen for making it into the top ten candidates for Homecoming Queen!
Of course if she reads this I'll get a "Pssht, whatever."
4) I went with some friends to Springfield, MO last weekend to attend A Night With the Chapmans where we saw Steven Curtis and Mary Beth Chapman and their sons. Two years ago their youngest daughter Maria was killed when her older brother accidentally ran over her in the family's driveway. The evening was a testament to the power of God and His ability to take any tragedy and use it for His glory. The Chapmans exude God and I was humbled at my own tendency to complain about minor issues. God's presence was very real. If you have an opportunity to attend this event, DO IT! You won't regret it. (THANK YOU RACHELLE!)
5) Yesterday's Random Thought Thursday was, to use the vernacular of my kids, an epic fail.
I am sincerely grateful to the two people who responded, but the rest of you totally left me hanging!!! You've completely destroyed my faith in mankind. See if I try to include you again!
6) I thought Miss Innocent One's teacher was pulling a fast one on his students when she came home from school saying she could get extra credit or a pop or something if she could balance an egg.
Me: Oh honey, he's teasing you.
Miss Innocent One: No sir. He said it has something to do with the way the earth is rotating right now.
Me (not buying it): No.
Miss Innocent One: Yes, it's possible. Kids brought in pictures.
Me: You can try it, but it'll never happen.
The little stinker proved me wrong.
I wonder if this earth rotation fluke could bring balance to other areas of life. Could this strange twist of nature make my kids clean their rooms or say only nice things to each other or stay home long enough to have an actual conversation? Could it spur my husband to make dinner or bring me flowers? Ooh. We must test this theory.
7) My friends in southeast Nebraska should tune into KUCV-FM (91.1 on the dial) this morning at 9:AM to hear my darling husband talk on "Live at the Mill" about the upcoming Beatrice Regional Orchestra concert on October 17th. He's praying he doesn't sound like an idiot. I think he'll be fine as long as he doesn't try to fit in Saskatchewan.
Have a great weekend friends and read more Quick Takes at Conversion Diary.
Thursday, October 07, 2010
Are you ready to take another crack at Random Thought Thursday? I'll pose a question and you give me your opinion. Let's see if we can get some dialogue going. Audience participation is critical for this to work friends! I need you! Tell me what you think about this.
How do you know God loves you? Do you feel it? Do you know it? How does He make you aware?
Tuesday, October 05, 2010
duplicitous: marked by duplicity : deceptive in words or action
duplicity: 1 : contradictory doubleness of thought, speech, or action; especially : the belying of one's true intentions by deceptive words or action 2 : the quality or state of being double or twofold
Duplicity according to Tami: Saying one thing and doing another.
I'm guilty. Some might say I'm duplicitous on this blog, only sharing positive stories of my family, creating a rosy picture for all to admire when there's plenty of ugly that goes on in my house too. I wax poetic about God's blessings in my life, then complain to my husband. One of my kids says something out of line to their sibling and instead of dealing with it as I should, I make a quick parental sounding remark and turn away in weariness. I tell God I'm His girl, then get frustrated following His plan. I say I want to point people to Him, yet try to gain recognition for myself.
When I want to do good, evil is right there with me.
"No one man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself, and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true."
I confuse myself. I don't set out to be deceptive. I don't mean to slide into duplicitous behavior. Why do I cultivate bad habits and let my attitudes slide in the privacy of my own home? How will I put the old self behind if I hang onto it? How will I ever win this battle between flesh and Spirit?
What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?
No wonder I spin my wheels. I try to live for Him while I'm living for me. I am duplicity personified. I leave a bad taste in my own mouth. How can I escape myself? How can I be what I should be for Him, what He deserves? How can I be a true servant? How can I learn to be selfless?
Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Only HE can make me single-minded. Only HE can purify my dirty heart. Only HE can make me pure and righteous. Only HE can clean up my duplicitous ways.
Make it so Lord. Make me into YOUR image of me, not mine.
Create in me a pure heart, O God . . .
What do you think? Join us! Write your own post and link it up with the In "Other" Words gang here:
Photo Credit: The Doctr
Monday, October 04, 2010
I wouldn't tell him, "I love you."
You could say I was cautious. It took a few months before I even thought of him as my boyfriend. We were just two friends enjoying each other's company, sharing common interests and deep conversations and giggling until the wee hours of the morning. But then he started taking my hand. We strolled through campus dreaming together. He laughed at my jokes and listened intently. This guy was different. I knew something was happening, yet played it safe, not revealing the flutters inside. The first time he kissed me I almost fell down the stairs. We were connected and I definitely had feelings for him, but I wouldn't let myself say the precious words. Uttering "I love you" was akin to saying, "I want to marry you." I couldn't do it until I thought marriage a possibility.
"I love you" is sacred.
In God's marvelous providence, He put Kevin in His service and took him away for nearly a year. My reaction to the separation surprised me. I had the hardest time living without the guy! And I never saw it coming. One day I was thinking I would miss him, but could handle the year just fine and the next I was a moping, weepy, miserable mess. God knew I wouldn't consider myself in love without seeing how life without him would be. It only took a few months to realize the obvious.
We didn't let ourselves go to "I love you" until we knew we were headed somewhere permanent. Others might find our reservation prudish, but because we guarded our hearts BEFORE we were together, no other man (besides relatives) has heard those words from my mouth nor has any woman heard them from his. We saved it (among other things!) only for each other.
"I love you" signifies commitment.
Once the magic words came out, we were done for, hitched, connected for life. My husband has never given me reason to doubt and teaches me consistently what unconditional love is. When we finally said "I love you," it held great meaning, going far beyond the sentiment "I really really like you." In the same way as Horton the elephant, "I love you" stated, "I meant what I said and I said what I meant. I will be faithful one hundred percent."
Be sure to join our lovely host e-Mom at Chrysalis for more marriage stories.
Sunday, October 03, 2010
Happy Birthday Dad.
Can you see us down here? Can you believe the men and women your grandchildren are becoming? They are good kids Dad. Are you proud of them?
Can you see your youngest grandsons? Do you see how Jeff's brainwashed Kaden into loving John Deere? Have you seen he and Jason hunting? Do you chuckle at Kahle's antics? Do you delight in their sweet dispositions?
Did you celebrate with us at Jeff and Trisha's wedding? We missed you so much that day. Did you see how happy Jeff was? Are you proud of the way he's managing the farm?
We still wish you could be here with us Dad. We still remember. We still love you dearly.
Saturday, October 02, 2010
Hey, all you smart people out there! Why don't you join us this week for In "Other" Words? I'm your host. We'll be writing on the following quote.
"No one man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself, and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true."
Stop back in on Tuesday and tell us what YOU think!