Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Hello?

The telephone..... This is one of those things that I just don't get too het up about. ('Het up' being a phrase of my Grandmother's meaning excited) I am, by nature, a people pleaser. But when it comes to the telephone, I just don't care all that much.

Now when Chris reads this, he's going to disagree. He thinks that I'm too attached to it. He thinks that because I answer it when it rings. He is of the opinion that phones are a waste of time and money and that it probably causes cancer anyway... so why use them? He would rather drive the 40 minutes to downtown Birmingham and just take the chance that whatever store he's going to will have what he needs instead of calling ahead.

I, on the other hand, use it at my convenience but I don't tote it around with me. Sometimes I even turn the ringer off. God forbid! We have a cell phones but Chris and I combined use less than 400 minutes a month.

I know it angers many of my friends that I'm hard to reach and for that I am truly sorry. But phones annoy me sometimes. There are times that I enjoy it but if I'm involved in something already and the phone rings, I'm probably not going to answer. Sorry. Sue me.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

In The Still of The Morning

Some days, time seems to speed by. I guess I should have said, "most days." And then, out of the blue, I am blessed with a day that creeps by.

Today was a creeper. I got my house clean, played with the kids, cut the grass, made about a dozen pints of strawberry jam(with Kim's help of course) and did a crossword puzzle. I visited my new neighbor, cooked supper and planned some WIC stuff. Now I'm blogging. And I never felt the least bit rushed. Days like today are a rare blessing and I for one don't take them for granted.

Most days I do my Bible study time at night after the kids are asleep. But today, I just woke up before the kids and sat and read my Bible. No studying, no lesson planning, just reading. God and I had a little time together, just the two of us. It was lovely. And I realized all over again that all my time with Him doesn't have to be earnest seeking or needy thirsting. Sometimes it can be quiet intimacy. Comforting. Familiar. Quiet. Sweet.

Today was a day for a "Good morning, Father." And he said "Good morning" back. All day long.

Things Heard At My House

These are actual things that have been said at my house. Some are hard to believe but, well, believe it.

Brody get out of the dryer.

What did you flush?

Momma, he hit me back!

Why are you on the refrigerator?

Do not shoot your sister with a bb gun!

I’m bleeding again!

Do not pee in my flower pots!

Why is there nail polish on the baby?

Don’t sit on your brother’s head.

Can I use this knife for just a minute?

Moooommmaaa, Ellas fell off the porch again!

Don’t throw up on the carpet! Go to the hard floor.

Can I have this egg to play with?

Momma, you have got to come see Ty's poop!

But my all time favorite is....

"Momma, we need a lighter and a pair of scissors."

To which I replied, "Um..., no you don't."

Monday, April 17, 2006

Catch-up

Time for catching you all up on my wonderfully exciting life. Right, uh-huh.

Let's see... Maggie had a birthday. She's 10 now. Good grief. I'm getting old.

My stupid dog Molly got a root stuck in her mouth. It got wedged in the back of her mouth. She could swallow and breathe but not eat. Boo and I held her down while Chris used pliers to "unstick" it. She's a sweet dog though. She never even growled. She's still goofy though.

We celebrated Passover last week. One word... A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! It's such a powerful feast to celebrate. If you've never done it, you're missing a big chunk of Easter and Communion. I think the thing that strikes me every time is how God had a plan. If the Passover feast pointed to Christ all those years before he came, it proves that God has a plan. Not a plan 'B' or an idea. My life is in his control and good will. Makes me happy.

Brody has started potty training. Yeah!!!!! (wild clapping is heard) He tried to take himself potty the other day, but he's still not tall enough to use the toilet. So he ended up peeing on the front of the toilet and making a puddle in the floor. Lovely. Hey, but at least he's trying. Maybe I should lay down newspapers.

Easter was a beautiful day. Not just the weather but the whole of it. We went to church and then to Jasper to see my grandparents. All my cousins were there. One cousin has a little girl about a year younger than Brody named Anna Grace. She's a cutie. She calls Brody "boy". Brody calls her "baby". It was like being in a Tarzan movie - boy and baby. I'll post a picture of them.

Every week my aunt lays out my Nanny's clothes for her. So for Easter, she had a complete outfit laid out. That afternoon, I overheard many whispered conferences on how Nanny had worn the completely wrong outfit. Conjectures of her Ahlzeimer's were thrown about. I went to the front porch to sit with Nanny and offered a compliment on her pretty suit that she had worn. It really was pretty. Well the knee-high stockings could've be done without but that's neither here nor there. She rubbed the sleeve and said, "Thank you. I've always liked it. It wasn't what I was supposed to wear though." I asked why she wore it then. Her response was "because I didn't like what was laid out, so I changed it." Cracked me up. Her Dad used to say, "I'm young enough to think it up and old enough to get away with it." I say.... Go Nanny!

Kim and I took the kids to the nursing home to see Aunt Dicie. It broke my heart. She's lost weight and seems depressed. They bathe her everyday but she's stuck in that bed. She can't walk and they don't take her for rides in a wheelchair. It made me angry. So, we're going back and taking her for a walk. We're also sending her pictures and cards. And next visit, we're taking a pretty comforter for her bed. Please pray for her. She needs it. They keep her healthy and clean but there's not much kindness and love.

All these things point me to Christ and heaven. In heaven there are no stupid dogs, no roots to gag us, no Ahlzeimers, no nursing homes and no puddles in the floor. Come, Lord Jesus, come!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Ha La La La De Day

Who of you reading this post felt the urge to hum when you read the title?

Only those of you who are U2 fans. It's a line from the song Running To Stand Still. Which, in case you wanted to know, is the 5th track on their cd The Joshua Tree.

I have loved U2 since junior high. Their music is lyrical and strong. And somehow timeless. It sounds just as good now as it did in 1987. Funny story: I was at the grocery store doing some much needed shopping. Unfortunately, the store had decided to send all its shoppers on a scavenger hunt. As I made my third cross-store trip for something that had been moved, I realized that the musac tune playing on the in-store radio was U2's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For". How appropriate. It made me laugh.

That's all. I just wanted to share.

P.S. Bono is highly overrated. Nobel prize?

Monday, April 03, 2006

Do This In Remembrance of Me

We had Communion in church yesterday. I love Communion.

Sunday mornings are always busy. I have four kids that must be picked up from their classes. I teach a class. And people always have things to talk to me about concerning Women's Ministry. I love all of it. I love my class and my church family. I love getting settled in our seats and looking around for new visitors to go meet. I love our music.

All of the different aspects of these things swirl around in my head as I sit there. Burt preached about deacons. About the fact that God has called all of us to serve. To live in connection with others. To give of ourselves and our time to serve others. One of the points that he made was that serving increases our faith because when we serve, we are in a deeper communion with Christ. We learn more of him through serving others because he came to serve. We are identifying ourselves with him.

As I sat and listened, I was pierced in my soul. I was cut to the quick over my pride. I know that I serve others, but is the intent of my serving to be more intimate with Jesus? Or is it to feel good? When is "serving" a natural talent and when is it an exercise of my faith?

Then it was time for communion. I felt overcome by my shallowness, my selfishness. I could hear Burt telling me to come to Christ's table and I sat there fighting to find Him. My sin felt like it was pushing me under, the water was murky. I tried concentrating really hard. "Picture the cross." .... "God where are you? I can't find you here."

Then the still small voice said, "Be still." And the image of being at the lake when I was a kid immediately came to mind. Stomping around in the water's edge, seeing the mud churn up and make the water thick and cloudy. Then I could picture myself in the water, swinging my arms around frantically trying to find the surface. Working. Striving. Struggling. Then the voice, "Be still."

In my mind and spirit and body, I took a deep breath and stopped... Breathe... Wait. The water clears if you quit churning up the bottom. And there He was. Like seeing the sun shining down on the surface of the water, he was there looking at me.

Like with Peter. Peter denied him three times, each more vehement than the last. And at the last, Jesus turned and looked at him. Then he went to the cross and died. Knowing that the only one brave enough to follow him at all had just denied knowing him. And yet... he still died.

Knowing all my sin, pride, shallowness, selfishness, he died. He told me, "Take this, my body, broken for you, eat. Take my blood, shed for your redemption, drink." And I ate. And drank. And received his mercy anew. I was fed. I was full. My sin no longer overwhelmed me, pulling me under, making the water murky. Suddenly, Christ was so much bigger than my sin. The burden of it fell away like dead weight. And I floated to the surface to bask in his light. Free. Loved. Cherished. Remembering.