Thursday, August 31, 2006

Check out Maggie's new post. http://www.2sharpminds.blogspot.com

The link to her blog is to the right with the other links. Her link is titled "Maggie's Writings".

Routine

My life has slipped into a steady routine. Or maybe I should say, it is slipping into one. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, it makes life a little easier. On the other hand, it makes it kind of dull.

I do much better with a system. I know that. If I have a system for doing something, it gets done faster and better. I can relax about it to a certain extent. I deep clean the house on Saturdays, which is a why none of my Friday night friends have ever seen my house really clean. I home school in the mornings. I grade homework on Wednesday nights after the kids are asleep. I have a routine. A groove. Don't throw me off my groove.

At the same time in my slightly clinically insane mind, I hate routine. I hate the confinement, the rut. It makes me want to shoot myself. I want to be able to do what I want when I want. I want to be flexible. Relaxed. I don't like waking up in the morning knowing that today is just like yesterday. What's the point?

So am I schizophrenic? Maybe. Bipolar? Possibly. Or am I just selfish and plagued by my already dead sin nature? Absolutely. I do the things I don't want to do. I don't do the things that I do want to do. And so on and so forth.

"Wretched (woman) that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God... through Jesus Christ our Lord!" Romans 7: 24 & 25

I am free to find Christ in all these situations. I can see the benefits of his grace to me. I can live the life he has called me to live through repentance and faith. I don't have to enjoy the routine in order to enjoy the life that he has given me. Sometimes I just do what's gotta be done and repent of my selfishness while I'm at it.

What am I longing for? Relaxation. Rest. Fulfillment. Order. Control. Peace. Intimate connection. And I realize anew that what I'm really longing for is Christ.

Last Night's Dream

I dreamed about my mother last night.

I dreamed that I was giving my cousin a baby shower at my house. Everything was going crazy. I wasn't done cleaning or decorating. I hadn't gotten dressed in my good clothes. Then in walked my mother with a silver tea service and two bunches of white and yellow daisies. She sent me to get dressed and then finished the decorating. We finished the last task as the first guest arrived. I woke feeling so connected to her. It made me miss her all over again.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Control

Control... not something that I've got much of. Life speeds right along whether I'm ready for it to or not.

We started co-op (or as Grace and Ellas call it 'out school') about a week and a half ago. That's thrown my routine completely out of whack. Can't seem to assimilate it very quickly. It's fun though. Brody has crafts, gym time and story/music time. Grace has Bible with sign language, the science of creation and exercise/nutrition. Maggie and Ty have Country Club (a unit study on a country) and government/economics. Maggie has quilting and Ty has woodworking. Maggie and Ty have to change classes with the bell and remember their homework. They think that's pretty cool. I love that they have a real classroom setting once a week.

I'm struggling trying to keep up with the house work. I wish I could keep it clean and picked up. I know there are people out there who can, but I struggle. And I hate to ask Chris for help. He works enough, I don't want to ask more of him. He disagrees. He's told me to tell him when I need help but ... for some reason, I can't bring myself to do it. And when I actually do ask, I feel like a failure. Where does all this pressure come from? Not from my husband.

My Mom died 2 years ago today... well, we found her body 2 years ago today. In some ways it seems like she's been gone for ten years. In others, like a few months. Always it feels surreal to be motherless. I don't like it.

Why do I ever think that I have any control? Sometimes I drown and other times I just swim faster. But I'm never in control of the river. We used to go white water rafting. The guide would tell us that if we fell out of the raft we shouldn't try to swim. You're supposed to grab a hold of your life vest that you're wearing and try to keep your feet up until someone pulls you out.

That's life. Active passivity. Actively submitting to God's work in my spirit. HE makes me holy. Not the river. Not me. Him. The river swirls around me but I am safe. I do the best I know how to do and after that there's grace.

Huh?

Time for another installment of "Funny Things Heard At My House". Only this time, it was in Kim's van.

An actual conversation:

Ellas(to Grace) - You better stop or I'm gonna twist your ankle!

Grace - Well, I'll twist your little head.

Brendan(annoyed) - Stop both of you or I'll pull your rib out of socket!

Laughter from everyone...

Grace - I don't get it.

Ellas(by way of explanation) - He'll pull your rib out of a sock...

Ty - ...it. Socket.

Kim - touche`


None of it makes any sense, but since it was really late, we laughed for about twenty minutes.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A Matter Of Degrees

What is the difference between a woman having an abortion and the husband who hates her for it? Or the father who knocks his daughter unconscience and the mother who slaps her child's hand in anger?

The obvious answer seems to be that there's a huge difference. Possibly the amount of trauma. Or the depth of guilt. But really it's all just a matter of degrees, isn't it?

Jesus said that if we hate someone, we've committed murder. An act of anger is an act of anger. Selfishness is selfishness. It makes me feel better to think that I'm not as bad as someone who beats their child but is that true? Am I any better? Not really. I've yelled at my kids, been really, really angry with them. The impact on them is way different but the impact on my own heart is the same. I've sinned against someone out of my anger.

Sin is all a matter of degrees. The roots are pride and unbelief. The manifestations are different. Some sin gets more consuming than others. Some of us stay out of trouble. As Donald Miller says in Blue Like Jazz, "that doesn't make us good people; it only makes us subdued."

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Oh, Love That Will Not Let Me Go

Well, I feel better. I held onto my pride and unforgiveness for a few days, trying to convince God that I was justified. But He quietly and persistantly whispered the gospel to my heart until it softened. I began the process of forgiveness.

The beauty of the Holy Spirit is that He doesn't let me go. In the midst of my stubborness, I knew that he would change my heart. I think that's what made me the angriest. I didn't want him to. I wanted to be right. But he knows what is best. He loves me. And he continuously draws me to himself.

I am thankful for his persistent grace that will never let me go.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Question from a Brat

Rhetorical question: Why is forgiveness so hard?

I know all the biblical answers. I know about pride and unbelief. I know about the importance of it. Then why is it so hard?

When I was pregnant with Maggie, Chris and I went to childbirth classes. They showed us diagrams, videos and plastic models of the birth canal. I was thoroughly briefed and knowledgable about the hows and whats of delivery. But ya know what? It still hurt.

Just knowing the why I should forgive and the how to forgive doesn't make it any less painful. Any less humbling. Any less distasteful. Some things are easier to forgive than others. Some things don't just hurt - they wound. And some things that are hard to forgive are made easier by a heartfelt apology.

Sometimes forgiveness just hurts. I don't want to remember the gospel right now. I don't want to think about my own sin. I want to stomp my foot and scream from the rooftop, "It's not fair!!!".

Maybe I will scream it. And I know that God is working on my heart. Softening it. Dragging me to himself. I just don't particularly like it right now.

Thanks for listening to me be a brat.

G'Night.

Monday, August 07, 2006

My Son

Last night, Ty came to me crying. Broken hearted. He had trouble talking about his problem for crying. When I asked him what was wrong, his response was that he didn't think he should play the Playstation anymore. Huh?

I asked him why and he told me that when he plays the Playstation it gets into his mind and it's all he can think about... how to beat the game or how he already beat the game. I can see that that would bother him. I've done the same thing before. I hate being obsessed with anything. I told him that he probably should take a break from the game.

But he wasn't the least bit consoled. He then tearfully tried to explain to me the deeper problem. Apparently, when he lays down in the bed every night, he likes to think about God and pray. And the Playstation being in his brain prevented him from thinking and meditating on God. That was why his heart felt broken. He felt disconnected from God and didn't know how to get back. He missed God, missed talking to him and thinking about him and puzzling over the new things he'd learned about him.

We talked about it for a few minutes when I realized that there was fear there too. He didn't understand that God is there whether we feel him or not. I told him that God is faithful to us, He is ever present, nothing we can do can separate us from the love of God. We told him that the Playstation thoughts would fade and God is still there loving him. At these words he was finally comforted. He could go to sleep, assured that God was still there with him, even though he couldn't find the thoughts to pray to him.

I asked him later what sorts of things he thinks about. He replied that he thought about God turning his back on his own son for our sakes, about God's glory shown to Moses, things like that.

Whoa!

"Really?" I asked. When I am disconnected from God, sometimes it takes me a day or two to even notice. My son has an intimacy with God that I don't have. And the very thought of losing Him devastated Ty. I recognize that Ty's not really like other people. He knows and understands truths that I have a hard time with. He feels the presence of God in a very real way.

Don't get me wrong, he's a little sinner. He aggravates his sisters and gets too rough sometimes, things like that. But he has a love for Christ that blows my mind. And scares me. Where will God take this child of mine? What will his path be? Can I trust God with his future?

Of course I can trust Him. He loves my son more passionately than I do. He knows his heart and whispers in his ear. He is growing him for His own purposes. What those purposes will be, I don't know. He could be anything from a mechanic to a school teacher to the next Billy Graham. But God knows the plans He has for Ty. Plans to prosper and not to harm. Plans for a hope and a future.

I pray that God will continue to teach me thru my son because I have so much to learn.

Thursday, August 03, 2006


Brody pretty much posed himself for this shot. He looks like he's thinking a deep thought. Actually, he was watching Scott build a deck. Posted by Picasa

Isn't she pretty? Posted by Picasa

So handsome. And Maggie's so grown. Posted by Picasa

Have I mentioned that I love Barry's camera? I took pictures of the kids last week... in a tree... in Kim's backyard... in 100 degree heat. It's a very good thing that my kids are used to posing! Posted by Picasa