Thursday, January 31, 2008

What I Like

I like music.

I like skiing.

I like chocolate.

I like warm quilts on a cold morning.

I like good books.

I like smiling people.

I like comfy sweaters.

I like hot showers.

I like homemade tacos.

I like a windy beach.

I like strong hugs.

I like the smell of baby powder.

I like Adam's music.

I like sitting on my porch swing.

I like pink sunsets.

I like listening to Chris' heartbeat.

I like the internet.

I like calculators.

I like soft pillows.

I like Impressionist paintings.

I like chic flicks.

I like good jokes.

I like sarcasm.

I like our church staff.

I like motorcycles.

I like having warm feet.

I like my mp3 player.

I like the sound the keyboard makes when I type this.

I like pea gravel for the same reason.

I like postcards.

I like random lists.

I like scented candles.

I like sunglasses.

I like PBS.

I like lots more things.

Etc.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Longings and Heavy Sighs and Thankfulness

I wish that I was perfect. I wish that I was never lazy or mean or self-involved. I know that Ty gets aggravated with me sometimes. He just can't understand how I can not mind the house being messy. Because it really bothers him. He can't sleep if his room is messed up. And I can sleep even if I can't walk around to my side of the bed. I just crawl over.

I wish, in some ways, that I could be more like my son. Thoughtful, organized, kind, tenderhearted. I wish that I could do math in my head like he can. I hate that I disappoint him.

But, at the same time, I wish he could be a little more like me. Not shy, flexible... ummm... I guess that's it.

We were trying to remember the last time he got a spanking. We honestly couldn't, it's been that long. But today, I grounded him. Deliberately disobeyed. I asked him tonight why. "I guess I just didn't trust you. I'm sorry, Momma."

It's hard when your kids get older. They start thinking and stuff. Then they recognize that I'm not always right. But, here comes the rub, they still have to obey. They don't trust that I have a reason for what I say. And sometimes, quite honestly, I'm just not trustworthy. I don't think about what they're saying or asking, I just do what's easiest for me at the time. And then when they defy, I still have to discipline. Hard.

Most of the time, I do have a reason for what I'm saying.
"Get your coat and get in the van."
"But it's not cold. It's 56 degrees."
Now, I know, from looking online that the temperature is going to drop while we're gone. Therefore the 'get your coat' comment. But I don't always explain myself. I shouldn't have to. Obey. It's that simple. Sometimes I do explain, but not always, just to make them trust me.

I recognize myself in my children. God gives me instruction and I buck. I try to avoid obedience. Why? Because I don't trust that He has a plan and knows what He's talking about. I don't believe that He really loves me. I mean, why should I carry a coat of it's warm? And then I freeze my butt off, spiritually speaking, because I didn't trust.

Which brings me to the purpose of discipline. God doesn't punish us. He disciplines. I discipline my children. Why? Not to make them miserable for disobeying but to remind them to trust me. To bring them back to me when they've gone their own way. God brings me back to Himself over and over and over. I wander off, He brings me back. He really is my Father.

Anyway, this is just what's on my heart right now. Longings and heavy sighs and thankfulness. I long for perfection. I sigh with disappointment. Then I sigh with relief when my Father runs to me, kisses me, kills the fattened calf for me. And then, I am thankful. Oh, to see the same thankfulness in my children.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Slumber Party

KimHill and the boys slept over last night. I had a really good time. I know that Kim was on edge because her children wake up in the wee hours of the morning. (Silas woke up @4:30 this morning) But I wasn't bothered at all. My kids did wake up much earlier than usual but that's okay.

It was nice having company today. We played Mexican Train with the kids. (They love it too. And Kim discovered why Chris should never play games.) We drank coffee. She helped me clean my house. We listened to music. And best of all, we talked. We talked about our fears, our dreams, our kids, God's Sovereignty and Providence. Where will we be in five years? Ten years? One year? How willing are we to be used by God? Hmmm. All very good questions.

It's good to be loved. It's even better to be loved by someone who knows your sin and weirdness. No worries about scaring them away. Because what you soon discover is that they're just as sinful and weird as you are. Birds of a feather. Knowing my own sin makes it much easier to know someone else's. I can't judge them without judging myself.

Thanks for hanging out with me today, KimHill. It was lovely.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Observations: Bad Music, Bad Dancers, Bad Chairs and Perfect Bites

Kim and I went to Nashville Monday and Tuesday to be with our Dad when he had surgery. He's fine by the way. I made a few observations over the course of two days.

1. Kim was scanning radio stations on the trip up. We came across a woman singing what was obviously "Christian music". Why is that most Christian music is so completely sub-par and uncreative. I mean, I would have recognized the woman's genre even if she was singing a foreign language. "The king came down with his crown.... praise his precious name." Sung loudly and with much vibrato. Ugh.


2. At every bar, there will be at least one "bad dancer". I don't just mean someone who cannot dance, I'm talking about this special breed of woman who is on the prowl. So she jiggles her way around seeking whom she may devour. 9 times out of 10 her clothes are from the 80's and way too tight. Her hair is usually an attention getter. And her dancing style is singularly unique. I can't even describe it. But they always dance the same way. I could give social commentary or gospel application but I won't.

3. Eating a salad is something of an art form. You don't just dig in like you would a bowl of soup. It requires the perfect bite. You scoot the pieces around until you discover The Bite and then eat it. Then you look for that next Perfect Bite. Once all Perfect Bites are eaten, you're done. You're left with a few pieces of lettuce with no dressing or a piece of tomato with the stem showing. The bits that are marred and unworthy of being eaten. And if the salad is unusually large, you'll eat too much because you keep seeing Perfect Bites. And they cannot be saved for another time. No doggie bags. No waiting until you're hungry again. Salad has a very short lifespan. Once room temp, it's lost to you forever.

4. Hospital waiting room chairs are a crime against humanity. You're already emotionally uncomfortable and now, thanks to some unknown designer, you're physically uncomfortable. Which you can handle... for the first 4 hours. After which you pace. Not out of fear and worry but in protest of the stupid chairs. You will show the chairs that you can live perfectly well without them. "See? I'm walking and happy about it." But then fatigue sets in, the chairs sing their siren song and you cave. You sit. Maybe you try to sleep. But no, that won't work, because the designer has thoughtfully put extra metal and no padding on any area that you could possibly lean against. I have a suspicion that the designers are in cahoots with the hospital administrators. After all, you eat more food out of the vending machines in a vain attempt to comfort yourselves.

5. People in Nashville don't drive any better than people in Birmingham.

6. Mexican Train isn't nearly as fun with just 2 people.

I would tell you about the keyboard player of the band at B.B King's but it's too funny and will require more time to tell that I have immediately available. I'll tell you later.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Our Snow Day



Well, we were ultimately not disappointed. Although I did wake up around 6 am and put a few hexes on the local weathermen. Which apparently worked because we eventually got snow.



And it was wonderful. The kids built a snowman that stands about 24 inches high. I took a picture of it to send to Chris at work. They played in the snow until it all melted and left them vaguely dissatisfied. But it was great while it lasted.



I took a snow day. In fear of a power outage, I spent yesterday doing all my Saturday work. Thus, today, I vegged in bed and read a book. Wonderful. But I must now return to the real world of motherhood. My children cannot live off of apples, cereal and hot chocolate forever.




Friday, January 18, 2008

It's The End of The World... Get Milk And Bread!

Snow has a strange effect on people. Some love it. Some hate it. Some are afraid of it. Some feel the need to horde milk and bread because of it.

Snow makes me live in the moment. I can't let myself think about the consequences of snow, esp. the melting part. Messy, muddy, dirty, gross. Do I let myself think about that part? Nope. I just ignore the grown-up voice in my brain and enjoy the moment. The prettiness. The other-worldliness. The loveliness of snow.

I like snow the best when it comes during the night. I love waking up to the sight of it out my window. Now, because I'm all grown-up, I can tell just by the kind of light coming thru the window. But as a kid, I had to race to the window, holding my breath... oh please, please, please.... yank up the shade...YES! Snow! And then the happy-happy-snow dance begins. Um, oh yeah, uh-huh, uh-huh...

When I was a kid, my mother always made snow ice cream. I can't remember the recipe. I wish she was alive so that I could call her. Or better yet have her come over and stay with us so that I could watch her make it for my kids. Oh well.

Hopefully, we will have snow tomorrow. My kids will be soooo happy. And I can watch their version of the happy-happy-snow dance. I love being a mother.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Oh my gosh, I'm sitting here, at the church, working away and the men are watching American Idol try-outs. And laughing like crazy. Hearing these sad, pitiful people, who think they can sing is ... well... sad and pitiful. Stokes and Co. think it's hilarious. And to be honest, one of the guys sounds like he's deaf.

Why do people who cannot sing, think that they can? Have they never used a cheap little tape recorder to listen? Are they so tone-deaf that they can't even hear it? Sad. Sad. Sad. ... And pitiful.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Routine

I'm not a deeply regimented person. If you know me at all, you know this. There are times when I desperately wish that I was.

Occasionally, I'll decide that I will be. I will make a schedule. 7am -get up and exercise. 8am - eat breakfast. etc. etc. After a week, I'm almost suicidal. I honestly feel that if every minute of every day is the same, all planned out, then what is the point of life? Relentless repetition. No thanks.

All that said, I find myself very glad that the holidays are over so that we can get back to our routine. I like doing school every day. I like for my kids to do their chores every day cause then my house stays so much cleaner. I like being home a few days a week. I like some routine, just not a schedule.

I think I like to be in control. Okay... I know that I like to be in control. That means that sometimes, God and I are at odds. And I find myself repenting again. There is a part of me, my flesh, that wants to be in charge. That part is pretty loud sometimes. But there is another part of me, my redeemed spirit, that wants God to be in charge. I want to submit. I long for Him to use me. It's a battle.

The only thing that encourages me is knowing that God loves me and will use me to bring Him glory. That's a promise. That's what He created me for. And in that place, I know contentment. Whether I'm doing what I would have chosen or not.

The rub comes in when God pulls something away from me. Some idol or as I like to call them 'strategies'. And my flesh screams in pain. Trusting God means crucifying my flesh. And everything about my flesh screams to be preserved. And I choose. Who do I trust? Do I trust in the things that will kill me? Or the one who was killed for me?

Who really loves me? Who do I trust? When I answer those questions, the problems don't vanish or hurt less but the way is clearer and my faith surer. And I cling to Him instead of my control. I breathe for Him not myself. And whatever He wants from me, He provides. I can trust Him because He's the only trustworthy person in the universe.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Funny Forward

I've gotten this forwarded email from a couple of people. I thought it was funny. I totally agree with the sentiment.

"To all my friends who sent me best wishes in 2007, or promises of good luck if I forwarded something, it did NOT WORK. For 2008, could you please just send either money, chocolate or gas vouchers. "

Offensive or Not?

Our church is about to begin offering a weekly weight loss support group. Coming up with a name for it was hard. We threw around a bunch of things. But the 2 Kims came up with the best name ever. I was afraid it would offend people but so far no one seems offended. They actually seem to like it. What did they come up with?

Community Outreach Weight-loss Support or COWS for short. I told Mona about it, she asked "So when people reach their goal weight, does that make them 'bovine'?" I almost wrecked the car I was laughing so hard.

Heather wants spotted cow t-shirts.

Maybe if we offer exercise classes we can call ourselves, Fit And Trim, or FAT for short. Then we'll be FAT COWS.

I'll let you know when the meetings start.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Flight Of The Conchords- Think Think About It

This video made me cry I was laughing so hard. Most of their stuff is inappropriate but this is just Hysterical. Enjoy.

New Look and Wasting Time

Hope you like my new look... I'm a little nervous about it. I tend not to change things very often. I find what I like and stick with it for a very long time. And the process of redoing my link list was a little tedious... 24 links.


If anybody needs some tips on how to fritter away your time, come to KimHill and I. We can waste time together in such fun and wonderful ways. Today, we ate chocolate cake and watched YouTube for two hours. And laughed our butts off. Good times.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

I have no idea if Hope reads my blog. We've never discussed it. But there are a few things I must share.

Hope was the first person to be my friend at this church back in 1990. I walked into Youth and she met me at the door with a smile. She came with the pastor on Visitation night to visit me. She made me feel welcome.

Hope taught me what it was to love the Church. She taught me what it meant to be committed to not just the idea of Christ but Christ Himself.

Hope taught me to love Communion. I remember a time that I wanted her to go somewhere else to church to visit friends and she turned me down flat. Her reason? "We have Communion Sunday. I can't miss that." We were 18 at the time. It made a huge impact on me.

As a married woman, Hope was my first neighbor. She and Mary lived next door to us. We ate supper together every Thursday night. Maggie was so tiny that we would put her in the laundry basket to sleep while we watched Friends.

Hope taught me how to be a friend. We had a very big... not argument... a falling out, maybe. I, as was my usual fashion, wrote off the friendship as lost. That is until Hope came to me and apologized for her part of it. Her humility and repentance changed the way I saw life. Here was a new way of interacting with people. Apologize? I'd never had a friendship restored before. And once restored, strong and deep.

In the delivery room after Maggie was born, I made a comment about looking rough. Of course, every one there made the appropriate response "Oh you look beautiful." I looked to Hope, waiting... her response? "I have a comb in my purse." Then she took it out and made me presentable. Thank you.

I told Hope not long ago: Nothing she can do will make me stop loving her. She is my friend, my sister, my family, my teacher. I will always love her. Thank you, Hope, for once again teaching me. Showing me what grace looks like. In our weakness, He is strong. And I'm still here.

Robot Beginnings

Ty is building his second robot. His first looked like the Honda robot, sort of human. This robot is a car. Solar powered.

What have I learned? I have learned that I don't have to know very much about robots. Ty's old enough to read and to a degree, teach himself. Accuators. Sensors. He knows, I don't. I've found some good resources to give him. Movies, magazine articles, kits.

I've learned that interest and motivation are key. Some things, he has no options about. He will write reports, etc. But if he's interested in a topic, he'll find a way to learn more.

It's a little strange to not know some of the things that he's learning. A little bit of letting go.

Monday, January 07, 2008

A Very Unclear, Disjointed Post That Barely Makes Any Sense At All

I love coffee. I mean, I love it. Makes me happy. ... Moving on...

I've been thinking a lot over the past week about how I treat others when they disappoint me. And how I should treat them. It pretty much depends on how much I love the person in the first place. Shallow, huh?

I'm tired. I should go to bed. But...

I hate when I get all caught up in whatever it is I'm doing, feeling pretty good. I'm serving God. I love God. I want Christ. I'm trusting in God's sovereignty. But then, somehow, my head turns just a little to the side and I see my life from a different perspective. And it hits me... I can see it... my pride is all over the place. In every thing I try to do. Tainting my very repentance. I hate that false sense of security. I wish I wasn't so oblivious.

What would it be like, I wonder, if I could see my life clearly? I don't mean any one thing in particular, just the whole. The whole thing at the same time. Instead of focusing on my friends or my kids or my sin or my husband or my book or my coffee or my housework, etc.

I can only see one thing at a time and then it's like I've been to the eye doctor. Every thing's fuzzy. My view is so limited. My perspective so biased.

I know I'm rambling. Even now the Gospel is circling in my head. I know that I'm really talking about God's sovereignty. But His plan is too big to take in.

Why can't I stay focused on someone other than myself? I try. But it always circles back around to me. I hate that.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

What is that smell?

This is a question that I ask too often. The emphasis is sometimes on different words. For example:

What is that smell?
What is that smell?
What is that smell?

Sometimes it is asked rhetorically. I already know that someone stepped in dog poo, I just want them to look. Or I already know that Maggie is removing nail polish within the confines of a moving vehicle and want her to be aware that the odors are strong.

Other times, I really don't know. This usually occurs when we walk into the house after a long absence. I walk thru the door and WHAM! - "What is that? Can anybody else smell that?" Once it was an unflushed toilet... after three days. Another time, an open garbage can with old grease and diapers in it.

Sometimes, it's not a question. More an exclamation - UGH! That smells! Sweaty feet in leather sandals. Man armpits after hard manual labor. Morning breath. An onion that fell behind the dog food container and started to rot.

My personal favorite is when a child says, "Momma, smell this." And they totally KNOW that the smell is vile. They just want verification or explanation. Like spoiled milk or bad bologna. I'm intensely wary of anything one of my kids puts under my nose.

Sometimes, I ask with fear in my heart. Why do I smell Super Glue? or Why does it smell like melted plastic? - Thus, "What is that smell?" This is usually followed by the more forceful, "Who did this?"

It is a rare pleasure to walk into a room and ask "What is that smell?" because the smell is pleasant. Very rare. Why does the bathroom smell... clean? Whose perfume do I smell... faintly and not like it's been bathed in? Who bathed... without being forced at gunpoint? Do I smell coffee?

When Ty was four, his favorite song for a few weeks was Lynard Skynard's That Smell. Personally, I hate that song. Chris thought it was hilarious. "Can you smell that smell?..."

Anyways, just a rambling post about my life. Sometimes it's lovely and pleasant. Sometimes overpowering and intense. Sometimes stinky and gross. But rarely ever bland.