Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Redemption and Goodness

A day that could have, and by some accounts, should have been a horrible and unredemptive day was not. Yes, funerals are sad and show our brokenness like nothing else can. It is when we are confronted with our mortality. And that is spiritually unnatural. We were created for eternity. Anything less is pain. But, funerals are also a day to celebrate. We celebrate the work of God in the person who has died. We celebrate heaven and we celebrate the goodness of God.

I am of the opinion that all things that come our way are really blessings. Some are Happy Blessings and some are Sad Blessings. But they are all good because they come to us from a sovereign God who is good. He knows what he is doing... I do not. He is good and he loves me. That is all I need.

Some of you may think that I say these things flippantly but that is not true. I have seen loss, death, misery and disappointment. I have experienced the Sad Blessings. And God is good.

E.V. Hill preached his wife's funeral. His text was from Job chapter 1. "The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord." He said that we like "the Lord giveth" part... when that happens we say "Blessed be the name of the Lord." But when he takes away, when our hearts feel broken and we don't understand, we must say then "Blessed be the name of the Lord." even though we may not want to. Because God is good.

After my granddad's funeral, Chris and the kids and I went over to my Uncle Teddy's house. Teddy is my mother's brother. He is now the patriarch of the family now. A heavy weight to him, I'm sure. But he is a godly man who wants to know God and God's hand is on him. He loves his family even when things get ugly. I see Christ in him. God used our time with him in a redemptive way. We cried and mourned our loss. We grilled out, laughed and shared memories. We had genuine fellowship with one another and ended the night in prayer. God is good.

I pray for Teddy as he leads our family. I pray for my family. I pray for Nanny. I pray for redemption. I pray that God will give me the grace to see His goodness in my life. And I pray that I will be able to always say "Blessed be the name of the Lord."

Friday, September 26, 2008

Things Learned Today

1. Funerals are sad. (I already knew this one but was reminded afresh.)

2. People should NEVER ask someone with Alzheimer's "Do you remember me?" The answer is probably "no" so why make them suffer? Dozens of people asked my poor grandmother this today...

3. Sometimes well meaning people with grieving love that is overflowing can turn a funeral service into a worship service. Worshipping the person, I mean.

4. Worship services honoring people and not God are uncomfortable.

5. Baptists know how to feed people. I'm just sayin'.

6. Being ogled and stalked at your grandfather's funeral by your super-creepy 3rd cousin is really, really NOT fun. And a bit embarrassing.

7. My children are very subdued when surrounded by weeping relatives. That's a good thing.

8. Apparently my extended family has a much better memory than I do. They knew my name when their face wasn't even ringing any bells in my brain.

9. Receiving lines at funerals can be very cruel.

10. Paid caregivers have a higher standing in my family than I do.

and a bonus...

11. According to the eulogy, my sister's name is Kim Pahston and I am Christy Sharp. The only two names they got wrong. (But at least they got the paid caregivers' names right in the eulogy.)

And a question...

Is it wrong to lie to your super-creepy, stalker 3rd cousin's grandma when she asks for your address?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Death

My granddad died. We knew it was happening but death is just so strange. One second that person is there and then the next second they're just... gone. For the rest of my life on this earth, they are gone. It always hurts, whether you expect it to happen or not. Even if you are actively praying for God to go ahead and take them so their pain will end- even then it hurts.

I find it interesting that I've been with my church family when I've been informed of the two deaths that have occurred in my adult-hood. When we found out about Mother, we were at a women's Bible study at Betty's house. I found out about my granddad at church Wednesday night. Both times, I revelled in God's love for me as it was expressed by my church family.

I long for heaven.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Profound Friendships

I shall write this post quickly. "Why", you ask? Because it is an illicit blog post. I'm supposed to be doing something else. I logged on just long enough to check my email. Yeah right. And then... I can't help myself. So now, I'm listening to Chopin and blogging. So far about absolutely nothing.

Blog topics that seem possible:
Money: Why I Hate It
Sleep: Why I Need It
Socks: Are They Really Necessary?
Fleas: A Sure Sign of the Fall of Man
Lists: Why They Are The Answer To All My Problems

But instead, I think I'll tell you about a conversation I had today and the thoughts it made me think.

The Lord required me to give godly counsel to a friend concerning the pain in her relationship with her mother. Most of what I told her were things that I learned through applying the gospel to my own sin first and then to my mother's sin. As my friend and I talked, I had to talk about things that I hadn't even thought of in years. And I realized that my relationship with my mother still brings me pain. It still makes my heart ache and my head hurt. It still has the power to hurt me. Such deep hurt. (Now, if my friend is reading this, do not feel guilty for bringing it up. It was time.)

I hate that. I hate that it still hurts four years after her death. I hate that it's still confusing and all twisted up. I hope what I told my friend helps her. I hope her mother finds peace.

I spoke with another friend today. Our joke with one another is: "It must suck being you." We say it to make ourselves laugh because nothing else about certain situations will. My heart breaks for her and I find myself praying for her throughout the day. Today, as we talked, she made one of the most profound statements that I've heard in a while. She said, "I have thought before that this is the closest that I'll ever get to hell. But, ya know, this is the closest that some people will ever get to heaven."

There's a lot to that statement. A whole lot. It gives perspective. It gives hope. It gives a very good reason to share the gospel. It makes me think. And take a deep breath.

I am thankful for my friends and for the edifying that takes place in friendship. I am thankful for the work of the Spirit in my life. And I am thankful for the hope of heaven. For in heaven there are no broken relationships, no tearful goodbyes, no loss of hope. Hope will not be needed because we will have all we ever needed and more than we ever desired.

My friend said that a counselor asked her recently if she ever wanted to die. Durr... yeah. Not in a scary suicidal way but to live is Christ and to die is gain. Why would I want to stay here? Seriously. I'm just sayin'.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Retreat a Bust So Far

Well, I don't think the retreat is going all that well... so far, only my sister and I have signed up. I'm hoping that's just because no one's gotten around to it.
If that's the case... GET AROUND TO IT! Please don't make the Retreat Committee do all the work at the last minute. Register: http://www.communitypca.net/ Look in the panel on the right.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Tired and Itchy

I started this post yesterday morning but ran out of time to finish...


I'm tired. Plain and simple. I wanted to sleep in today but, alas, I couldn't. I had to get up and get Ty ready for his big game. (He found out at his last practice that he's starting today - offense and defense) So I got up and fed him the big breakfast - 3 eggs w/ bacon, 2 biscuits and chocolate milk. It seems to stick with him for the 3 hours until the game.



So, I'm up. The laundy's going, the dishes are washed and put away and I'm only a little bit grumpy. My bed keeps whispering my name just loud enough for me to hear but I am steadfastly ignoring it. Maybe if it smells coffee it will shut up. Stupid vocal bed.



The kids and I spent a few days with Boo and her mom and sis at the family farm. So, so nice. So very lovely and relaxing and almost vacation-like. We walked around the pond, ate yummy food, the kids jumped on the trampoline for hours on end and we talked. Such great, edifying conversation. And then we took the kids down to the creek. I know that sounds like a quick trip, but it's not. The creek is about a mile away. But we did drive to it... in my van... through a pasture... with really tall grass... and down a hill... with a large trench in the middle of the 'road'. Good times. We laughed a lot. It was like being on a safari. At least that's what Missy said and she's actually been on a safari, so we'll take her word for it.



About the creek: this is a classic example of a creek gone bad. It's a very deceptive creek; looking all lovely and tranquil but hiding many deeply jack-up secrets. We had the good fortune to discover some of its more twisted secrets. For example: this creek is home to many small, very deep, hidden holes as well as millions of pretty rocks that are covered in invisible slime. These things conspired against our poor, defenseless children and ended up soaking them from head to toe. Did I forget to mention that this creek is spring-fed aka frickin' cold? Another Secret of the Creek that we discovered is that it is home to mutant, African, attack, jungle mosquitoes. Moquitoes so large and fieresome that they laugh at bug repellent. (I heard them) They are so big that when they bite you, it feels like a hypodermic syringe plunging into your skin. They are so ambitious that they bite you through your clothing and can even reach your scalp through your hair. So numerous that you feel like you're having a nightmare. The creek and moquitoes are in cahoots. If you want to get away from the mosquitoes, you could hide under the surface of the water but then you would die of hypothermia. So you are left with a choice: hypothermia and frostbite or west nile virus and gargantuan itchy welps. Tough choice. We just went home.



So it was a lovely week. Wish you could have been there. Well, not really cause most of you have lots of kids and that would have been too much of a good thing. But theoretically I would have loved for you to be there. I'll try to post pictures soon.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Working Out Fail

This is the very reason that I don't go to the gym. Ever.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Announcements

Calling all women:

I have 2 announcements to make.

Announcement #1 - Rebekah Ray's baby shower is THIS Sunday! We have waited six months for the opportunity to shower her with gifts and this is it. She is registered at Target and Babies-R-Us. Baby Jonathon is now 10 pounds and wearing 3-6 month clothes. They need older baby stuff, diapers, wipes and toys. No newborn stuff needed. The shower is in the YAC and starts at 2:00 this Sunday.

Announcement #2 - Women's Retreat is on the books. We're heading back to Hargis. October 10-11. Limited beds are available, only 30 beds. More space is available during the day, just not overnight. The cost will be around $40. I'll give you more info when I have it.


You may now return to your normal activities. Thanks for your attention.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

2 Suggestions

1. Maggie has started blogging again. She has a new template and playlist. She'd really love a few comments. Humor me.

2. Facebook is really fun. I've found several friends from high school. One of whom is eurobiking. Very cool and yet makes me feel like an under-achiever. It's fun to get a glimpse into some one's life everyday. Try it out. I think you'll like it. I honestly didn't think I would like it, but I do. Just don't ask me what flair is.

Light Bulbs

My heart begins to pound. My self esteem takes a nose dive. A panic attack is imminent. I feel like an idiot. All because I have to buy a light bulb.

Have you ever stood and just looked at the light bulb aisle? It's completely out of control. Indoor floodlights, outdoor floodlights, indoor spotlights, outdoor spotlights, halogen, fluorescent, 60 watt, 40 watt, 25 watt, 75 watt, 100 watt, soft white, 13 watt that takes the place of a 60 watt, medium base, small base, and on and on and on. And what if you need those funny shaped bulbs for your dining room? What if you have a dimmer switch for that fixture? What if...?

It's enough to make me crazy. Last time I bought bulbs, I took three different burned out bulbs with me. Otherwise I end up with the wrong kind. Just look in my kitchen. We have recessed lights (what my Dad calls 'can lights'). They require a great big bulb. But the one I bought was gigantic. I don't care. I put it in anyway. So what if it sticks out of the ceiling?

Heather made fun of me for the fact that I only had three working bulbs in my six bulb dining room fixture. It's just because I'm terrified of the bulb aisle. I will literally divert my eyes from it as I walk past.

I will help my nephew with Chemistry. I will speak at women's events in front of a hundred people. I will go shoe shopping with my husband. I will get a root canal with no laughing gas. I will organize the feeding of 700 people. But buy light bulbs? No thank you.

Last time, like I said, I had the three burned out bulbs. I held them aloft and had my kids find the match. It was very educational. Like a field trip or something.

Maybe it's the sheer volume of sensory input on that aisle. Maybe it's a latent phobia of illumination options. Maybe it's that I'm just not smart enough to buy light bulbs. So the conclusion that we come to is...

How many Sharps does it take to change a light bulb?

Six. 1 to hold it up in the air, 4 to locate a new one and then 1 more to put it in.

Friday, September 05, 2008

There are obsessions that are completely unwarranted, like peanut butter and bologna sandwiches. Or CSI Miami. If you see someone obsessed with things like that, then you pretty much write them off with a 'bless their heart'.

But there are certain obsessions or loves that are reasonable. I would say that Act of Congress is reasonable. I just got home from Workplay and MAN, what a concert! Amazing. They sold out the venue. I knew they would, that's why I bought my tickets like 3 weeks ago.

I invited a friend of mine to come to the concert. We hadn't seen each other in a long time and we had a blast. I watched her as she enjoyed the concert and realized that it's not just my love for Adam and Jessica that color my love for AOC. They are really just brilliant. Melissa said afterwards that it was the most fun she's ever had at a concert. She laughed and cried and was awed.

As I reveled in the laughter and beauty, I couldn't help but praise God. For his beauty that inspires these artists and for his grace that enables me to enjoy it. For his gift to my family of friendship with Adam and Jessica. For his glory that was displayed tonight. He is good. He is the author of all good things.

So my "obsession" with my new CD (actually I bought 4), is just me trying to suck all the glory out of something beautiful. I will not apologize. And I ask you to join me...

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Dial Up

Well, here's a first... I'm blogging on my laptop. And I'm doing it at Chris' grandmother's house. I've never had internet at her house before. Dial-up can be useful sometimes. It's still slow.

I met my Dad in Birmingham tonight and got our school books back. Hurray! Now it's back to 'regular' school work tomorrow. A sigh of relief from me and collective groans from the children.

Well, I think I'll put the kids to bed and kiss my husband good night before he leaves for work. Good night!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Answers to Random Questions

"I have no idea. Ask your brother."

"When you're old enough to pay the bill."

"Because they damage you psychologically."

"No. I don't have a million dollars."

"It is never okay to eat like a dog."

"i-n-c-o-m-p-r-e-h-e-n-s-i-b-l-e"

"Yes."

Monday, September 01, 2008

Random Questions

"Do you have to have Jedi blood in order to be a Jedi?"

"When can I have a cell phone?"

"Why can't I play games with blood in them?"

"Can I have a million dollars to put in my pocket?"

"Is it okay to eat like a dog as long as we're not in a resturant?"

"How do you spell 'incomprehensible'?"

"Can I have a mohawk?"


All questions that I have been asked in the very recent past.