Monday, December 29, 2008

Advent season is over. And I have learned that my youngest child is a constant disappointment to me during Children's Sermons. We go over and over the answers.
Purple represents repentance.
Advent means "to come".
The candles are 1) the prophets 2) Bethleham 3) the shepherds 4) the angels.
The white candle is Jesus.

Come on, Brody! Answer the question. You know this. But no, he just sits there screaming out random answers that may or may not have anything to do with Advent. Or he just sits there... blinking.

After church, I ask him the same questions and he rocks! Why he can't do that during church is beyond me.

It cracks me up! I sit there on the front row, willing him to answer and yet eagerly anticipating the words that will come out of his mouth, because you just never know. I have to laugh. Little Brody reminds me that children are not trained monkeys whose sole job in life is to make me look good. They are little people that should just be enjoyed.

God gives us children to humble us.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I am watching my children enjoy their Christmas presents. We opened gifts today since we spend the night with Mom tonight.

I realized last night that for the first time ever, I never even went into the toy department for gifts. Isn't that weird? Brody got a DS. Gracie got a stereo. Ty got rockets. Maggie got a cell phone. No toys. It was kinda nice actually. No little plastic things cluttering my house. No fighting crazy people for a toy that will be played with for 2 weeks.

My sweet family loaded me up with gifts this year. Lots of pretty green glass things, a keyboard for my laptop, and Mamma Mia! Happy days.

I like the fact that we feel free to give things to each other this time of year. No other time during the year do I feel that freedom or plan ahead in order to have that freedom. I see my kids get more excited about watching each other open gifts than their own. I love that. For the past two years, I tell each of them what the others are getting. They love keeping the secret and, in a way, feeling like the gifts are also from them. So much fun.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday as well. Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Worship?

Why is it that perspectives are so different? One person may see a person of great talent and think "They are so gifted. I'm so glad to experience what they have to offer" and the person in the next seat is completely affected, can't get enough, and wants to praise the person with the talent.

I know I'm not making this clear. I can't explain it. But the crux of the matter is worship, I think. When we see other's talents as gifts from God, we are moved to encourage the person and praise God. When we are caught up in the talent, seeing only its temporal value, we praise the person. We exalt them. We worship them.

There are many things in my life that interfere with my whole hearted worship of God. And the saddest thing is, I know it and don't do anything to purge them from my life. It is idolatry, plain and simple.

But trusting in God to the point of clinging only to him, letting go of everything else is so terrifying. It goes against every instinct I have. My flesh does not want to die. I try to tame it, to teach it, to be tolerant of it... but it has to die. Like Gollum at Mount Doom it has to be killed because it will never change or get better.

I sigh. I whine. I cry. I want to find the blissful, all surpassing peace that is only in Christ, but my fingers won't let go of my idols. I shake my hand as hard as I can, but I cling harder. The violent shaking is the easy part. The gentle motion of lifting first one finger then another and another is excruciating. Only in grace can I find the ability to relax my grip.

I want Christ.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Poor little Brody. He's finally almost completely over the infection he had in both eyes. Then last night, he woke me up because his ear was hurting. Since he's had such a long history of ear infections, tubes and surgeries, I have an otoscope. Our ENT has taught me what to look for with an infection. Sure enough, he has an infection in his right ear: that's the ear that no longer has a tube. Grrr. We were up until almost 4 and then it quit hurting enough for him to sleep. Which probably means his ear drum ruptured. I'm not sure what this will mean. I don't know if he'll have to get another tube in that ear or not. He's on antibiotics now. He never had fever. I feel terrible for him. At least he's not contagious. The only way this would have been worse for him is if he was quarantined from his friends. So I guess it could be worse.

Friday, December 12, 2008

I am so grateful for my laptop. Every time I pick it up, which is a lot, I thank God. I thank him for providing it. I thank him for the generosity of the people who gave it to me. I thank him for the ways it helps me.

I am also grateful for music. I know I've said this before, but I can't express it often enough or strongly enough. I function so differently when I have music playing. I'm more relaxed and productive. So strange. But true. I wish I could experience what it must be like to create it. I can't even imagine.

So I'm thankful. That's all...

Thursday, December 04, 2008

A Completely Useless Explanation

Working at a pet store seems like it would be torture. Well, to me anyway. I'm not such a big animal lover to begin with and to have to work around them all the time would only make it worse. Plus I have issues with people who spend enormous amounts of money on their dog's wardrobe when I know missionaries who could use the cash. I might give them attitude. Then I'd lose my job and that would be bad. Because if I'm ever working at a PetSmart type establishment, that means I'm desperate for money and will be homeless soon. And to lose that job might put me over the edge.

That is why I don't work at PetSmart.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

A Poem By Rumi

Who Makes These Changes?

Who makes these changes?
I shoot an arrow right.
It lands left.
I ride after a deer
and find myself chased by a hog.
I plot to get what I want
and end up in prison.
I dig pits to trap others
and fall in.

I should be suspicious
of what I want.

Monday, December 01, 2008

I feel so fortunate to be blessed with such clever and witty friends. (note the sarcasm literally dripping from those adjectives) And Missy, I did have a vague foreshadowing of the potential outcome of that last post. But I trusted in my friends maturity.... then I remembered: I have no mature friends. I forgot that temporarily. My bad. But it is good to know that you all need me so badly.
If anyone out there knows of something that I have committed to do this week, please call me. I cannot find my purse calendar and am a bit distracted anyway. I don't want to forget you. Thanks.