Monday, March 31, 2008

My Birthday Revelation

I still haven't written about my precious #1's birthday and now, three days later, I am celebrating my own 38th (gulp) birthday. The Husband, coincidentally, has off work and we plan to go out to breakfast and play some tennis in the morning while the girls are at school. Like a real date! Woo-hoo!

Other than that, my birthdays are always so anti-climactic. It seems like I tell less people every year...hey! it's my birthday! I've tried to figure out when it went from this all out excitement to just another day? Is it because my oldest daughter's birthday falls 3 days prior to mine? It seems odd to get another cake and sing to me a few days later (plus all that cake is SOOOO not good for me!). But, I think it is more than that. Right now, I feel like I am starving for a powerful, real encounter with Christ. It's been status quo for the most part. I haven't been passionately pursuing Him and I can see the damaging effects in my criticism and self-consciousness. The good news is that He is a redeeming God!

You know, I used to think I needed some kind of major crisis to hit for me to have some sort of testimony on how to weather the storm. I've realized that sometimes when all the tiny, annoying, insignificant things are driving me nuts, that's where the real battle starts. It's more subtle that way. It's not like I cry out to God to end my suffering when I argue with my credit card company that I did NOT make a late payment last month and they insist on charging me a late fee anyway. I don't fall on my face and beg God to intervene when the snotty travel soccer team stomps all over #1's rec team and then treats them like dirt at school. No, in both these cases I very calmly and very rationally (between venomous thoughts about the offending people) pray and ask God to intervene and allow HIS JUDGMENT TO RAIN DOWN. And, then the next day when I can take a good look at my bad attitude, I realize the dreadful state of my hardened heart and all the defenses come down. Then, I feel really icky. And, He forgives me.

So, my revelation this birthday is that I need more of Him. Until the day comes where I can see everyone with the eyes of Christ, I'll need more.

Yum! A Food Giveaway!

Promises Fulfilled is hosting an Outback Steakhouse Giveaway here.

I, being a huge fan of red meat, and I do mean RED, hope to win!

Friday, March 28, 2008

A Little Toby Mac Quote

I have been thinking about this Toby Mac lyric off and on all week:

I got a handful of dreams and a heart full of God.

That really stood out to me. I need to identify my dreams. Sometimes that seems so obscure, so vague. I want my family to serve the Lord cheerfully and passionately. Uh.....I....ummmm..... I want to uhhhhh........bring refreshing and encouragement to people.....uhhhhhh.....mostly women.....and, umm, maybe teenagers.

Are you following me here? I don't really have my handful of dreams! And, do I have my heart full of God?

Oh, boy.

I'd like to think so, but I have a heart full of busy some days (more than I should). A heart full of pride on some days. A heart full of fear every once in awhile, and a heart full of crankiness once a month. God? Are you in there anywhere?

So, before I work on the dreams, I'm going to work on my intimacy with the Lord. I'm winding down my final days at work and plan to really spend some good, uninterrupted time seeking Him while the kids are at school. And, when that happens, then I believe the dreams will come.

Like I've said before, He's cool like that.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Testing, Testing 1, 2

It has been a whirlwind of a day here at our house. I've been on the go since my alarm went off this morning. Ortho appointment, a meeting with an old fellow Subway owner/friend to get donations for our school events, a speedy trip through Giant, a quick workout at the gym, a new haircut for #3, Costco, talent show practice at school and then it was off to church to take #1 and #2 to worship dance team practice. The most draining part of the day was talent show practice.

With only 2 rehearsals left until the big show next Friday, things were looking a little rough around the edges. I've found that I enjoy the directing part and coordinating the millions of details. It's working with the outdated and unpredictable sound system that I'm starting to wonder if they needed someone a little more....say.....technical to be in charge. Not to mention, attending an awesome church and working with such talented theater people over the last few years has me trying to pull off a talent show of a whole new realm at our elementary school. So, of course I had to go and "borrow" a 75 pound wireless sound system from the middle school (apparently a miracle in itself because we seem to discourage sharing between schools in our district?) because how can my little performers dance AND sing at the same time holding onto a microphone with a long cord attached??? I thought the chorus director and ladies in the middle school office were going to make me sign a pact in BLOOD to not drop, mess up or otherwise harm in any way their precious wireless sound system. I almost called Not-So-Classic to beg him to have mercy upon my soul and help me because I was afraid to even touch it. It is roughly the size of what I imagine the Ark of the Covenant to be and somewhere close to the value of it. So, I did what any good Talent Show Chairperson would do. I put The Husband in charge of it. It's all about delegating!!!

But anyway, speaking of drama....tomorrow is #1's twelfth birthday and I'm sure I'll write some mushy gushy post about all the joy (and gray hair) she gives me. Just kidding, #1! You know I love you!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I Needed This

You will fulfill your purpose in me. Your love, O Lord, endures forever. Psalm 138:7

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


I really wish I had a good excuse for obsessing over things. I am so wound up right now thinking about how the 2 meetings that seemed God-ordered just didn't seem to go over the way I pictured they would. And, it isn't as if anything went wrong, it just wasn't what I envisioned so I'm basically feeling a bit like a loser right now.

The first meeting was about a possible new venture that I can't get into too much detail about at this point in time. It is nothing mysterious, just too time consuming to type out. It has the potential to become a lucrative part-time job, but I was disappointed with the person I met with. We just were not on the same page and I grew frustrated trying to get answers to the questions he didn't seem to understand. I started to think it was me, but I'm not so sure.

The other meeting was with our school PTO. I knew in advance I was going to be nominated for president and I had this whole heart felt speech semi-prepared about serving with this great team and how I want them to know I care about them and fully intend to be there to help "bare their burdens".

That wasn't exactly how it happened. I babbled about how nice everyone has been, and what a great foundation that has been established, I got a lump in my throat (not even sure why...fear?) and everyone stared at me with their glassy eyes probing and their minds were thinking....

"Are you for real?"

And, the more I talked, the more I kept telling myself to shut up. By the grace of God, I joked about ordering them uniforms, they laughed and the awkward moment passed. Well, not really for me. I'm still in the awkward moment....3 hours later.

And, it just seemed that this was such a downer of a meeting, talking about the lack of volunteers. My suggestion for creating room parents to help us to organize and recruit volunteers was shot down with a "we've tried that before". Good Lord! What have I gotten myself into? Beginning in a few short months I am supposed to lead a group of people I became intimidated by tonight. And, this happened for no good reason. And, nobody was malicious, but I'm starting to think they are wondering if my Pollyanna attitude is just an act. And, I'm starting to wonder myself.

The question is...can I make a difference? Or, is this going to be a year of banging my head off of a wall and feeling inadequate? Or, is this going to be a year of having pity parties because things didn't go my way and someone hurt my feelings? I do, with all my heart, want to see families being refreshed and spending time together. For teachers and families to work together and not against each other. And, yes, deep down inside I hope to have opportunities to pray with people in need of a touch from our Lord. But, I really have to deal with my (immaturity) fear of being rejected. And, I wonder is it worth so much of my energy? Only God knows....and I hope the answer is a resounding YES!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Mondays Musings on Tuesday

People need dramatic examples to shake them out of apathy..." ~Bruce Wayne

TCC is challenging us to comment about the above quote on her "Monday Musings". First of all, are we talking Bruce Wayne as in Batman? If so, that's cool. I love super heroes.

While I've pondered this and chewed on this for awhile (an entire 6.23 minutes) I wondered what has drawn me out of apathy. What has shaken the indifference from my soul....or maybe I should ask WHO has shaken the indifference off of me? And, then I wondered if there are certain things I should be MORE apathetic about like whether or not we put a pool in our back yard one day or the new pair of shoes I thought were so cute at Kohls. Maybe I spend too much time thinking about things that won't mean a rip in eternity?

But, that's not the answer I think TCC is looking for. Rather, what dramatic examples have shaken the apathy off of me? Here is a list off the top of my head:

  • Abused, neglected any episode of COPS and you'll know what I mean. It makes me try to reach out to children in the schools and at church (and, encourage my kids to do the same) that society has labeled worthless and discarded.
  • Owning several restaurants and dealing with teenage employees can create apathy, until you hold a 16-year old girl in your arms while she weeps because her mom kicked her out of the house for the 4th time.
  • Our pastor. He simply inspires me. He has made prayer and kindness the norm whether you're pumping gas or eating lunch at Friendly's. He makes Jesus real and I try to follow that example. Trust me when I say that was a "dramatic concept" for me when he suggested praying for the cashier at the grocery store or a server in a restaurant. But, now our entire family does that when we feel prompted by the Holy Spirit. And, many times I see the pain and fear subside when someone's life has changed as a result of them knowing someone cares and Jesus loves them.
I'm not sure if I answered all the questions. Not having grown up in the church (unless you count being Catholic) I was extremely cynical and apathetic except to animals and myself. But, I think apathy is a symptom of someone who has given up. On others. On themselves. On God. It is almost like a self preservation technique, to shut down and go numb.

My prayer is that I can become the "dramatic example that shakes people out of apathy". We all know I've got the "dramatic" part down!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Our Weekend Celebrating That Jesus is Alive!

While the weekend held its serious moments for me contemplating the sacrifice that Christ made for me, my family and I really enjoyed celebrating Easter a variety of different ways.

I made this:

Yes, TCC would be proud except that she is so incredibly gifted in the cake decorating department she probably made a life-size Resurrected Jesus cake for dessert! Complete with disciples and Mary Magdalen.

We went to a couple of egg hunts and saw a bunch of friends:

And, as a result of those egg hunts we now have this:

We decorated some eggs and this was the first year I didn't nearly lose my mind from it:

Sunday morning we coordinated in the black and white theme and headed off to church. It was, as usual, a fantastic service. Go here to upload it.

Then, we had another egg hunt in our back yard. We never did find our Easter baskets from last year, so the girls used plastic grocery bags:

No, she's not throwing up in her bag. She's counting Easter eggs:

We literally ate all day. We started at noon and it is now 7pm and we're getting dessert out. We ate a different course every couple of hours and I am stuffed; however the Easter basket cake, chocolate fondue and peanut butter pie are beckoning me.....

GAS and The Husband look like they need to layoff the eggnog. Oh, wait. That's at Christmas. Just kidding! No alcoholic beverages were consumed. We're all just in a food coma.

Seriously, I gave a mini-sermon to the girls this morning about fresh starts and new lives. Not only can we be grateful for the sacrifice that Jesus made, but we can have hope that we no longer have to be in bondage to sin. We can choose to make Godly choices and not be shamed by the mistakes in the past. That is true freedom!

Friday, March 21, 2008

There Would Be No "Easter" Without Good Friday

The enormity of what Jesus did for me is something I especially ponder on Good Friday. As a child I used to wonder what is so "good" about it? I LOVE to celebrate His resurrection, yet, if He had not been "obedient even onto the cross" there would be nothing to celebrate. And, He did this as FULLY MAN. I think a lot of religions figure "well, he is God, after all, so of course He made the right choice". You have to add into the equation the same temptations and feelings that you and I have. And the question remains, would I climb up on that cross for a bunch of selfish people too caught up in their own lives to recognize a sacrifice when they see one?

Uh. No.

At least, I don't think I would. But, His love has no limits. And, I wonder what he asks me to lay down on a daily basis. I know that whatever it is usually I'm not nearly as focused and determined about it as He was when He was being led to the cross. I tend to do things I dread with a pasted smile on my face so the world can think I'm serving cheerfully and joyfully. But, God sees my heart. He isn't interested in my performance as much as my motives and attitude. We are called to love the unlovable and serve without reward or a pat on the back. I sense His pleasure when I give myself without expecting a single thing in return. He loves when we are genuine.

Speaking on being genuine, Jesus didn't skip to the cross smiling and shaking hands with people, pretending nothing was wrong. Why do we? But, it was for the JOY set before Him that He endured. Oh, God, please give me that kind of heart change. Not only to practice this genuineness in my own life, but to be more sensitive to others when they are going through trials. Having the joy of the Lord during the rough times doesn't mean we have to paste on the fake smiles and pretend to believe in something we just can't get a handle on. But, it does mean I can encourage others to press on in the storm, that the Holy Spirit is their comfort and they can trust that God has a purpose in their suffering. The cross is the perfect example.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Blah, Blah, Blah

You've probably noticed it has been a little quiet on my blog lately. All is well, however I have nothing really burning inside of me that is noteworthy. Unless you want to hear all about.....

  • The truck load of mulch getting dumped in our driveway on Thursday.
  • The people coming to look at our hot tub tomorrow and hopefully they will buy it.
  • Our PTO Talent Show technical rehearsal tonight. Oooh....lights, sound, chaos.
  • Going to the gym today and reading my new issue of Real Simple magazine (despite the fact there is nothing ever "real simple" or "real affordable" in that magazine).
  • How horrified I am at the idea of Obama being our next president.
  • I took a pregnancy test and it was positive. Just kidding! I threw that in there to see if you were paying attention.

This is all some exciting stuff, people!!! And, deep. Really deep.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Daddy's Little Girls

I had the amazing privilege of being a part of THIS on Friday night. I won't get into the details since Beautiful Grace did a wonderful job explaining what took place. I will share this with you though (and, you may need to read more about the event before this makes any sense to you). So, click on the link above and then come back.

Ok. Are you back? Good. Now you know that I helped at a "Princess Party" for senior high girls at our church. I was not sure what to expect and I had a semi-hands off approach when helping with our youth before. I'd talk to the few kids I knew or bag popcorn or most likely, complain to The Husband about the occasional bad behavior I observed in our Youth Group and how we can put a stop to it.

Just being honest. God forgive me.

Well, a strange thing happened Friday night that has been brewing since our Youth Staff Retreat. My heart has become much softer towards these young people. I felt this overwhelming compassion rise up inside of me as I watched these girls pour out their hearts for a variety of reasons throughout the night. It dawned on me that these young women face the same intensity level of spiritual warfare that I do, if not more, on a daily basis and some have very little support, both spiritually and emotionally. They desire the same holiness that I desire. They make mistakes and I make mistakes. Essentially, we are all little girls in need of a loving Father and these young women need to EXPERIENCE the unconditional love of our Father in Heaven (He'll use us to demonstrate/teach them that). They need to know that they cannot replace that intimacy with anything else, whether it be a sweet-talking boy or an addiction. And, so often our girls grow up and never fully realize Who they were created for. Do you know? Have you stopped to think for a moment today Who you have been created for?

We have not been created to merely survive motherhood, or even life for that matter. No, it is so much more than that. We are brides of the King. And, as a bride, we can live expectantly! Our Bridegroom is ravished by one look from us, so what is keeping us from him? Is it fear? Comfort? Control? Unforgiveness? I'm going to spend a few days just meditating on this and letting it sink into my thirsty soul.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Treadmill, God, and the Auto Shop (That Sounds Sort of Like a Narnia Movie)

I went to the gym the other night after everyone went to bed (The Husband gets up at 4:30 am for work so he's usually in bed by 9pm). I liked going to the gym because this is usually a time for me to read and stuff my face. And, I also got to use the MP3 player #1 usually takes on the bus to drown out the profanity! As I listened to The David Crowder Band it felt like I was worshiping the Lord. After awhile I was on the treadmill with my arms raised and began to pray. It felt so good to be in His Presence like that.

Earlier that day I was explaining my work situation to another mom I had just met at MIA and she said something interesting to me. I told her that for the first time ever beginning in April, I would not be working anywhere. Even when #1 was a newborn I babysat another child for the income. I told her I felt kind of guilty not working while my kids were away at school (even though #3 is only gone in the am). She told me that this may be exactly what the Lord wants so I can SOAK in Him. Perhaps, this time focusing in on Him and just sitting at His feet more than ever before is required for the next phase I move into. So, on the treadmill I talked to Him about this. I asked if this was really His timing or my frustration at wanting to be done with a job that I was never really passionate about to begin with? God, I asked, if that is what you want, I don't want to fret and stress anymore about the provision; I trust You. And, then do you know what happened? My treadmill slowed down and I looked at the display and it said:


I was done with my workout, but the message was so timely in regards to what I was praying in my spirit. It brought tears to my eyes as I realized God was speaking to me through a treadmill! I know some of you are thinking I've completely lost it. But, those words have inspired me. He wants me to get to a place of trusting Him by choice, and not because I've tried to fix things on my own and trusting Him is my last resort. Deep was crying out to deep, at last!

So, now I am tuning in to hear His voice even more than before and already He made an open door to pray for the owner of the auto shop where my car was getting inspected yesterday (which believe it or not, I just noticed 2 days ago my inspection was due in OCTOBER!!). But, God knows what He is doing because I happened to be there at just the right time to hear this man tell someone on the phone that his wife was too ill to leave on a trip they had planned for today. He allowed me to pray for her and then talked to me for about 10 minutes about the health struggles she has experienced since 2001. He sounded weary and I think that God blew a breath of fresh air on His soul yesterday. And, if you think of it, please join me in praying for Ann for a complete healing and that God gets the glory. And, I don't share this with you to act all super-spiritual, I'm just hoping maybe someone who reads this will have a boost in their faith, as well. There is no formula, but so often through the Bible it says if we do __________, then God will do __________. I don't think it was a coincidence that I had an encounter with God on the treadmill and then I just happened to run into someone in need of a major healing.

God is cool like that.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

In Memory of D-Dog

I brought a dog home from the pound 2 days before Christmas in 1995 to "surprise" my newlywed husband when I was 6 months pregnant with #1. He wanted a beagle and I was told over the phone that the animal rescue shelter had a 1-year old female beagle. I drove down quickly and looked in every cage for a beagle. Disappointed, I walked out and asked the lady at the desk "did the beagle get adopted?". She said no, and took me back in and pointed to a hyena-looking animal sitting quietly in a cage full of big barking dogs.

It was love at first sight. At least for me. And, her.

I brought her home to The Husband who was not very delighted to have a mangy mutt added to our family (along with the already hyper purebred demon beagle I had bought him for Father's Day ....are you seeing a disturbing pattern of "animal gifting" here??). As we gave her a bath I was upset to see that she had "tumors" all over her body, but much to my horror they were huge ticks that had apparently been hanging out for quite some time.

"That's it....she's going back", said The Husband. But, we couldn't stand the thought of her being covered in ticks, so she sat absolutely still while we picked them off of her for an hour. During that hour we fell in love with her and named her Dixie.

Dixie moved up north with us (we sold the demon beagle and that is a hilarious post in itself) and we had her until #3 was born and we outgrew our house. Now, Dixie had issues. She had problems with her anal glands and would scoot around the house trying to relieve the pressure (and it stunk like you wouldn't believe). She also had to have salivary glands removed in a surgical procedure (she was the 6 million dollar mutt). But, when we decided to move to a neighborhood with neighbors very close we decided her barking would have us voted "neighbors most likely to have their house egged on Halloween" or worse, so we gave D-Dog (my nickname for her) to my mom. And, everyone was happy. We got to visit her and she was spoiled rotten with meals out of the Crockpot and lots of attention. And, I no longer had to worry about her eating the poopy diapers out of the trash can. And, please remember I was a mess trying to adjust to life with 3 kids (age 5 and under) and 2 Subway restaurants. Dixie was definitely better off with my mom and her husband!

Well, Dixie got old as animals do and last night she had to be put to sleep. It was so sad, but she had begun to have blood in her urine and she stopped eating. We think she was just shy of 14 and as hard as it was for my mom, she didn't want her to suffer. But, that sweet dog melted the heart of everyone she came in contact with and I'll never forget her.

And, in case you're wondering, I did not get anything living and breathing for The Husband's birthday that year. At least I don't remember that I did! I did get a baby 3 days before my birthday, though!

Monday, March 10, 2008

I've Been Tagged!

On Fire tagged me for this meme (what in the heck is a "meme" anyway??!)

What Ifs:

What if I could meet someone in the art world to chat with? I don't really "get" artsy people and I don't really have a favorite. It cracks me up that people spend thousands of dollars on something that looks like my dog painted it with her snout.

What if I could have one wish granted for the benefit of all mankind? Of course, I agree that I would love if everyone had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, but to add to that "no fear" (because sometimes we take our "baggage" with us when we become a follower of Christ).

What if I could travel anywhere in the world? There are so many places I want to go, but if I could choose just one it would probably be Israel, followed closely by France, Greece, Italy and Hawaii.

What if I could live in a period other than the present, for 24 hours? I always thought it would be cool to be a teenager in the fifties. It looked like so much fun to go to "Sock Hops" and wear poodle skirts!

What if I could make over three areas of my body? I would makeover my hip/thigh area, tummy and eliminate all the moles and freckles that cover my body.

What if I could become an animal for 24 hours? Something that runs very fast and is at the top of the food chain!

What if I could bring someone back to life for 24 hours? My Pop. In fact, I sometimes dream about having one more chance to see him (I always tell him in my dreams "I thought you were dead"). He died suddenly of a stroke almost 6 years ago and it devastated our family. It is an honor to have GAS live with us (I think it would make him proud to know we are taking care of her for him). Seeing him for 24 hours would allow me to say all the things I didn't get a chance to tell him. But, on the other hand, only having 24 hours would be like grieving all over again and I'm not sure my heart could take it. Plus, he's in heaven and doesn't want to leave!, now I am tagging Classic Mama, Krazy Klingers and Livin Life! It's your turn!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Yes, I Did It!

The Husband took me out on my first 4-wheeling adventure on Saturday and it was GREAT except for....
  • The rain
  • The 15 degree temperature drop (after we got rained on)
  • The snow (my helmet did not come equipped with windshield wipers)
  • Rear ending The Husband on his ATV (he thought I was ready for the "advanced" trail)
  • Hitting a tree at the same time I rear ended The Husband (that freaked me out a little so we got back on the "easy" trail)
  • We got lost and our map disintegrated from the rain (and we had no idea how to get out of the forest)
  • My soaked and frozen feet from getting out and walking up a swampy hill that I was afraid to drive up for fear of flipping over backwards
  • No cell phone coverage (so we didn't even bother to bring them)
  • No water bottles (we forgot them in the truck)
  • Disturbing thoughts of wondering where our last will and testament was located
After much prayer, we finally found the parking lot and changed out of our wet clothes with the heat in the truck cranked on high! It was just about dusk and we had been out in 36 degree weather riding soaking wet for 2 hours! It was like Survivor - Antarctica. Only I didn't have to eat a squirrel or anything. Thank you, Jesus!

I can't wait to go back!! In June. When the sun is out. With a GPS. And, water.

Good times. Really.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Welcome to the PAR-TAY!

Ultimate Blog Party 2008

I'm all about par-tays and this is one I won't have to clean up afterwards!! For those of you stopping by for the first time, I will give you ten random facts about me and then some links to other posts that define me. These are in no order of importance.

1. I am a PTO, soccer loving mother of 3 absolutely wonderful daughters whose various extracurricular activities leave me breathless running from one to the next.

2. I like watching and participating both on stage and behind the scenes in theater. I have given birth to 3 children who can say the same thing.

3. I am not shy. In fact, I talk too much. Again, my 3 daughters have inherited this trait from me.

4. I love Jesus Christ and make a very conscience effort to share His love with others. I love praying for people, especially catching them off guard like in Wal-mart and restaurants and watching their whole countenance change.

5. I met The Husband in Florida and we moved up north when my oldest daughter was a baby. I love where I live, but I miss the beach like crazy. Especially days like today that are cold and rainy.

6. A good sense of humor is essential in life. If I could not laugh about the predicaments I've gotten myself into, I would have surely lost my mind by now.

7. Coffee and fountain Diet Coke. If I were stranded on a desert island that is all I'd need (besides my family and a Bible).

8. I hardly watch TV, but I'm a big reader. I like Christian fiction, particularly historical or suspense. I get them from the library by the dozens for me and GAS (my grandmother who lives with us). Then I stay up way too late reading them.

9. I really enjoy being a mom, even on the days when it feels like the life has been sucked right out of me. I think it is the most important thing I can do to contribute to mankind. I firmly believe that a lot of the problems we blame on the government really boil down to the disintegration of families. I am going to pray and do whatever I can to help remedy that situation.

10. I really like coffee. And, fountain Diet Coke. I thought that was worth mentioning again and I'm running out of things to say.

Here are a few of my favorite posts.....The Dog,
prayer, a funny story about my youngest, and everyone loves a good vomit story.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, March 7, 2008

I Should've Said This Old Gray Donkey Ain't What She Used to be

I believe I mentioned in a previous post, that #3 and I have this little game we play on the trampoline called "Donkey". We jump and I crawl around on all fours while she is on my back. Strangely enough, as I was just jumping around I happened to turn a certain way and BAM! I have horrible pain in my neck, my back and now it is even starting to run down my arm.

I guess I won't be playing Donkey for awhile. Or, cooking, cleaning or driving if I can help it. Sleeping didn't work very well either.

But, I did manage to enjoy the Matthew West/Jeremy Camp/Toby Mac concert last night. The Husband had bought me tickets for our anniversary and we left the girls with a new babysitter that came highly recommended.

As we walked into the arena last night I told The Husband I didn't feel like I was almost 38, I felt so much younger (concerts can do that to you). I had on my cool jeans and my hair was freshly flat ironed. I even had on my Claire's retro earrings nearly identical to a pair my mom had back in 1975. I was feeling pretty cool.....

Until we sat down in the midst of every teenager on the east coast. What in the world? Ohhhh....Toby Mac. Apparently I am one of a few people in this age bracket that thinks he is just the coolest of cool. After we had to ask some kids to move out of our seats I leaned over and whispered to The Husband I didn't feel like almost 38, I felt like 46! They were all just so ....youthful. And, annoying, but "peace out, Dudes, I'm cool with your screaming and kicking my seat 'cause I'm down with Jesus and He loves you, so I love you, too".


At one point, The Husband left to check out some CD's and came back with three. He explained they were such a good deal....3 for $30. I, of, course started calculating the grand total of this evening including another $30 for babysitting and I start to break out in a sweat. Relax, I tell myself. It is my own fault....I know not to send The Husband anywhere he can make a spontaneous purchase! He and #1 came home from soccer the other day with the DVD game, "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader". I'm thinking....did you miss the memo that I QUIT MY JOB, PEOPLE??? If it is not food for our bodies or gas for our cars you need to turn in a purchase request 2 weeks prior for approval. Besides, I have all of #1's textbooks from 5th grade when we home creative and make up your own game with them!

Needless to say, I took back the DVD game the next day. "Unauthorized purchase", I told the customer service lady. But, I couldn't take back the concert CD's so we enjoyed them on the way home.

The concert was really good. Not the best I've been to, but I had already seen Jeremy Camp play at Purple Door and TMac (that's what I like to call him cause I'm cool like that) opened for Third Day. Jeremy Camp was outstanding. This man has a heart after God. My eyes teared up several times listening to songs like Take You Back.

Despite the pain in my neck the concert was great and so was my wonderful husband. I just loved sharing some fries with him and when he smiled over at me during the concert I felt my heart go pitter-pat. I even managed to wave my arms around and hop up and down during several songs.

Not bad for an injured donkey, if I say so myself.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

This Old Gray Mare Just Ain't What She Used To Be

For the love of summer! I was so disappointed to wake up to frost on my car window this morning. I do believe I border on seasonal depression because I've felt so antisocial and "blah, leave me alone" for the last two months. And, that is so not like me.

I don't know if it is age related, but I'm becoming less the life of the party and more inclined to curl up with a good book in bed (I know all of you who saw me at church in my blond wig and sunglasses last night are like "LIAR, LIAR!!"). I've wanted to throw a couple good par-tays, but when I start to plan them it just seems like so much work. I can't even believe I'm typing that because I LOVE TO HAVE PARTIES!! I also think I am missing Susan since she moved and ADRI-ran since her and Rocky started pastoring another church. Susan definitely would be inspiring me to do something if she were here.....

But never fear, the adventurous side of me is apparently alive and well because I am going out 4-wheeling this weekend, much to The Husband's delight. Pray I don't drive myself into a tree or another unfortunate 4-wheeler who drives too close to me. I strongly believe The Husband has been interceding for this day to come, that I will try it, love it and authorize the purchase of a 4-wheeler for each member of our family, including a side-car for The Dog and/or GAS (do they actually make such a thing?). I am merely interceding for my body parts to remain intact because, as I reminded him as we fell asleep last night, I am somebody's mother.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Is the Suffering Worth the Comfort?

I read in a book once that there is a reason that the Holy Spirit is referred to as our "Comforter". And, as I look back over my life I remember the sweet times of fellowship and healing He provided to my weary soul. The desperate state of my emotions and mind could only find comfort in knowing that I was not alone and that through these trials, like gold being refined in the fire, I would come out stronger.

Even now, I feel His comfort in the times I have been struggling with fear. As #2 has battled a multitude of sickness, some of it so painful, the fear that I continue to lay at the foot of the cross has tried to overtake me. As a result I've fallen into some of the old patterns of frustration, hopelessness and melancholy. We all have our weaknesses and fear is one of mine. I grew up in a home that fear was part of everyday life....we obeyed out of fear. We were totally into every scary book, movie and my family regularly made appointments with psychics. When I surrendered my life to Jesus I asked for forgiveness in participating in these things and to break off all generational curses that have been handed down. I do hope anyone who reads this will guard their children from what they see because it gets inside of us and it can be haunting, but not at all in a fun way. But, that's a whole other post for another day.

I've realized the peace comes when we confess our struggles to God (He already knows, anyway!) and He releases not only His comfort, but His power into our lives. My meditation in the hard times has been "it's not about me, it's about Christ", but that doesn't mean God wants us to be out of arm's reach from the embraces He longs to give us. And, once you find yourself in that place of comfort, the suffering seems much more like a tool, rather than a bitter pill.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Can Someone Please Explain to Her She Has to Stop Growing Up at the Speed of Light?

She knows her phone number and she read me a Clifford book the other night while my mouth was hanging open in complete surprise. She sounded those words out when just a few months ago she didn't even know what half the letters in the alphabet were.

Today we picnicked after kindergarten at the park where she told me I didn't need to push her on the swings anymore because she "can do it" now.

I hope there is a phone nearby to call 911 when she learns to tie her shoes because at that moment my heart will shatter into a million pieces because (sob) my baby is growing up and there is nothing I can do about it.

Until recently I have rejoiced over #3's milestones....who wouldn't? She dresses herself, brushes her teeth and goes potty....what is not to love about that? She even sets the table without being asked and feeds the dog. She has always been the most independent of all my girls (until nightfall when she melts like butter into my lap). And, I am so very proud of the young lady she is growing into.

BUT, I look at my almost teenager in her Hollister t-shirt and jeans (the uniform of middle schools) and think I just can't imagine #3 that age....but, she will be and she's getting closer every day. I really don't struggle like this with the other 2 girls because there will always be that little someone to "baby" when her 2 older sisters grow out of their current stage in life and move onto new things.

Perhaps, her independence is what saves me from going completely off the deep end...I mean, I seriously would not know what to do if she would cling to my leg at the doorway of school each day and sob. I'm thinking I would be re-visiting the home school option! But, I have no fear, because she hops out of the van and confidently strolls through the doors and has a life all to herself for the next two and a half hours.

And, let me tell is bittersweet.

If It's Free....It's For Me!

When it comes to free ice cream (especially from my favorite place) we'll do just about anything that is legal and morally sound.

My waffle cone of peanut butter puddles was divine and I enjoyed it in the front seat of our van with my bright pick penguin jammies on!