Monday, November 30, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
I'm sitting here unable to concentrate on my original post because for the last 15 minutes while I made The Husband's lunch for tomorrow and did dishes all I could hear was this high pitched whine coming from The Dog. Why? Only she knows. I had her gated in the bedroom with her beloved Master and she just laid on the other side of the gate with a subtle yet shrill (imagine the whistle that the dolphin trainers use at Sea World) whine to come to the other side. To dig through the trash can? Chase the cat? Eat a sock? Clack her nails on the laminate floor back and forth and back and forth.....arghhhhhhh.....who knows why she wants to be on my side of the gate?
It was then I pondered. God, what are you trying to teach me with this dog?? I know she is here for a purpose because there are so many times I could have killed her with my bare hands but I felt angels on either side of me holding me back. This is a dysfunctional dog who I believe has some sort of mental illness that we most likely caused by letting #3 drag her around everywhere we went under her doggie armpits when she weighed a measly 8 pounds. Or, the time a friend of ours accidentally dropped her. On her head.
The Dog does have a few redeeming qualities. She is smart. However, that is a blessing and a curse. For example, we trained her to ring a bell on our back door when she needs to go out. She is very good at it. So good, in fact, she rings it whenever she basically wants ANYthing. She rings it when she wants to eat.....when she wants to go out and chase things that run under our deck. She even rings it just to drive me crazy because when I show up to open the door for her she walks away. It's like the rich lady in those old movies ringing her bell for Jeeves the butler to fetch her a glass of lemonade. In fact, she just rang it now to prove my point.
Her only other serious redeeming quality is that the little beast has somehow wormed her way into The Husband's heart and I believe she would die if she had to live without him. Their mutual adoration makes up for all the disgusting eye goobers she rubs on me and her sock eating fetish.
So, God is using this dog to train me. I know it. Perhaps, not in the obvious loving the unlovable kind of way....but maybe something I'll learn with time and commitment. She is not always nice to me, in fact she growls at me anywhere from 1-63 times a day. It's like the battle of the wills when I force her to give me a shoe or sock back. She plays all tough until she realizes I'm getting the shock collar and I'm not afraid to use it. I've prayed "Oh God, please don't let this "relationship" be a parable of me and You because I'd hate to think I annoy You this much!!".
Now that I've pretty much forgotten what I set out to post today, I'm going to call it a night because my house is finally quiet. No dolphin whistles, toenails clacking or bells ringing.
Thank you, Jesus.
Monday, November 16, 2009
There, that's my disclaimer.
I left for work this morning and forgot my lunch. No big deal. But, I didn't want to take time away from work to go spend money on lunch so I prayed a simple prayer as I was driving.
God, please provide me with a free lunch today.
I actually kind of laughed at myself. I had never prayed that before! Who was going to give me a free lunch today? Would it drop into my cubicle like manna at noon? But, I felt this faith rise up in me...and trust me, my faith is being tested in believing God for big and crazy sounding things. More on that later....
I arrived at work and saw that I had a packet of oatmeal in my desk drawer. God provided my lunch! I must be honest, oatmeal wasn't exactly what I had in mind. However, I was grateful that I had something to tide me over since I didn't have a dime on me to go downstairs and even snack from the vending machines.
A little while later, my neighboring co-worker said that some friends were taking her out to lunch for her birthday (even though her birthday isn't until Friday). As I asked where she was going I already knew the answer.
I knew the answer because I realized in that moment that I had forgotten about a gift card I had won to a local restaurant in an office raffle like six months ago.
Sure enough out of all the places she could go, that was the one she was going to. She even had a menu in her desk so I could order exactly what I wanted.
So, God being the over the top God that He is, provided a gourmet spicy shrimp pizza to my desk for lunch with enough left over to eat tomorrow and maybe even the next day! It really was no longer about lunch anymore for me.
He demonstrated His extravagant love to me in that gesture. And, as I've been sitting here these last few months daring to dream of things that seem so out of reach, He showed me that it just takes a little bit of faith for Him to move pizzas....I mean mountains!
Sunday, November 15, 2009
It was the story of the "ugly duckling". Born different than her brothers and sisters and rejected by everyone in the barnyard besides her mother and the cats (who are only interested in eating her) she ends up lost.
Okay, stick with me here because almost every single person who is reading this right now can relate in some way to this.
The story would have had an all together different ending if the ugly duckling had plastic surgery to make herself look more like the other ducklings, or maybe if she ran out to buy a pair of Ugg boots and a Coach purse to fit in better. Or, we could have gone for the tragic ending where she developed an eating disorder or drowned her sorrows in a 6-pack to help ease the emotional pain. Ouch. I'm not even sure where I'm going with this.....
I think this thought process, this journey of embracing what is different in each one of us is a good one. Honk Jr. really tackles the issue of caring too much about what other people think about us. A few "animals" saw her for who she really was and helped her to see herself that way, too. But, again, we must never find our degree of happiness based on what people say about us, even it it is positive. My favorite song in the entire show went something like this....
Someone's gonna love you
Someone's gonna love you
Warts and all
They're gonna love you warts and all
And, you know what? Someone out there does love me warts and all. In fact, He laid down His life for me. To feel inadequate is to reject the sacrifice that Christ made for me. How many of us just decide it is easier to fit in with whatever the current culture is rather than be comfortable and content with the way God made us? I don't want to live in the place of rejection and isolation because of some age/physical/financial difference that is not the "norm" of whoever I happen to be with that day. Man, that can be exhausting trying to fit into someone else's mold.
Now, I'm not into being socially backward and completely un-approachable! No, that's not what I'm saying! I could really go on and on with this whole "being different" topic. But, I am beginning to ramble and Miss Never Taking Life Too Serious is starting to go a little deep....
Just remember that God made each one of us beautiful. No matter what we see in the mirror, He loves us warts and alllll........
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Here is a little peek of them at last night's dress rehearsal.....
Tickets are still available for some of the shows. Click here for more info!
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I put many hours into volunteering at my kids' school (particularly the elementary since it is so close by). I'm pretty protective of it. I don't like when people bash public school and I feel justified in defending it since I, too, have sent my kids to Christian school, home schooled and cyber schooled (done it all and have the t-shirts and denim jumpers to prove it). As a result, I often wonder if I am the only mom who gets a lump in her throat walking the hallways and admiring the artwork hanging outside the classrooms? Or, if I'm the only one who tears up at the success of exceeding our fundraising goal as I watched our k-5th grade students race around our baseball fields next to their teachers in our first Walk-a-Thon. Public school may have some issues and problems, but I appreciate so many of the good parts of it as well. I had decided before our first day of school that rather than complain and fret about those issues and problems, I was going to get involved.
And, basically almost every time I am at school to help with something, I leave feeling filled. Like I'm supposed to be there doing what I'm doing.
I got to thinking about something today while at school for our Parent/Teacher conferences....sometimes I'm so mission oriented while at school that I don't stop to admire the artwork hanging in the halls. And, when I forget why I'm copying 400 directories, designing a flyer or setting up meetings I can become a little frazzled. Perhaps, there is a life lesson in that revelation as well. When we don't take the time to admire God's artwork in our lives, we become so task oriented we forget the purpose of why we are here. Then, we burn ourselves out. "Purpose" is a good motivator when life is coming at us 100 mph!
So, while I still appear to run through the school some days like a PTO president with my head cut off, you may catch me lingering outside the music room enjoying the sweet, little voices inside for just a moment longer.
Monday, November 9, 2009
Hmmmm....so I'm sitting here pondering all the Christmas letters I've received over the years and am trying to figure out which ones I like to read. That doesn't help much because I really like to read all of them (although I usually have to give The Husband a Cliff Notes condensed summary of the letter if it consists of more than a half page).
Last year I tried to get out of writing "The Letter", but then #1 and The Husband did it and I of course, had to polish it up a bit (being the grammar freak that I am....ok, not really, I just wanted tell my side of the stories). I just hate when it ends up sounding like a family resume....my favorite letter was the year I wrote it from Kaleigh's perspective when she was 6 weeks old, but I'm all out of clever ideas now. That happens. I think it is The Dog's fault.
Since old habits are hard to break, I will sit down at some point and try to summarize in 12,302 words how our year went. I think sometimes I do it for myself more than anyone else. It helps me to look back and remember God's many blessings while at the same time feeling invigorated that we are so close to turning over to a new year, a fresh start, new beginnings and exciting adventures (I'm going to break out in song at any moment, so just be glad you aren't sitting next to me).
I'm toying with writing it as a rap, a poem or maybe in pirate....I'm open to your clever ideas...anyone?
Thursday, November 5, 2009
We had quite the ummm....excitement.....no ummm, more like fabric painting, balloon popping, wildly dancing, jumping on my couch CHAOS the other night when we surprised #3 with a Rock Star birthday party. Here is the highlight reel:
The Husband took her out to the park while I decorated and made chicken nuggets and pizza. In the meantime, 13 of her closest friends showed up and began to bounce off my walls waiting for her and #2 to get there. They painted "rock stars" with rocks; however, they seemed much more interested in popping the balloons, at least the boys did.
The girls just stood there watching the boys pop the balloons and occasionally let out a nervous giggle.
Then, The Husband arrived with the guest of honor and she was so surprised....it was quite funny! We scared her so badly she almost started to cry. We then painted t-shirts (for which I'm unsure if The Husband will ever forgive me for) and made foam signs with their names on them. They put tattoos on and ate. Then, I still had an hour left. I'm not kidding!! All together with #2 and #3 there were 15 kids and the majority of the male species in attendance just seemed intent on DESTROYING MY HOUSE.
So, being quick on my feet I:
1. made The Husband leave to go pick up #1 so he did not witness the destruction of our white couch by some little boy whose parents brought him with black & white face paint ALL over his face. I'm not sure if they thought it was a Halloween party or if he was supposed to be Gene Simmons from KISS.
2. played a CD and did freeze dancing (the video above demonstrates that).
3. put in a High School Musical game CD that tells them to "play the air guitar to the next song" or finish the next line in this song, etc...
4. opened presents and ate cake.
5. let #2 take over and have a 'Talent Show". By that time I had no feeling left in my brain and I just sort of made sure no one was hurting each other or escaping the house.
The most important part is that #3 had a great time! She thanked me over and over and said it was the best party ever. In fact, she asked me to do another surprise party this weekend for her "real" birthday.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Lately, I've been having these moments that seem frozen in time when I look at my girls. It happened the other day when #2 had a sore throat and we were going to the doctor. We had a few extra minutes (I was running early, imagine that) so we stopped for coffee at a nearby restaurant we had frequented quite often when she was still knee high to a grasshopper. We grabbed our vanilla nut coffees (hers was half decaf so please don't judge me!) and took a seat on the couch in front of the fireplace. In what seemed like an out of body experience I was transported back about 7 years to sitting in that same spot with all three girls in various stages of kindergarten through babyhood.
Gasp! It nearly took my breath away. But then, as I looked at #2 drinking her coffee smiling over at me I realized...I'm not done, yet. That phase in life may have passed, but our family is in a wonderful new stage. We can talk about things they couldn't comprehend at the age of 2 and we can hope and pray and dream together for what the future holds. I am watching these girls grow into women who seek after God.
And, the beauty of it all is that they are still young. They still call me Mama or Mommy. They still hold my hand and snuggle up on the couch. And, #2 still wears her sparkly shoes, even with a cup of vanilla nut coffee in hand!