Thursday, July 30, 2009

Catching Up and Falling Behind

I'm either getting slower, or just taking longer to get the job done.   Lately, it feels like I'm moving at a snail's pace to catch up.    Or maybe, just maybe, I'm enjoying more of the process, instead of just the finished product.   Either way, it's Thursday, and I just now feel like I'm caught up from getting back from vacation.    It was so much fun, and it definitely could have been longer!       

I remember the summer that my sister's middle boy was 2, and seeing him sleep on her chest at the beach.   I thought that it was the sweetest picture of rest.   He was totally content to be all sandy, but snuggled up next to Mommy, sleeping peacefully.    And that was the last summer that it happened.   By the next year he was chasing after everyone and everything as fast as he could.    So when Asher fell asleep on me on the first day of our trip, and I couldn't help but get Randy to get a picture.    Because most days he naps in his bed, and because he probably won't be napping much longer, and because it may not ever happen again.   As I held him for those minutes, I treasured the gift.    His sweet little face, sandy from playing, and warm from the sun.  His tiny body so worn out that even the short walk back from the beach was too much for him to handle.   His paci, even though he still has it, being a sign that he's still my baby.   It was probably one of my most precious times of the week.


Here are few other action shots from our trip...

I think it's proof that we had a great time, when my 2 year old was watching me upload the pictures he kept saying, "Mommy, I want go there again!"    

On another note, can you believe it's almost AUGUST!!!   Even thinking that makes me almost have a panic attack!     In the rush to get caught up, I feel the tug of all there is to still to do.  It feels like I'll never really get caught up, because there is always something waiting to make me fall behind.     To finally find that falling behind is inevitable, and that to "catch up" is only an illusion, is definitely making it hard to be me these days.    But in that process, there is joy to be found.    That's what I want to find...not just accomplishment.   But to truly to find joy in the midst of chaos, and rest in the midst of life.   

Now I just need to go apologize to my children for telling them not to bother me while I was posting about how precious they are to me.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Too Smart For Your Own Good

As we were driving back from vacation today, I was thinking about when I was younger. Maybe it was because I was with kids that are at stages where I used to know the stages where you think you know everything? They aren't necessarily rude about it...they just are so sure that what they think is the solid truth. And there's just no sense in arguing with them. I have to laugh when I think of the things I used to believe. Just to allow you laugh at my expense for a few minutes I'll share some of my pre-teen wisdom.

~ I used to think that after having your first wedding ring(s) for a while (probably about 10 years), you got to trade them in on better and bigger rings. You know, kind of like an upgrade on an old car. Too bad that one's not 10th is right around the corner!

~ I remember telling my dad in all seriousness that the New Kids on the Block were going to be the "next Beatles". I can still remember the way he chuckled about that one. After all, I had heard it on the radio so it HAD to be true...right?

~ I went through this very sad, and very confused time in middle school where I actually was a duke fan. Yes, I had to type that in lower case letters...I can't believe that it ever happened. It was PEER PRESSURE I tell you! I can't be held responsible for my ignorance. ;) (Or for thinking that Christian Laettner was cuter than Eric Montross.) It wasn't long before I realized the brainwashing I had undergone, and regained my Tarheel stance. ughh...the shame on that one. Oh, and btw, I stood right behind Eric Montross in line at a grocery store a few years back, and I totally changed my former belief about him, too. Don't worry, I was with my husband!

~ Guns and Roses were the best band EVER, and I had the posters to prove it.

~ My favorite car was a red convertible, and I thought I might get one when I turned 16!! I was so realistic.

~ I thought that I was smarter than my parents, and that there was nothing new that I could learn.

Oh, the joys of being young. I'm so glad that I know more now than I knew then, and that there's still so much that we all have to learn. What are some of your pre-teen and teenage follies? Or were you too smart for your own good? haha.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Out of the Gray

I'm so out of touch. We've been down at the beach, and I'm just now able to get online, and it's the first time since...since...SATURDAY!!!

( sister thinks i'm just checking my email...heehee....i'm not supposed to be on for more than a minute....)

I mean, do I have a problem or what? It's not like I spend hours every day, but it's wild how out of touch I feel with the world at my fingertips! You would think that this week of no contact and no email would leave me feeling totally at peace, but instead, I uh oh...uh oh...ajksdl;fjdklsa;I don't have any more time....been compromised. Talk soon...

over and out.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Changes in Attitudes

A lot has changed around here recently.    It's been fun changes, but it's left me with little to no time to be in front of the computer.    I've missed typing and chatting, looking and learning.    Recently, I've been given the opportunity to actually do what I went to school for...imagine that...using my degree!!     Scheduling around my husband's work schedule has been a little tricky, but I've remembered a whole side of me that I hadn't seen for a while.    Kind of like when you see a friend that you haven't seen for years, and when you see them, you realize how much you've missed them.     All this to announce, that Rekoncile Design is officially open for Marketing Direction & Events Coordinating.    And, an even more amazing gift, is that I've actually started doing Interior Decorating more with our company, which is a dream come true!

Another change, that isn't so recent, is our van.    I haven't told that story here, but it has totally changed our lives!    Remember when I said I was going crazy without one, and we were praying for one?      Well, not too long after that, a family at church had this fairly used, but only few years old, van that they were selling.   Basically, they said we could have it, and pay as we could.    I mean, when does that happen in today's world???    It's meant that I am fully in a mom mobile, but like I said to a friend yesterday, it's so great having the space, I don't even care.    My ideas of never being the mom with the minivan has gone right out the window, and I'm so glad!    

And finally, the last thing that's about be changing, is that my little girl is starting Kindergarten.  You know how a couple months ago, I was completely unsure what in the world we would be doing for her come this fall?     In April, the answer came in a thin envelope.   In the few moments while opening it, I braced myself for the future that I was waiting to for.    I knew that if she hadn't gotten into the magnet school, that we would have to choose whether to home school or send her to the school in our district that does not have a very promising environment.    I knew God was in control, and that we could trust Him.   But somehow, I thought for sure, it would be a hard decision.    We held our breath and opened the letter.   As I frantically scanned it for any answer I saw the top line in bold, "Magnet Acceptance Letter".    I started crying, of course.     So in just about a month, River will be attending a wonderful Spanish Immersion School that is only about a mile from our house, learning another language, and loving every minute of it.

I think somewhere in the back of my mind, I have believed a lie that says, "You will always have a hard life.   A life of suffering."    It's subtle, but nevertheless there.    So when these things just "happen", it's like I can't believe that God would be so kind.     All along, I've known that He wants good things for me, but that I will only know His goodness through hard things, and suffering.   That I'm just not a person who has these blessings fall in their lap.   Slowly, He is melting that lie away.   And in the places of stillness, He is saying over and over again, "I love you, I'm taking care of you."    It's a truth that I think I believe, but it's becoming more and more of a reality to my heart. 

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Watching and Waiting

My annual summer cold has arrived and because of that I've found myself sitting a lot more over the last couple days.    Last night, after I put the kids to bed, I collapsed on the couch, too tired to clean up the kitchen or fold the laundry...both things I knew I needed to do.    But instead, I decided to veg out to a movie I found on TV.    It was one I had seen before, but not for a while.    I was happy to see it again, especially because it was an easy to see romantic comedy.    As it finished, I realized another movie was coming on.   Then I realized, it was the same movie!  So what did I do?   Did I get up and turn it off, knowing that I still had chores to do?   Of course not!   I stayed right there, and saw the first half that I had missed the first time around.    Eventually, I fell asleep on the couch, right after I had said to my hubby that I wasn't tired enough to go to bed.   Typical!

Then, this afternoon, I decided to finally listen to an audio testimony that I had been wanting to hear for a while.   Some of you may have already heard it.     It's from a woman who was dying of terminal cancer, but who knew that death is not dying.   This dear Mommy, passed away this past week, which made it seem more appropriate to hear what she had to say, while she was here.    This testimony, opposite from my romantic comedy, was not something easy to hear.   It was not a fake-feel-good movie that makes you forget about the sorrows of life or the tragedy that strikes everywhere.    It was better.   It was real and it was true.

I've never been very good at handling sadness and sorrow.    From a young age, I learned to ignore those emotions, and stuff a lot of positive thinking on top, as to not let out what really made me sad.    It just felt too hard to deal with the pain.     I taught myself to be strong, and to only cry in movies.     So, you can better believe I cried in movies!    Hard!    It was my outlet, and sometimes it still is.

But as I listened to Rachel's testimony, I did cry, but not to cover up my own pain.   And not tears that would silence hers either.     But tears from the hard truth that we live in a sinful world, full of sickness and death.   And I cried tears of joy, to know that one day, there will be no more sickness.   And there will be no more pain.    And we will see our Father face to face.    
But tears shed also, because of the awesome truth that we have when we know how real Jesus is.   That He is not just someone to sing about on Sundays.   That He is not just someone to read about sometimes.   That He truly is our Only Hope, and the only Way.    He is.   
"Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror, then we shall see face to face.   Now I know in part; then I shall know in full; even as I am fully known." 1 Cor. 13:12

Thursday, July 09, 2009

A Little Chuckle

Today as I was listening to my daughter sing songs with a little microphone, I was impressed at all the little songs she knew by heart. And then, she started singing Three Blind Mice.

"Three blind mice,
Three blind mice,
In my Bible book it says,
Three blind mice.

Really?? I've never read that scripture! It made me laugh. Instead of shying away from the song, she just put in the words from "God Made Me". After all, it's the same song, right?

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Jumping In

Last night after dinner, my hubs, the kids and I went out on the front porch with our ice cream cones.    As we were enjoying our dessert, my husband prompted the simple question to the family, "What does it look like to
trust God?"

Our oldest started shouting out things like, "praying!!... joy!" in search of the "right" answer.     Our son went along eating till his ice cream cone fell face down...the original reason why we went out to the porch.

Randy went on and asked when the kids jumped to us from the side of the pool if they thought we would drop them.   River shouted out an emphatic "NO!"   Exactly.   

I love the relentless trust that our little ones have when the spring from the side of the pool, straight into our arms.    They don't hesitate.   They don't doubt.    They simply jump in.  

I believe if we fully knew how much we could trust Him, we would jump.   We would jump in total abandonment and even in freedom.    We would let Him catch us.   Even if we didn't know where we would land or how we would get there...we would jump.     That would be my prayer for us today.   That we would have the faith of a little child and jump.

   Don't forget to check out other great posts about enjoying the gifts of the everyday at Tuesdays Unwrapped.    As Em says, "Tuesday is becoming my favorite day of the week."

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Heeding the Battle Call

This week about 25 kids from our neighborhood are headed to camp. These kids are smart, sweet, and beautiful, but also are from at risk environments, and know how cruel life can be. I had wanted to be one of the counselors this week, but God made it clear that it wasn't going to be possible. Camp is a time of fun, but also a time of retreat. A place where these kids can let down their guard, and just feel. Feel joy. Feel pain. And the way that they connect with God and each other, allows them to draw near to Him, in a way that doesn't happen every day.

Today as we prayed for the leaders at church, I felt the Lord leading me to still consider myself a part of the team, but as an intercessor. As someone thinking and praying for them here, and lifting them up before the Lord each day. So as I sat down to post about the Fourth of July, and our fun time this weekend with friends and family, my heart was burdened for these precious kids. Who don't even get to be kids for very much of their lives. Their freedom does not come so easy, which makes me want to fight for it that much harder.

Fireworks or gunshots,
Who can tell?
There's much to feel
And a need to be real.

I want to write life, peace, and joy
But the honest truth is that there's
Much more to the story.

The truth isn't always pretty
Isn't always neat.
And justice is waiting
To be found in the streets

As fear sets in,
And the enemy draws near
I pray that tonight you will sleep
And know that there is a path made clear.

For your Father above
Is watching all the while
And even though it seems He's far
His hand is quick to love.

Come close dear ones,
Draw neigh this night
And know His promises
For you are held tight.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Yard Sale Drama

I've been trying all week to get to my computer to tell you about last weekend's yard saling! I went at the request of my sister, who had several things in mind. I was hoping that we could find a few things, but knew that it would be a stretch to find exactly what we were looking for. But, we also had yard sale drama that I couldn't wait to tell you about. I know you all think that every time I go yard saling, everything goes completely perfect without any problems. But that's not always the case.

My sister, like the organized person she is, looked online and found all the yard sales in her zip code. She entered the addresses into her GPS so that we would have no trouble finding them. If you know my yard sale technique, this is totally not my style. I was almost jumping out the window to follow the neon signs that she sped past while sticking strictly to the instructions that the GPS girl was giving her.

Randy has been renovating her kitchen, and so she was hoping to find some fun things to spruce it up, without having to spend a fortune on the accessories. With having a budget of $40, here was her list:
-pot rack
-kitchen accessories
-fabric for kitchen

I know you're she crazy?! $40?? A POT RACK?? That's what I was thinking, too. But I kept my mouth closed, and went along to see what we could find. We started out and at first didn't see much. But after looking a little more, we stumbled upon a pair of red candle sconces. I had already told her that having some pops of red would definitely dress up her dining room and kitchen. After thinking of where they could go, we bought the pair for $3.

We went on to another, and were excited that it was in a nicer neighborhood. As we walked around, we noticed that the lady had some high prices. But of course, we were willing to barter. My sis found a set of white bowls, which had a price tag of $8 for the set. We asked the lady if she would take $5 for the set, to which she agreed. Then, she asked if we had seen any clothes that would work for us...clothes that her daughter had put in the yard sale. We had seen the clothes, but had seen her prices at $4 a pair of jeans, and $3 for shirts, and had thought..."naahh." But at her persistance, we decided to take another look.

We found a few cute tops from Holister and a pair of fun designer jeans. We made our pile, and decided we would make an offer. This is how it went.

Sister: We found a few things and wanted to make you an offer.

Yard Sale Lady: (slow and hesitant) Ohh...kay...

Sister: We were thinking all of this for $10.

YSL: (disgruntled) Well...this one shirt costed $

Sister: Yes....but...this is a yard sale.

Y'all. Oh my gosh. I almost couldn't stand there, I was about to die laughing. Here I had been thinking it, but then my sister just came out and said it. The lady looked like her eyes were about to burst. So then, this is what happened.

YSL: (shaking her head in disapproval) I guess...

Sister and I: Thank you.

YSL: You're welcome...I guess.

I AM SO SERIOUS, Y'ALL. She really said that!! I couldn't believe it. I was so aghast!! So, then I decided to try to explain it to her a little bit. Obviously, she was not the usual yard sale hosts.

Me: I just don't think you're going to get $4 for a pair of jeans. I mean, it's a yard sale. People aren't going to pay for each item at those prices.

YSL: (ignoring me, and turning around)

So, we left, and I ranted for about 5 more minutes. And then again to my husband. And to my sister in law. And some more with my sister as we've been wearing her items this week. But I think I'm over it now.

Have you ever had an experience like this at a yard sale? I know some of you are scared to death that something like this might happen, thus the reason you avoid them at all costs! But, most of the time, people are not like that. I actually, in all my yard sales, have never had quite an experience quite like that before.

We continued on...and at the next yard sale, guess what we found?

A brand the box...copper....POT RACK...for $15!!!! Yes. The man hosting this one was an elderly man who you could tell was having a hard time parting with all of his collections from over the years. We talked with him a little about his things. And then we found some fun vintage Ball jars to use as canisters in her new kitchen. Our grandmother always had them on her counter filled with rice and noodles, so we both loved them! I think he took $6 for the set of 3.

We had a blast, and decided that even though the lady was snooty, that she just didn't know about yard sales. But that the sweet old man at the last one definitely made up for her snootieness! It was a fun morning full of adversity and adventure...and never a dull moment!!

I can't wait to show you pictures of her kitchen all dolled up, but that will be another post!