Wednesday, June 28, 2006
IF IT'S NOT FINE,
IT'S NOT THE END.
(a quote kindly shared with me by my husband when I began to panic at the prospect of having to move in 4 weeks and having not a clue what house we will be moving into.)
to have your heart
walking around outside your body."
Realizing a pregnany is underway, changes the entire course of every woman's life when she experiences the onset of the news. And this change of course is experienced whether she plans for that baby or not! Ultimately, God is the true baby planner.
To those of you wondering, no, I'm not pregnant. I just found this quote and thought it was profound. I still do have two of my heart walking around outside my body.
Friday, June 23, 2006
Happy Birthday Mom!
We pray the coming year for you is a blessing in your life and one of growth and nourishment in your walk with God. Thanks for being the mom you are and for wanting the best for your children. We love you! Wish we could be there to help you celebrate your day!
You lay there trying to drift off -- to sleep, that is -- and the rest of the world is rushing around in 6 lanes of traffic far below you. Cars are honking, people are yelling, trucks are zooming by, trains are honking and people and traffic are swarming the ground just below you. Planes are flying so close you could reach out and touch them and lightening and thunder are creeping in on the sky just above your head.
It seems like all of creation is trying to harm you in some way or another.
You're uncomfortable as you lay there. You toss and turn. You fix your pillow just right. You tug the blankets up again. You throw them off. You toss again. And then you turn. You look at the time. You move your leg. You turn and then toss. You pull the covers around your chin. You stick your foot out. You toss. And then you turn.
And you worry.
You worry endlessly that you might fall off the building you call your bed. All it would take is one bad move and life as you know it now, would be over. It makes you sick to think about that fact; that you just might fall. And so you worry. And worry. You worry so much that for almost 2 hours you just keeping tossing and turning and pulling up the blankets and looking at the time and then tossing the blankets off again and fixing your pillow right at least a dozen times.
But worrying about your predicament is not going to fix the problem. And it's not going to keep you safe. It's not going to keep you from falling off the edge. Worry is the carbon monoxide that steals the oxygen from your soul. If you worry enough your strength is replaced by total weakness.
In case you wonder, yes, you have every "right" and "reason" to worry... you're in a dangerous place. Not many people sleep like you're sleeping right now. Most are at home, safe in their beds. The top of a sky scraper right on the edge isn't a very accommodating place to lay your head. Of course you can't rest. You have your rights to worry.
But do you? Is worry ever necessary? Is it ever right? Is that worrying even doing any good? If anything, it's keeping you up later than you should. It's zapping your energy. It's stealing your strength.
Such were my feelings last night when I was trying to go to sleep. Tumultuous circumstances around me were robbing my inner peace, my strength and my joy. I could almost feel the opposition around me and my mind was going all over the place. How would I do this, how would I do that, what about that problem, how would I fix this thing, what if???... etc.
Suddenly, it dawned on me that yes, there are situations I must face right now but laying worrying about it was NOT going to do a bit of good. I needed to rest. I needed to sleep. And I needed to stop tossing and turning. My poor husband is going to reap the negative fruits of my futile labors of trying to go to sleep.
While praying for God's peace and direction I realized that no matter where I am in life, as long as I'm in the center of God's will, I am safe. I can be dangerously teetering on the edge of a big "problem" and still be safe. Like Elisabeth Elliot says, "The Everlasting hands do not let go of their hold." I can be glad. And I can rest.
The offer on our house right now does pose a lot of uncertainties ahead of us. We don't know where we'll move. And we don't know how many dozen more times we'll have to show the house before this offer (with contingency) either goes through or falls out.
It seems to me that my life these days is giving me a lot of reason just to trust. Not just in our house selling either. It's ironic to me all the subtle circumstances that have creeped up on me that can about do me in with worry.
I really don't know about a lot of things ahead of me today, this week and definitely into the summer months. But I am trusting the one Who does.
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
If you're just a blogger wishing you could comment but dreading the word verification process, you need not fear for the W.V. has been disenabled.
Again, if you're a spammer, please ignore this notice (and my blog for that matter) and click "next blog" and torment someone else. Better yet, find something better to do with your time.
(There, do I sound big and mean or what?)
Nothing. How tragic.
I could blog about my kids. But they're sleeping. (and I'm serious this time.)
I could blog about my husband. You know, that Toby guy. But he's boringly typing on his computer right now doing nothing interesting. (wow, that's a first.)
I could blog about Britt. But she's just reading. (plus, she's usually so put together and collected, blogging about her would be unthinkable because she's so... well, never mind.)
I could blog about the house showing tonight but there's nothing to blog about. (I was gone when it happened.)
Actually, about the house showing, I could blog about that. We had a first tonight: the realtor locked both the front door and back door so we were locked out. Thankfully, I had preserved a set of keys in the van just a day or so ago and we were able to harvest them and use them appropriately. There's nothing like getting locked out of your own house by a stranger.
Not such an exciting thing to blog about after all. Let's see... Thinking harder.
I could blog about my birthday coming up. I know, how boring. But, now that I'm older and matured and well settled in life (yeah right -- what's the forsale sign doing in my front yard then?) I don't count the days to my birthday anymore. Instead, since Fourth of July is still my favorite holiday, I count the days to that, think for a second what day my birthday is, subtract the date of my birthday from July fourth and walla, my birthday is in 12 days. (In case you didn't figure that out and really think you need to know, my birthday is July 2.)
Unfortunately, a lot of my dear friends and even my own dear husband think that it's July 3rd.
To prove my point, I just asked Toby what day my birthday is...
"You mean, Monday, Tuesday, Wednes....?" He asked.
"No, I mean what date." I reply.
"HAWHNEEE," he says with a note of concern that depicts he may be fearful that I may be uncertain that he knows his own wife's birthday.
"I just wanna see if you remember the date because you used to get it wrong." I explain.
"Do you know when my birthday is?" He counteracts, as if to prove that I'm the one that needs to be refreshed on birthdays.
"Yes," I reply. "June 5th."
"Of course I know when your birthday is," he says, acting as if he's stealing time.
"You do?" I ask. "When?"
We go through another speel of I'm-gonna-act-like-I-know-just-to-make-her-think-I-remember-such-dates and I continue the barrage of questioning.
He smiles, scratches his head, gets a twinkle in his eye and says, "July second."
Whew. At least he does remember.
Well, having blogged a reasonable sized blog considering I have nothing to blog about on my blog tonight, I have to wonder what I would've blogged about had I had something to blog about when I first started this blog.
Okay, maybe the fact that I don't have the knack tonight for a blog, it's a good indication that perhaps I should stay silent and willingly surrender to writer's block.
But yet I don't want to leave my chair just yet. To sit here in this office I at least can be near to Toby though he, my husband, yet sits on his computer chair endlessly typing away giving me no companionship or company and especially so if I leave my own fair chair and move away from his presence to the bed that is calling me.
Amazing. By the time the punctuated period ended the above sentence, I was being beckoned to the comforts of a relaxing bed. And not just the bed was calling this time, but my own dear husband.
With that, I'll close this aimless blog and leave the reader with an excuse to leave my blog.
(and with that she clicks 'publish post' and stumbles to bed.)
Not only that, but knowing my son's track record in the past of odorous and unpleasant activities when he should've been sleeping, I made a pretty straight bee line up the stairs and down the hall. What should I be greeted by but this:
I know, disgusting. It's even more disgusting to realize it was my son that did this. How unthinkable.
As I came in the room, I was greeted by a smiling boy and a robust, "Hi Mom beggee!"
I stood in the doorway rubbing my eyes and trying to stifle a scream.
"Mom's tired," the smiling boy says, noting the way I wearily rubbed my head. I screeched through the hands clenched over my mouth as I tried not to lose complete sanity.
We had a house showing scheduled in 45 minutes from this tragic episode. How was I ever going to get the smell out of the entire upstairs, I wailed inwardly.
The boy acted like it was some creative art work he designed. To think even his own body could manufacture the ingredients necessary for such unthinkable art, must've made this two year old feel somewhat accomplished.
The only thing I could think of that needed to be accomplished by this time was the cleaning of this room. And the boy.
I dunked the boy in the tub and showed him how to scrub-a-dub-dub real well while I sprayed the walls down with Fantastic spray. Yes, walls. it was more than one wall. He did a number 2 finger paint job (I think he was going for a graffiti look) in two places. He spared the carpet thankfully but got his bed quilt.
As I cleaned up the mess, I asked Britt if she thought her kids would ever do something like this. She assured me they wouldn't. After we found the second wall with "art" on it, she changed her mind and decided she would never have kids instead. To avoid instances like this, I'd say she should go with plan B. If you never have kids, they'll never smear bad things on their bedroom walls.
Just as Landon was finishing a nice clean bath, Britt got Janae out of her bed. We were greeted again by yet another odorous episode only this one stayed in the diaper. We were counting our blessings by now.
I Fantasticized the entire room and Britt blew the fan for awhile. A candle burning downstairs and room freshener scenting up the other rooms, assured the prospective buyers that this was a well taken care of house.
And why should they worry? We're taking the boy with us when we move anyway.
Now if that isn't a sign that my blog needs an update, I don't know what is.
So, here's your update. I hope you liked it.
I'm so totally having writer's block right now and when I do think of something to write, I'm unable to get to the puter. In one way or another, I'm blocked. Always blocked.
Right now, my boy child is in his room "taking a nap" supposedly. It's been about three hours since he laid down and absolutely NO shut eye has happened.
A lot of other things have happened in his room instead.
He evacuated the diapers out of his room and sent them all over the hedge (a child proof gate).
He disabled a shelving unit and put that out of the room as well.
He dismantled the diaper on his bottom and donned a pair of shorts instead.
And every once in awhile I hear a, "Heeeeeey, Mom beggee..." being hailed downstairs. What a charmer.
The girl child on the other hand is the epitome of the perfect child: sleeping cutely and peacefully in her bed. Her hair's all tousled while a purple bow lays hidden somewhere under her auburn locks.
My dear husband just came home and is basking under the breeze of the ceiling fan after being baked under the hot sun all day. I need to give him some lovin' before the evening gets away. There's supper details to attend to yet and then I need to get the house spruced up in time for this evenings showings.
Just thought I'd make some people happy and update this blog.
And no, the background isn't changing. To change the background means to change the template which means to... well, we just won't go there. Yet.
Friday, June 09, 2006
all the toys were gathered and the floors were cleaned.
The beds were made, the dishes washed,
the tubs all scrubbed and the windows gleamed.
When suddenly there hailed a desperate shout
a troubled soul sounded as if she would faint.
For there where once the floor was washed,
there puddled a pool of whitish paint.
A tiny person squealed and screamed
for a puddle of paint was a delightful game.
A quick hand wash followed by swift banishment
to the safe toy room for the mischievous dame.
If only there were contraptions for such tragedies
to suck up the mess trickling through the wooden floor,
but there it seeped into the cracks and grooves,
right inside the seller's front door.
In all of creation there found not a better tool:
paper towels were a wonderful invention
they sopped and seeped and worked better than
the idyllic contraption I previously mentioned.
Two pairs of hands and a clean pail of water
applied with scrub brushes and the paper rags,
when at last it was finished there filled none less
than two paint-sopping-rag-filled grocery bags.
Now if you believe this unfortunate tale
I'm pleased to announce that it really is true,
but there where it happened there leaves not a trace:
the wooden floor looks clean and quite new.
Let this be a lesson for all who are blessed
with the charm of a youthful small girl or boy;
though innocence arrays those dear little folks,
they'd much rather make trouble than play with a toy.
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
I was thinking about this verse and realized that it doesn't say, take up your job and follow me, or your possessions or your money or even something as important as your house. It says cross.
Several weeks ago, we began to sense God's leading on our hearts to sell our house. We feel that as our first step in following God's will for our lives right now, the sale of the house is number one. After that, we don't know for sure. We're looking into moving to Lincoln in a poor neighborhood in order to reach out to local people around us. If that happens, great. If it doesn't, well great too. Of course, if the house doesn't sell, we won't be going very far.
I thought everything was going to be easy about this decision because when we talked about selling, both Toby and I shared such peace. We even had the house appraised by the realtors and still peace. We started working on the projects that needed to be done in order to sell the house and still I had that warm and fuzzy feeling that you get when you know you're in God's will. Then we listed the house last night and I could feel my hand wrapping tighter around my earthly dwelling. So tight that I wanted to say, "Wait! I'm not ready for this!"
So much for warm and fuzzy feelings... obviously God's peace is not always tangible in a physical feeling. And not only that, but feelings come and feelings go and feelings are deceiving. Jesus didn't say, "take up your cross and follow your feelings." I'm so glad too.
While walking through the house last night before bed, my eye caught a glimmer of the for-sale sign out front. I hadn't seen it yet. Actually, I didn't even know the sign was up yet.
I stood in the darkened porch, gazing at the sign. It makes my house feel impersonal, not a home. It makes it feel like a piece of property, not my little nest. It makes my house a gazing stock to anyone that wants to look at it, inside and out. It makes my house not mine anymore.
And then I realized that this house isn't my house, it's Gods. I don't own my house, I live in God's. Anywhere I go with God makes it so all "my" things are His. What a wonderful insurance policy.
And that's what makes a house a home. Not the sweat equity, the homemade curtains, the tastefully painted walls, the warm aromas or the new carpet. God makes a house a home.
I told God in my heart that if He wants us to sell His house, then we'll sell it. If He doesn't want us to sell it, then make that for-sale sign obsolete.
Now that I realize we're selling "God's house," I don't feel so bad anymore. And now that I put down "my" house, and picked up my cross, I think it might be easier to follow God. Because houses are heavy things to carry when God asks you carry something else instead.
Sunday, June 04, 2006
There were quite a few people milling about but everyone had an air of peace and solitude about them. It was so quiet and peaceful.
There were young couples courting by the fountain, old couples admiring flowers, middle ages couples walking, children squealing and skipping about, friends chatting by the little pond and families enjoying time together.
Everyone was with someone except for a lone jogger that seemed almost out of place racing up and down pathways, darting up and down the stair ways and constantly zooming past the rest of us trying to enjoy a peaceful night away from the rat-race. There she was panting and dashing about. It was almost funny.
Checkout the size of these dandelion looking flowers
Reading the names inscribed on the walk way
My technology un-impaired husband... he can't keep his hands off computers even on a date
And finally, the happy couple
We had a really good time too.
In regards to my "What To Do" blog of last week, I could've never imagined such a fun time to spend together for his birthday. All my preconceived ideas just didn't seem to lend themselves into actually being reality. And am I ever glad. It's not even my birthday that we celebrated but I had as much fun as the rest of us did.
Toby told me he wanted to go on a picnic at a local state park. Ironically enough, there are actually some state parks around here. Of course, they're all centered on man made lakes but hey, at least it's water too look at and not a field anymore.
On Saturday afternoon -- just hours before the planned "get-a-way," Toby finally told me his desired menu. I ran to the store quick and got his favorite foods and collected them all in the cooler in time to leave.
Our first plan was drive the stick-shift truck so that Toby could teach me how to drive it on a vacant, gravel road. It was so fun. I didn't stall once and I even had to stop and go at the top of the hill.
He was so pleased with my progress of learning but I kept assuring him I was not comfortable with it yet at all. Of course, he makes it look easy to drive a stick shift and can actually talk and drive at the same time. Me on the other hand? Well, between remembering how to use three peddles, not forgetting what gear I'm in, listening for my cue from the engine as when to shift next and remembering to put the clutch in when I shift (and not after), I could hardly carry on a conversation. Whenever we'd come to a curve in the road (which of course is pretty rare around here but it does happen sometimes) or a stop sign or the next intersection, I would always say, "Okay, just a second." (In other words, hold that thought and don't talk to me right now.) Talk about a one-track-mind.
As we neared the more populous part of our travels, I gave him the wheel. We headed towards the park and enjoyed our picnic.
The scenery in front of our picnic site
Toby contemplating his age...
Thursday, June 01, 2006
Adult number one found their ID displayed a name but also had a light showing that the call had been answered downstairs. Not wanting to disturb the conversation, they left the phone alone.
A quick dash down the stairs found adult number two chatting on his cell phone to another caller. He indicated that the call had been received by adult number three.
That particular adult heard the phone ring but when they went to get it, they found the display on the screen that said, "Extension In Use." So, not wanting to disturb what they thought was an already in-course conversation, they politely ignored the call.
So, three very able bodied, communicative people who are also friendly and usually concerned about others needs and wishes, all politely ignored the phone call. It seems strange that polite and ignore can be connected in the same phrase.
But sometimes being polite can over-ride your ambition to just jump in and do something. Obviously, that was the case today.
How thankful I am for caller ID and the chance to return the ignored call. Especially when I did so and the day took shape into a fun time of doing some special plans with some special people.
We met with the Wissmann family for a picnic at a local park and had a fun and enjoyable time. I'm always so encouraged to see a mom with young children (and old children too, of course) who's been on my path for awhile. Its always a challenge to me to see the example of an older (older meaning one that's been a mom for awhile but not necessarily old :) ) mom and the sweet example she portrays to her children even when they are young.
Britt, Landon, Janae and I all had lunch with them and had a fun time getting acquainted with our sweet neighbors. (literally too -- they really are our neighbors.) I could hear a lively discussion going on next to me between the two bloggers: Britt and Bethany and noticed a camera appear a time or two.
It was certainly a memorable time and one we hope to repeat again soon.
And next time, I'll just answer the phone regardless of what reason I have to think someone else is already on. I don't want to connect polite and ignore again when it comes to another possibility of another chance of fellowship with special friends.
I don't intend to quit blogging so don't tag "blogging" to my "I Quit" title. I hope this template will work better than the last. This is so strange to have to spend the majority of my blog time looking for a template. I thought blogs were about blogging; not just setting up a site!
With that, I'll end this post and try to think of something more interesting to write about besides just writing about my blog on my blog. How boring to just read about someone's blog while reading their blog. You'd think a blog would be about something different than blogging. I guess that's not always the case.
Me? Single?? No way. Not now.
I used to honestly think that I was the kind of girl that would never marry. Not that I didn't want to get married; its just that some women are meant to marry, other's aren't. I figured I wasn't. I was happy to be single too and loved knowing the Lord as my Lover and Friend.
Then I met Toby and a whole new realm of thinking opened up to me. Those quiet, undisturbed and previously surrendered-to-God-areas-of-my-heart were being threatened. It was miserable. I so wanted to feel like a happy single again.
I knew better too, that was the worse part of it. I had read every book on courtship and keeping your heart, listened to every message, seen account after account of those that kept their heart for "the one" and knew full well the fact that I needed to guard my heart against fleeting feelings towards any young man. I even knew how to keep my heart.
I had done so good for so long. I was above temptation and the risk of falling. I treated every young man the same and never looked at single guys as prospects or dream-come-trues. I was so strong. I knew what was right and always made the right choice when it came to crushes and romances. I had it all together.
Then along came Toby.
Everytime he'd come to mind, I had to make the effort to want to be single and not just be single but want it too.. But then he'd pop in my head and I'd start to wonder again if I was supposed to be single.
I remember constantly giving Toby to God and asking the Lord to make me stop thinking about him. If he was the one, fine. But don't let me think about him again until he is the one for sure!
I'll never forget the Wednesday night that I finally felt like I made it clear to God about Toby: He had to make me forget about that guy. I was desperate. I don't think it was any special prayer I prayed or commitment I made but rather the fact that for several days, I was constantly asking God for strength to keep my heart pure. I don't just mean often either, I mean constantly.
Perhaps God didn't want to take Toby out of my mind because He knew once He did, I wouldn't be praying so ceaselessly anymore. It's funny how constantly a desperate heart prays.
Finally, on the 6th day in November, on a Wednesday night, God showed me His heart. I remember asking God to show me if Toby was the one I would court. If he was fine, I'll rest in that and be content to keep him in my thoughts. If he wasn't though, make it clear and help me let him go.
I laid in bed that night wishing my thoughts were consumed with something else besides this Toby guy while I prayed.
Suddenly, God impressed on me that for right now, today, this very minute, courtship is not for me. If it was, then I'd be courting. But since it's not for me, I'm obviously not courting...
"When courtship is for you, I'll make it clear to you." And with that, Toby left my mind and I went on with my life so glad I was again obeying my courtship books.
The following Saturday evening, my parents told me about a letter they received from a young man. They had been praying for this particular young man to show interest if he was indeed interested so his letter wasn't a shock to them. God had laid on their hearts the hope that this guy would marry me.
When I read the letter, it was dated Wednesday, November 6th. Not only that, but it was signed by Toby.
All those pent up feelings I had of trying to forget about him came back. Only, this time they weren't disturbing my spirit; they were pure, holy and right. Not only that, but I'll never forget the peace that God gave me in my relationship with Toby. I knew without a doubt that he was the one and no matter how hard I tried to conjure up some good reason why I should say no, I couldn't. It seemed like there was always a go, go, go.
God kept His promise to me... "When courtship is for you, I'll make it clear..." I'll always remember the strong sense of peace that seemed to thrust me forward in closening my heart with Toby as our love grew deeper.
I have to smile because that same peace continues to drive me on through the valleys and mountains of our life together. When Toby makes a choice to follow the leading of God for us as a couple, that peace drives me to follow right behind him.
Sometime I don't know where or how the Lord is leading but that doesn't matter when I'm at peace and living in love. (which isn't hard to do when you married the one you love and love the one you married.)
Let me explain... I checked my blog on my computer and it came up with a white screen behind and just words spread across the whole page. On Toby's computer, it came up with the new template and nothing was different. I'm not sure what's going on except that when I went to the server page, it said they had exceeded their bandwidth.
So, the problem isn't something I can fix but hopefully things will be on a better road soon. It sure would be a shame if the template blog server I use has to shutdown.