Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Its Hammer Time

Today at work it was just Bestie Maryanne and I for an hour or so and it was
terribly quiet so I decided it was the perfect time to show Maryanne some of my old high school moves.

You know, just your typical day at the office.

I kicked off my heels and let it go like it was 1994.

Maryanne was impressed. I don't think she knows many 33 year olds who can still perform the fight song.

My dress wouldn't allow me to do the splits or I swear I would have done them. The fact that I haven't done the splits in 16 years would not have stopped me.

For being just a tad chubby I am incredibly flexible.

How much do you love this picture? As you can see, I've been rocking the red lipstick for quite some time now.

Those red gloves are friggin' awesome. Seriously. All hail the Mighty Panthers.

Monday, July 19, 2010

NOT Praying for My Kids Monday

Yeah, you read that right. I don't feel much like praying for my kids right now.

In fact, I haven't felt much like praying for them all morning.

They have been acting entitled and spoiled and disrespectful. They are disobeying, making messes and generally acting as if they are out to get me. Or like typical 2 and 4 year olds; it just depends on what your perspective is.

We all went outside so I could prune and fertilize my hanging basket and they could ride bikes. I knew it was a little too quiet and I didn't see their little bikes riding in circles in my driveway so I gave it a few more minutes and then went looking for them.

When I found them they were sitting in the garage eating rice krispies and spreading them EVERYWHERE in the garage. Like hanging a "welcome" sign for all the mice in the neighborhood, cereal was spread from door to door.

I sighed. And started counting to 100 trying to keep from yelling at them.

I didn't even speak to them; just snatched the box from their grubby little hands and walked in to the house. Samuel asked if I was mad. I simply replied that they should go play in the bonus room until I decided on what the consequence was for 1) climbing on the cupboards to get the cereal and 2) dumping it all over the garage.

I sighed. Again.

I grabbed a diet coke from the fridge and sat down to read my email and try to compose a PYKM. My email filtered in and I saw my weekly Up Words had arrived with a devotion from my favorite author, Max Lucado. The subject line of the email read, When God Sighed.

Maybe you've done your fair share of sighing today. Maybe this month has brought more sighs, tears and confusion than you'd like to count. Maybe you just need a reminder that you have a Savior who knows your pain. Maybe you just need a good read. I'm going to reprint this today because it.is.that.good. Be encouraged.

When God Sighed
by Max Lucado

Two days ago I read a word in the Bible that has since taken up residence in my heart.

To be honest, I didn’t quite know what to do with it. It’s only one word, and not a very big one at that. When I ran across the word, (which, by the way, is exactly what happened; I was running through the passage and this word came out of nowhere and bounced me like a speed bump) I didn’t know what to do with it. I didn’t have any hook to hang it on or category to file it under.
It was an enigmatic word in an enigmatic passage.

But now, forty-eight hours later, I have found a place for it, a place all its own. My, what a word it is. Don’t read it unless you don’t mind changing your mind, because this little word might move your spiritual furniture around a bit.

Look at the passage with me.

Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis. There some people brought a man to him who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged him to place his hand on the man.

After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue. He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha!” (which means, “Be opened!”). At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly. (Mark 7:31-35)

Quite a passage, isn’t it?

Jesus is presented with a man who is deaf and has a speech impediment. Perhaps he stammered. Maybe he spoke with a lisp. Perhaps, because of his deafness, he never learned to articulate words properly.

Jesus, refusing to exploit the situation, took the man aside. He looked him in the face. Knowing it would be useless to talk, he explained what he was about to do through gestures. He spat and touched the man’s tongue, telling him that whatever restricted his speech was about to be removed. He touched his ears. They, for the first time, were about to hear.

But before the man said a word or heard a sound, Jesus did something I never would have anticipated.

He sighed.

I might have expected a clap or a song or a prayer. Even a “Hallelujah!” or a brief lesson might have been appropriate. But the Son of God did none of these. Instead, he paused, looked into heaven, and sighed. From the depths of his being came a rush of emotion that said more than words.

Sigh. The word seemed out of place.

I’d never thought of God as one who sighs. I’d thought of God as one who commands. I’d thought of God as one who weeps. I’d thought of God as one who called forth the dead with a command or created the universe with a word … but a God who sighs?

Perhaps this phrase caught my eye because I do my share of sighing.

I sighed yesterday when I visited a lady whose invalid husband had deteriorated so much he didn’t recognize me. He thought I was trying to sell him something.

I sighed when the dirty-faced, scantily dressed, six-year-old girl in the grocery store asked me for some change.

And I sighed today listening to a husband tell how his wife won’t forgive him.

No doubt you’ve done your share of sighing.

If you have teenagers [toddlers], you’ve probably sighed. If you’ve tried to resist temptation, you’ve probably sighed. If you’ve had your motives questioned or your best acts of love rejected, you have been forced to take a deep breath and let escape a painful sigh.

I realize there exists a sigh of relief, a sigh of expectancy, and even a sigh of joy. But that isn’t the sigh described in Mark 7. The sigh described is a hybrid of frustration and sadness. It lies somewhere between a fit of anger and a burst of tears.

The apostle Paul spoke of this sighing. Twice he said that Christians will sigh as long as we are on earth and long for heaven. The creation sighs as if she were giving birth. Even the Spirit sighs as he interprets our prayers. (Romans 8:22-27)

All these sighs come from the same anxiety; a recognition of pain that was never intended, or of hope deferred.

Man was not created to be separated from his creator; hence he sighs, longing for home. The creation was never intended to be inhabited by evil; hence she sighs, yearning for the Garden. And conversations with God were never intended to depend on a translator; hence the Spirit groans on our behalf, looking to a day when humans will see God face to face.

And when Jesus looked into the eyes of Satan’s victim, the only appropriate thing to do was sigh. “It was never intended to be this way,” the sigh said. “Your ears weren’t made to be deaf, your tongue wasn’t made to stumble.” The imbalance of it all caused the Master to languish.
So, I found a place for the word. You might think it strange, but I placed it beside the word comfort, for in an indirect way, God’s pain is our comfort.

And in the agony of Jesus lies our hope. Had he not sighed, had he not felt the burden for what was not intended, we would be in a pitiful condition. Had he simply chalked it all up to the inevitable or washed his hands of the whole stinking mess, what hope would we have?
But he didn’t. That holy sigh assures us that God still groans for his people. He groans for the day when all sighs will cease, when what was intended to be will be.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Last night Hot Jeff and I decided it had been way too long since we took overly tired kids to Target to let them fight, beg, scream, cause a scene and eventually have to be taken to the car so we decided that on an evening when we had both worked full days was a great time to make some family memories.

Before going to Target to humiliate and torture ourselves we stopped off at Red Robin for some burgers and endless fries. While happily dining Red, a 5' 7" red feathered bird-like creature, came around the tables waving at kids and slapping fives with the adults. About the time he reached our table Little Roo locked eyes with the furry freak, let out a scream and darted under the table where she refused to come out from under for at least 5 minutes.

A few hours later I was tucking Roo in and saying goodnight prayers. Upon saying 'amen' she looked at me and said, "Where's Red?" At first I didn't know who she was speaking of so I asked her what she had said. She replied quickly and clearly, "Red. Where's Red? Red from Red Robin." My mind quickly processed the sweet little girl clinging to my legs under the table, quivering with fear to the demon possessed child screaming at the top of her lungs in Target because I had just told her that she may not have a Tinkerbell nightgown.

In my most soothing voice I answered, "He's asleep with his Mommy and Daddy in a cozy little nest...In your closet."


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

From Keith's Perspective...

I have a new fan. His name is Dr. Goose. He's the hubs of one my friends and quite possibly the male version of myself. We like the same football team, vote the same, have an affinity for blogging and clearly believe that Anthony Edwards' character in "Top Gun" got the shaft.

Goose has a blog that is beyond funny. Its well written and quite possibly will lead to my demise as I can't seem to stop reading it. Anyway, Goose and his wife watch the Bachelorette and so I left a comment directing him to my Bachelorette post.

In turn, he wrote a hilarious post from Keith's perspective...poor Keith. Read it HERE!

Dr. Goose is fun.ny. Like so funny I'm thinking of buying up the house next to me so he and Daisy can move in, our kids can play together, Daisy and I can meal swap and Goose and I can sit around and amuse one another with one-liners. I do believe we are a neighbor-match made in heaven.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A Quick Update and PYKM

Well last week's return to part-time work outside of the home was amazing. The kids did awesome at Melissa's house (although Roo hasn't figured out she still needs to nap even though she's at Melissa's) and I loved being back at Al's office and feeling professional and productive. It will be more of a challenge than I first anticipated trying to balance my household "duties" and work but Hot Jeff has stepped right up and is helping me. He's also quick to remind me that on an evening after I worked laundry and vacuuming is the last thing I need to be thinking about.

I know that my blogging will be more frequent and consistent once I figure out how it all works together. It is still a passion of mine and I feel all "pent up" from not blogging (it is so cathartic for me) but I have to prioritize and make sure the kids feel like when I'm home I'm really present with them. I'm hoping to break my old habit of blogging at night and perhaps blogging on the mornings I don't work. Again, it will all take some juggling, rearranging and retraining. I am really looking forward to this new season in my and my family's life.

Praying for Your Kids Monday
Yahweh Rophe ~ The Lord Who Heals

"The Hebrew word rophe means 'heal', 'cure', 'restore' or 'made whole'. Shortly after his people left Israel for the Promised Land, God revealed Himself as Yahweh Rophe, 'the Lord who heals'. The New Testament reveals Jesus as the Great Physician, the healer of the body and soul, whose miracles point to the kingdom of God."

The name Yahweh Rophe is first revealed in Exodus after Moses has brought Israel through the Red Sea. They had been in the wilderness for 3 days without water when they came upon the waters of Marah. However, the water was bitter and undrinkable until God miraculously made the water sweet.

If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your god and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statues, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you. Exodus 15:26

This is a special reading to me this week as I found myself just telling Hot Jeff 2 nights ago that I was suffering from bitterness in my heart and I felt there was more unforgiveness I was harboring than I even first thought. Being back at the office in which I faced the most hurtful, malicious betrayal and lies ever in my life has surfaced emotions I thought I had pretty much buried 3 years ago. I'm honest with myself enough to know I hadn't forgiven this woman but I had thought I had buried it enough that I wouldn't be bothered anymore.

You'd think my therapy with The Shrink would have taught me better than that.

Anyway, reading this passage tonight has reminded me of my own "bitter water" in my heart and it also answers the question I rhetorically asked Jeff "how do I get rid of it?" Yahweh Rophe not only is the Lord who heals my physical ailments but the ones of my heart as well.

As much as I will try, I will not be able to protect my children from betrayal, pain, rejection and disappointment. I pray that they will go to their Savior for cures and help from physical sickness but that He will also be the first person they turn to when their heart needs healing as well.

"Yahweh Rophe, I bow before You today to acknowledge that You are not only my Creator but the Lord who heals me. Please heal me today, body and soul, and do the same for my loved ones. I pray that You will heal whatever is bitter in our lives, transforming us in ways that glorify You." I pray that You will be present in ____________ life and that she will long for You to be her Redeemer and her Healer. I pray You will protect her heart from bitterness and unforgiveness and give her a sweet tenderness towards Your Spirit of forgiveness. Amen.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I Know, I Know...

I know my blogging sabbatical went a little longer than planned. Sorry. By the time Sunday night rolled around and I was thinking of doing Monday's PYKM it was time to go outside and light money on fire shoot fireworks off. And then (the excuses just keep coming) yesterday my sister in law and cousin came over and a 2 hour lunch turned into a 5 hour, delightful lunch and so no blogging for me.

And here's the big news: I got a job. I know! It happened so fast I didn't even have time to consult you about it. It happened so randomly also--just nuts.

So the very best job I've ever had was working for Al at his State Farm agency. That's how Shannon and I got to be the bestest besties ever (she worked there too) and now my other bestie, Maryanne, works there. 3 years ago there were some personnel changes and I decided it would be a good time for me to stay at home with the babies (I was pregnant with Emily) at the time. It was one of the hardest decisions I've ever made, because I loved working there) but knew it was what was best for my mental health and for my family.

3 years later the "personnel changes" are no longer an issue and Al called out of the blue, clear sky and asked about me coming back part time. We emailed, had coffee and 3 days after his initial call I had a job!

God has done such huge things for this all to come about, the biggest one being CHILDCARE! My mui fabulouso neighbor is taking the kids 2 days and Jeff is taking them the 1/2 day. Voila.

I'm simply amazed at how God has provided financially for my family over the last 3 years. It has been nothing short of a miracle (and a lot of discipline on our part) how we have made it on one income and now He has done even more amazing work in providing this job at the perfect time, not to mention Melissa's willing heart to provide childcare for Samily.

Its also fun to see how God was working in my heart regarding scheduling and time management. A few days before Al called I felt like I was really making some strides in managing my time and house. Not coincidentally, now I will need that structure and skill to manage family, house, ministry and now work!

Its all good. Very, very good.

I'm going to try and continue blogging regularly and will keep doing PYKM. All you working mothers will need to give me your tips and advice for making it all work smoothly! I'm going to need it.