Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Flexibility and Change

I am a very flexible person. Spontaneous. Able to accept and even embrace change.

On my terms!!!

But when change is forced upon me, and upon my already well-thought out plans, I can be stiff as a board. In fact, I panic. Maybe not always on the outside that others can observe, but invariably, I have an internal temper tantrum of a panic attack!

I use the words temper tantrum because that is really what it is. MY beautifully crafted plan has been messed with and I don't like it, thank you very much.

Right now, it is my mission trip VBS schedule that is being "messed" with. So I am taking this break to blog about it and then back I go to work. Not so much to work on the schedule as to work on my flexibility!!! (:

Saturday, May 24, 2008

I have to brag...

Last night, we were all out in the yard doing some gardening, throwing the baseball, and J was bossing Truck around. (She loves the power trip of telling the huge beast to heel and sit and fetch it up. She is such a girl!! And I already feel sorry for her future husband!!)

But then the boys started to feel destructive and decided they wanted to cut something down. Fortunately, we have about 10 dead trees in our front yard that have been just begging to be removed for the last 2 years. So with a dull axe and an even duller hatchet, my boys happily went to work. After hacking away for about 30 minutes, they decided it would be even funner to pull the trees down with the wench on Big D's truck. That occupied them for another 30 minutes. And meanwhile we were all getting very hungry. But there was no way I was leaving two teenage boys alone with a wench. (: (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)

This is where my proud moment comes in. C volunteered her services as chef. When she called us in, the table was set complete with flowers in the middle of the lazy susan. Spaghetti was our main course with buttered slices of french bread and a salad on the side. Drinks were at each place, which is something I always seem to forget until right when I sit down. It was so wonderful I could have cried!!

And that is why I had to brag!! I sure like my kids, every one of them!!

Friday, May 23, 2008


Some choices aren't too hard. And honestly, the consequences aren't earth shattering either way I decide to go.

Do I drink the hot tea at 9:53 at night (risking the effects of caffeine) or wait until tomorrow morning?

Do I let the boys wrestle in the livingroom (though it makes me a little crazy) or do I ask them to cease and desist?

Other choices require alot more from me!!

Like do I give in to feeling sorry for myself because my husband, who has been out of town Monday - Thursday night at a conference, just flew out again this afternoon to attend a family reunion through next Monday on a lake somewhere beautiful and I am stuck here at home with all four kids and nothing to do but more laundry and cooking and housework and yard work. Or do I just suck it up and rejoice that my husband gets the opportunity to go and be thankful that I have 4 awesome kids to spend time with all the holiday weekend long?

So in case you were wondering, I did drink the tea, which is why I am sitting here typing with the smug satisfaction of having lasted a whole 5 minutes before "encouraging" the boys to take it somewhere else.

But I am still working through the third choice I have to make. And yes, I do know what the right decision is. I just need to suck it up and actually do the right thing!! Something tells me I may need to revisit this decision a couple times this weekend. I am so very weak!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Last month I was studying the spiritual discipline of simplicity. It was interesting. It was convicting. It is also a discipline that is difficult to apply practically.

The question that struck me the hardest was this: how often do we replace an item because it has actually worn out? My answer? Not very often!! While I have several areas of simplicity in my life, I am far from having all my ducks in a row on this one.

I know I am not alone in this. How many of us drive our cars until they literally no longer run? Or even until they are unreliable? Car purchases are usually based on looks and updatedness and the financial means to finally make the new purchase we have had our eye on. How often do we buy clothes because ours have worn out? Isn't it more about the latest style and boredom with what we already have? The examples could go on and on and on...

The fact is, most of us have the ability to indulge ourselves in many ways daily and we are not shy about taking full advantage of that ability!

So it has been good for me to think on this and look for more ways to incorporate simplicity in my life.

And on that note, I am off to Biggby's for a decadent coffee treat before I go trade in my old cell phone for a newer model!!

(Before you lose all respect for me, please note that I have a coupon for a free coffee and my 2 year old cell phone is hanging on by a string, literally, and no longer shuts properly.)

Simplicity does not mean I can't enjoy good things that God provides in my life. Or new things. Or fun things. I just need to be very aware of why I am buying those "things" and what role those "things" play in my life.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


I am an introvert so the discipline of solitude shouldn't be difficult. Or so I thought.

I am finding that solitude is so much more then being alone and quiet. It is about God-focus. An ability to not be distracted. A honing of my spiritual senses, enabling me to better experience the Holy Spirit's leading in my life moment to moment.

In his book Celebration of Discipline, Foster writes this additional insight about solitude:

"The dark night is one of the ways God brings us into a hush, a stillness so that he may work an inner transformation upon the soul."

He goes on to explain how this "dark night" is often accompanied by feelings of a barrier between my heart and God. A suspicion that He is far away and my prayers are not quite hitting His ears and His Word is not quite touching my heart.

I read this and something inside me nods in agreement. I think that is a place I have visited a time or two. Or ten.

But another (rebellious) part of me just wants to argue with Foster's observation.

Aren't challenging times most often the result of human failings? Why should He feel the need to inflict me with hardship to inspire soul growth? Can't there be an easier and less painful way?

I reflect on those questions personally and the truth is blindingly simple. I have control issues. I want to determine when I enjoy my solitude. I don't want God enforced solitude. I think I know myself best! And if I don't feel like growing spiritually I shouldn't have to!!

Foster goes on to say regarding those harsher times of solitude, "Be grateful that God is lovingly drawing you away from every distraction so that you can see him clearly."

These enforced moments of solitude are really expressions of love from a God who desires my soul to expand into something more lovely, more Christ-like. From that perspective, the solitude of a dark night suddenly becomes strikingly beautiful. It is confirmation that God is not done with me. He hasn't thrown up His hands and said "Enough! I am through with her".

Solitude allows God to pull my heart closer to His own!! Solitude allows me to bide my time while God does His work in me.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Today I am...

...listening to rain drops on my back deck through the open windows.

...watching Sweet Home Alabama for the umpteenth time.

...labeling items for a Brazil fundraiser garage sale still fueled by a Skinny Biggby's Teddy Bear from this AM.

...thankful there is a big empty space in my dayplanner from noon on.

What are you up to?

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

One of Those Moments

Yesterday after school, my 16 year old son picked me up from Big D's office in his car. (!!!!)

We were headed downtown to a tux shop because my baby boy has been invited to prom by a girl from our church. (!!!!!!!!!!!!)

As the tux shop guy showed my son the options, I had one of those moments of blinding insight. He is not my baby boy anymore. He is growing up at the speed of light and he is drawing very close to adulthood.

This is one of those moments when I should NOT be "biding my time". The time is now! The time to love on him and cherish him and laugh with him and listen to him. The time is now!!

Friday, May 2, 2008


T.T. stands for toilet tissue, thank you very much. I have decided to try and refer to it as that from now on. It sounds very genteel and ladylike. (You might use T.T. for gently dabbing mascara off your face but you don't even think about using T.T. for a midnight foray on a neighbor's yard right before a thunderstorm is expected. )

Here is the story:

D and I were reminiscing about his mom the other day and somehow the topic of toilet paper came up.

(Maybe because we were down to one roll in a house of 6 people. Maybe!)

Anyways, he mentioned that T.T. was how she referred to toilet paper on her grocery list, although in real life she called it TP. I guessed that maybe she thought if she dropped her list in the store and someone behind her picked it up and saw the initials T.T. they wouldn't be able to decipher her code-word and figure out that her family was the kind of family that found themselves in need of TP. D just kind of looked at me. I could tell he would never have even thought of that as a reason.

Someday, we will get to ask her. I really would love to know. And we will probably have a really good laugh over it.

And on that note, I wonder if when we get to heaven we will actually remember all the general, non-life changing but personal and quirky questions that were never asked.

Biding My Time!!