Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What has changed

I was reading a friend's facebook profile today. An unmarried, childless friend. It listed all kinds of cool hobbies like skydiving, hiking, traveling. I will admit to feeling a twinge of envy. Just for a moment. I used to be an adventurous person. Granted, not your pack-everything-I-need-
in-a-knapsack-and-live-on-a-Pacific-island type adventurous, but more than I am now. (Which I guess is not really saying a lot since these days my idea of being spontaneous is shaving both legs instead of just one.)

And, so I was thinking just now of all that has changed about me in the past decade. So, here's a short list.

Things that were true of me 10 years ago but are not true of me now:
1. I rock climb and rappel.
2. I stay out past midnight.
3. I travel to other cities just to attend a party or see a friend for a day.
4. While driving my car, I listen only to music that I like.
5. I watch Braves games most weekends and keep up with MLB stats.
6. I go to the movies a lot.
7. I consider an 8 am class early.
8. I go to the beach and actually relax.
9. I play sports a lot - softball, ultimate frisbee, basketball, flag football . . .
10. I have a paying job and career aspirations and sort of think I know what my future holds.
11. I intend to go to Barrow, Alaska someday no matter how crazy everyone thinks I am.

Things that are true of me now that were not true of me 10 years ago:
1. I watch Barney and Word Girl.
2. I consider going all the way to "downtown" Columbus traveling a long way.
3. I cook meals. Real meals.
4. I play Uno and Candyland. (Though I hate and usually refuse to play Chutes & Ladders. It may be an subconscious aversion to the title since I'm so coordinationally challenged.)
5. I love watching 4 and 5 year olds play soccer.
6. I get lots of hugs and kisses at bedtime.
7. I care more about what happens to three other people in this world than I do about myself.
8. I can somewhat relate to and understand God's love for his children.
9. I plan to move 1000 miles and a 17 hr drive away from home to follow the man I love to live in a town with snow and no Target. Or Walmart. Or Chik-fil-A. Or sweet tea. Or mall. Sorry, I digress.
10. I have no idea what my future holds, and I'm okay with that.
11. I intend to go to Barrow, Alaska someday no matter how crazy everyone thinks I am.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Unrest and arrogant pride

We sang one of my favorite hymns in church this morning. Our hymnal lists it as "Out of my Bondage, Sorrow, and Night," but you can find it on itunes as "Jesus, I Come." As we sang, I was struck by the lyrics in the first line of the third verse. (Here's the entire song.)

Out of my bondage sorrow and night,
Jesus, I come, Jesus I come.
Into Thy freedom, gladness and light
Jesus, I come to Thee.
Out of my sickness into Thy health,
Out of my want and into Thy wealth,
Out of my sin and into Thy-self
Jesus I come to Thee.

Out of my shameful failure and loss,
Jesus I come, Jesus I come;
Into the glorious gain of Thy cross
Jesus, I come to Thee;
Out of earth's sorrows into Thy balm,
Out of life's storms and into Thy calm,
Out of distress to jubilant psalm,
Jesus, I come to Thee.

Out of unrest and arrogant pride,
Jesus, I come, Jesus I come;
Into Thy blessed will to abide,
Jesus, I come to Thee;
Out of myself to dwell in Thy love
Out of despair into raptures above,
Upward for aye on the wings like a dove,
Jesus, I come to Thee.

Out of the fear and dread of the tomb,
Jesus, I come, Jesus I come;
Into the joy and light of Thy home,
Jesus, I come to Thee;
Out of the depths of ruin untold,
Into the peace of Thy sheltering fold,
Ever Thy glorious face to behold,
Jesus, I come to Thee.

You'll notice a pattern in which the conditions listed in the first line of each stanza have a logical connection to one another. Verse one: sorrow, bondage, and night. Verse two: shameful failure and loss. Verse four: fear and dread of the tomb. It's easy to see how the things in each stanza relate to one another. But, in verse three, the writer juxtaposes unrest and arrogant pride.

And so today I found myself pondering the connection was between unrest and pride. We have, of course, all experienced unrest in our lives to some degree or another: worry about finances, dissatisfaction in a job, wishing for more (or fewer, lol) children, the longing for a bigger house, a better car, better health . . . different circumstances. These can all be summed up in one thought: "There is something I'm missing." Isn't that what unrest is? The feeling that there is something else out there to have, to do, to be . . . a discontentment with what we have or where we are or who we are right now. I think the writer of this hymn got it right. Consider these feelings of discontentment and unrest in light of what what we read in scripture:

  • Return to your rest, O my soul, For the LORD has dealt bountifully with you. Ps 116:7
  • Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.. Matt 11:29
  • Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. Philippians 4:11
  • Behold, now is "THE ACCEPTABLE TIME;" behold, now is "THE DAY OF SALVATION." 2 Cor. 6:2.
  • Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Cor. 12:10
Clearly, God desires for us to find contentment and rest in Him. To try doing otherwise is, indeed, a reflection of arrogant pride. Think about it: if God says that He is enough, but I feel like I need something more . . . be it something more tangible or more visible or more immediate (or more obvious or more spiritual, the list could go on) . . am I not purporting to know better what I need than He?

So, yes, out of unrest and arrogant pride is right. Pride that would lead me to think I could possibly comprehend and fathom what would be best for me. I, who know not what tomorrow holds. I who know not the boundaries of the lands and the seas. I who know not the number of hairs on my head. I who know not when this fleeting, mortal life shall cease to be. Arrogant pride, indeed.

A great weekend in pictures

We had a great weekend. First one of my dearest, but unfortunately not nearest, friends came to visit with her 3 year old daughter. Daniella was one of my closest friends and roommates in law school. She's the kind of friend that you can see once a year yet still feel like you saw each other yesterday. Here's the two of us and us with our kids.

The boys had a soccer game Saturday morning, and despite a terrible cold, poison ivy and frigid weather, Josh insisted on playing. (I would have told him no if he hadn't already missed a game due to illness a few weeks ago. Plus, he didn't have a fever. Just so you know.) The boys' coach was unable to be there, so David stepped up and did a great job coaching on one of the fields.

After the game, we headed over to Montgomery to go meet some other friends at the zoo. Ben graduated from law school with David and me (and Yella), and we had not seen him since his wedding, so we were excited to see him and his wife, Jerusha, and their little girls.

Lauren had a great time with their daughter Grace who is only a few weeks older than she.

Ethan was our resident navigator, enjoying looking at the pictures on the map to tell us what animal we should see next.

Upon returning from the zoo, we headed to mom's to have dinner with the family and celebrate David's birthday.

I love that in one day I was able to see two old friends and have my kids play with theirs. In the morning, Lauren was hugging Yella's daughter:

In the afternoon, she was hugging Ben's:

And, she ended the evening in true affectionate Lauren style by getting in one more hug with one of her two favorite uncles.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Two conversations with Lauren

Because we have company this weekend (I know, Yella, you're not really company, or I would have cleaned my house for your visit, right?), Lauren had to give up her bedroom for a couple of nights. Since the boys have a twin on top/double on the bottom bunk bed, I decided she could just sleep on the bottom bunk with Ethan. This was, of course, an exciting and novel turn of events for all three of them, so there was a lot of talking and laughing going on in that room long after "lights-out" time. After several warnings I finally walked in and said, "Okay, who wants the first spanking?" Without skipping a beat, Lauren said, "How about Ethan?"

Today was Pumpkin Patch festival day at Josh's school, so the kids and I (and Daniella and her daughter Maddie) spent the whole morning at the school watching and helping. The teachers and other parents were so great to include Ethan and Lauren and Maddie in all of the activities, one of which was decorating small pumpkins. Lauren was drawing on hers and said, "Mommy, see the pumpkin is crying and sad." "Why is he sad," I asked. "Because he wants to be a pumpkin chocolate chip cookie."

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Way Back Whensday

Hard to believe these were taken four years ago this month. Where did the time go?

Monday, October 20, 2008

This must be from one of his dad's genes

This is what Josh's face looked like when he woke up this morning. Actually, the rash didn't cover quite this much surface area, but this was the rash. It wasn't all that big, and I had no clue what it was, but being the kindly, concerned mommy-type that I am, I ignored it and sent him to school. This is the conversation we had when I picked him up this afternoon:

Me: How's your rash feel?
Josh: It itches a lot. Mrs. F says it looks like poison ivy.
Me: Hmm. When would you have gotten poison ivy?
Josh: Well, yesterday at Gaga's house, I took a leaf and rubbed it against my cheek like this.
Me: [Actually, this is where I say nothing for a minute because I'm pretty much speechless.]
Me: What?!

Come to find out later that my dad had shown Josh and Lesey that a particular 3-leafed plant was poison ivy, but Josh wasn't sure if that was the one or not. I guess that was one way to find out.

Who do you think had the easier afternoon?

David and I just got home within 5 minutes of each other. He had a wisdom tooth extracted. I took three kids shopping and trying on clothes for 4 hrs. Which would you choose?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Random hilarity

Totally stealing this from The Bloggess (whose blog I'm linking with reluctance because, while I find her insanely amusing, her blog does often contain profanity. You've been duly warned, but seriously, you'll laugh.). Oh, and if you lived in a box during the 80's, this is a literal interpretation of the video for "Take on Me" by a-ha.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Thankful Friday

1. Beautiful weather and healthy, active kids. Joshua got a new bike for his birthday last week. Yesterday was the second time this week we've ventured out into the neighborhood for a walk/bike ride with the new 20" bike. He rides it so well. Even more relevant to my thankful list, David came home early yesterday and today and was able to accompany us on our afternoon walk/ride.

Ethan is hoping to retire his training wheels soon. We'll see.

2. Eager helpers. On Wednesday Lesey spent the afternoon with us, and I decided to let all of the kids help me make some homemade cinnamon rolls. I told them to pull a chair up to the counter and they could take turns doing each step. When I turned around, they had pulled four chairs up in a line, and each time one of them took their turn, they would all four rotate to the next chair.

3. Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies

4. An extra day to have all of my men at home this week.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Bible does imply God's never late, right?

Sitting in the van waiting to pick up Josh from school today, the kids and I were listening to "You are my All in All." Ethan, singing in his loudest, proudest voice:

Jesus, Lamb of God, early is your name . . .

I wonder how much of what kids sing makes absolutely no sense to them?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxoius about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:4-6

Like most of you, I have read/heard the above passage of scripture a thousand times. As I was reading it today, however, it struck me that I could have quoted the "Rejoice" segment and the "anxious about nothing" segment pretty much verbatim, but I'm quite certain that I would not have included the "gentleness" part. I'm not sure I ever really even noticed that part, so quick am I usually to jump ahead to the part I like, the part where God comforts me and gives me direction for my prayers. But, the part about making my gentleness known? Nope, I'm pretty sure I missed that.

In fact, if I were making a list of qualities I possess, gentleness would almost certainly not appear. But, it strikes me that the scripture doesn't say, "If you possess gentleness . . ." or "those of you who are gentle . . .." No, it's a direct command to all of us. "Let your gentleness be evident."

This is a command I will do well to remember in dealing with my children. My tone does not always convey gentleness (how's that for understatement of the year?), nor are my actions always gentle. I get irritated and grumpy, and the people who bear the brunt of it the most are unquestionably the three little people I should take the most care to treat with kindness and gentleness.

Lord, you are bigger than my tone of voice, my mood, and even my heart. Help me to convey gentleness to all, and let it begin in my home with the three precious children you have, for now, entrusted to me.

Way Back Whensday

Decided to start a new feature for Wednesdays. For the first, I thought I'd start at the beginning: our wedding. (Renae will probably kill me if I don't mention that she was about 4 weeks away from giving birth in this picture. She was a saint to be in the wedding!)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Joshua's birthday

Of course, the birthday begain with opening the gifts from mom, dad, and the siblings. He liked the gifts; he loved the card. The gifts elicited smiles and thanks; the Darth Vader musical birthday card elicited this dance:

After school I took him to Toys R Us because he wanted them to announce his birthday over the loudspeaker like they did on Ethan's birthday. He also got a balloon and a crown:

In keeping with his tradition, he picked Red Lobster for his birthday dinner. I wish I'd taken a picture of him with his snow crab every year to track his growth. He's been choosing them for his birthday dinner since he turned three. Yes, that's right. Snow crab. Since age three.

That was all Friday on his birthday. Saturday was the party. This is how Joshua greeted his guests:

The party began with two challenges the kids had to complete to earn their jedi badges: a balloon challenge and an obstacle course:

I forgot to take a picture of the table with all the food on it. The kids dined on star and moon shaped sandwiches, wookie cookies (animal crackers - plain for the light side, chocolate for the dark), grapes and canteloupe balls (planets), lightsaber pretzel rods, and yoda soda (green sprite).

They topped it off with light saber cakes. I must add as a disclaimer that when I decided to do lightsaber cakes, I failed to take into account how much more surface area I would have to frost by cutting the cakes lengthwise and placing them end to end. My hand was so cramped from squeezing the frosting bag that the instead of nice, pretty star shaped frosting, I pretty much striped the frosting onto the sides. I've made much more difficult cakes, but the sheer surface area this one created was a nightmare - took me almost 4 hours.

After eating, the kids enjoyed playing outside with their lightsabers (aka, dollar store bats with duct tape wrapped around the ends).

Opening the gifts:

The Darth Vader cape was not reserved for Joshua alone (my niece):

Neither were the incredible hulk gloves (my dad):

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Happy birthday to my 6 year-old

Being my first, I had no idea what to expect from pregnancy when I saw those 2 lines after getting pregnant with Joshua. I had naive ideas in my head of that "glow" I thought would magically eminate from me for nine months. In my imaginings, that glow did not include nausea, vomit, multiple hospitalizations for severe dehydration, gaining about 600 lbs despite said dehydration, being induced 11 days after my due date, pushing for 2 hrs and 20 minutes (while STILL throwing up), or contractions that made my sister-in-law cry just from hearing them over the phone. Nope, none of that.

But, boy was he worth every minute of it.