Sunday, August 31, 2008

Powerful with a Spear

After a false labor on August 16th, 2002, I was beginning to wonder if I would ever go into labor. On Friday night, Aug. 30, I did some shopping and picked up a little stuffed lamb that played "Jesus loves me." I was sure that we were having a girl and thought the lamb would convince Gary to let me name the baby Rachel (which means "little lamb"). Up until that point, we had agreed on a boys name but had no girls name picked out. I loved Rachel but Gary was not in agreement.

Then on Saturday morning, my water broke and we called everyone at 6am to let them know there would be a party at our house. My neighbor and good friend dropped her Saturday plans and came right over to make pancakes for breakfast! It was a great morning! My mom and Gary's mom came over. My Aunt and cousin and friend were there. My midwife, of course. We sat around and visited, I gave back rubs. I made an effort to drink castor oil to speed things along. I couldn't, but as it turned out, I didn't need to.

By lunch time we were talking baby names again. We were focused on a girls name because the boys name was set in stone. Or so we thought. Noah Lee. "Noah" means "rest, peace". I loved that name and the meaning was icing on the cake. In the process of going over girl names, Gary mentioned that Garrett was nice. He and his father are both Gary and my grandfather's name was Everett. So, Garrett combined them all. My mom had mentioned this name before but we didn't bring that up at the time, or he might have changed his mind.

I agreed to change our boy name if we could use Matthew for his middle name because it meant "Gift from God." With a new boy name and still no girl name, we headed up stairs around 2 in the afternoon. My cousin played with Aly and Aidan and they watched "Men in Black." She said that she kept turning it up toward the end, afraid of what the kids would hear.

At 4:09pm, my mother-in-law "caught" a beautiful baby and my midwife quickly unwrapped the cord from around the neck. Gary announced "It's a boy!" to which I replied "Are you serious?"

I remember him being big and...purple. I also remember feeling completely at peace with not an ounce of concern. They gave him a little oxygen and he pinked up soon after.

It was an amazing day. I loved sitting in my rocking chair, watching family and friends hold Garrett, celebrating his new little life. Seeing Aly and Aidan as they met their little brother. As I nursed him in my room, the house filled with the aroma of peach dump cake. It was a perfect day.

When the day ended, Aly and Aidan were tucked into their beds. My mother-in-law stayed over on the couch. That first night with Garrett was wonderful. It was quiet and peaceful. No nurses coming in, no sending him to the nursery with other crying babies. Just me and him. All 8lb. 15oz., and 21 1/2 inches of him. He was so handsome!

We visited with friends and family all weekend. Garrett showed off for my mom and rolled over the day after he was born! He had things to do, no time to just lay around! We assumed it was just a fluke until he continued to roll over...10 more times before he was a month old! By then he had put on some more weight and settled back into a "normal" pattern with his milestones!

Now, six years have gone by. We have learned that when we decided against the name that meant "rest, peace" we chose a name that means "powerful with a spear." What were we thinking? We have learned of our little boy's strong will and determination. We have watched him follow the "big kids" without hesitation. "I can't" doesn't seem to enter his mind much. We now watch him get on the bus every morning and come home to love on his little sister.

While folding laundry last spring, I learned of his desire to find out how to get to heaven. He announced to me that you have to ask Jesus into your heart if you want to go to heaven, but he hadn't because he didn't know how. And after a long talk, I watched as he prayed and asked for forgiveness. I can't wait to watch God's plan for his life unfold. To watch as he's drawn closer to God into a personal relationship with Jesus.

I love you Garrett! Happy Birthday!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Playing Telephone on the Telephone

Remember the game "Telephone"?

Well, I just played it...on the telephone.

It went like this...

Gary: 2 Timothy 14 Keep reminding them of these things

Me (on the phone to Kristin): 2 Timothy 14 Keep reminding them of these things

Gary: warn them before God against quarrelling about words

Me (on the phone to Kristin): warn them before God against quarrelling about words

Gary: it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen.

Me (on the phone to Kristin): it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen.

Kristin: What does it do in wisdom?

Kristin lost. But she won't be ruined...she wasn't listening.

On What Do I Lean?

There are plenty of things about God and life and eternity that I cannot begin to understand. Things that my mind cannot make sense of and my eyes cannot see.

When I look at a situation and can't answer "why?", I have two choices.

I can decide that everything I can't comprehend calls for putting my faith on pause until I figure out this problem. If something doesn't make sense to me then it must be wrong. I will need to address the issue with God and will continue following Him once He has defended Himself sufficiently and proved Himself to me (again).

The other option is turn to God during these times and not question Him, but seek Him. I can admit that I don't understand and that I struggle with "why". I can sit at his feet as a student instead of calling Him to the stand in my courtroom.

There are mysteries that He will reveal and there are mysteries that will remain. He knows them all. He is trustworthy.

Proverbs 3:5
"Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, and lean not on your own understanding."

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Now For Some Serious Stuff

I feel it is important to post a link here. I already have a button on the sidebar that will take you to "MckMama's" blog, but I think her latest post is worthy of extra mention.

She posted "a miracle in the making, by the numbers" yesterday. I believe you will be blessed by reading this beautiful reminder of just how awesome God is.

She asked all who have been praying for her baby, Stellan, to chime in and so far, she has 563 comments!

Why I'm Not Emailing...Right Now

Every now and then, or more often than that, I receive emails from "Willa", "Theresa", and "Verna", among others. They are often written in a different language. Despite this communication barrier, I am fairly confident that they are trying to sell me something that enhances...something.

Fortunately, McAfee is looking out for me and sends these messages to a separate folder for me to delete.

Today, I am wishing that I could contact these email senders and find out who their email service provider is. You see, my email service provider has decided in the last few days that all of my outgoing mail is SPAM. And then refuses to allow my mail to be "sent."

"The girls" don't seem to have that problem.

Now, my email service provider has a wonderful help section. I looked up my "error code" and read all about "what to do." Apparently, if you feel your email has been flagged as SPAM in error (yes, I do) then you are to send the email to their special email address and they will...well, I don't know what they will do.

That is great.

The problem won't let me send emails!!!!!!!!!!!!

I just had to write about this. It is really just a minor nuisance and will soon be fixed, but it makes me laugh.

Monday, August 25, 2008



[dis-uh-point] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–verb (used with object) fail to fulfill the expectations or wishes of: His gross ingratitude disappointed us. defeat the fulfillment of (hopes, plans, etc.); thwart; frustrate: to be disappointed in love.
–verb (used without object) bring or cause disappointment.

Can this life disappoint me? If disappointing is the failure to fulfill expectations, hopes, and plans, then I suppose being disappointed in life will depend on my expectations, hopes, and plans. Right?

I will not be disappointed. Nope.

Why? Because I will root all of my expectations, hopes, and plans in God's Word. His Word will be fulfilled.

I expect that this life will be hard. There will be pain and suffering. My heart will break. This is a fallen world I live in. This world has nothing else to offer.

I expect that even in this life, I will find God, see His work, and be blessed by Him. I expect that everything I go through will be in His hands but He will not spare me from every pain.

My hopes? My hope is a confidence. My hope is in Christ. He died and paid the penalty for my sin, He rose again and conquered death. He is seated at the right hand of God. He is preparing a place for me.

My plan? My plan is to seek God. To know Him as deeply, as intimately, as I can in this life. My plan is to surrender my plans to Him and accept His will for my life.

My plan is to seek God, to serve God, and to live to please God. He is drawing me into a closer relationship with Himself. He will work in me in whatever way He chooses and I know that even if it's painful, it will be worthwhile.

God will not disappoint.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

His Work

Psalm 139:13-16

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

This morning I stood in my kitchen at 6:30, making 11 Swedish pancakes to take up to my little girl's room for her special birthday breakfast in bed. Eleven pancakes. How can she be 11 pancakes old already? By the way, the tradition of getting the same number of pancakes as your age was foolishly started by me when she was only 4. I didn't think ahead.

I was thinking back to that beautiful day and remembering, well, every detail! My water "leaking" at 3:30 am. Going back to sleep even though my contractions had started. Calling my mom in the morning. Cutting Gary's hair before he went to work so he would look nice for the pictures if this was in fact going to be "the day!" Lying in a hospital bed, all hooked up to the monitors but not being admitted because they had to find out for sure if that was my water that leaked. They were confident that this first-time-mom had just wet the bed a bit and would be sent home as soon as the test was run. They were wrong and this first-time-mom, who didn't know anything about anything, was right.

At 11am they finally broke my water, as it had only leaked on it's own. I remember finally being admitted and having to have blood drawn and an IV line placed while contractions were becoming harder and closer. The nurse, who I'm sure is a very nice woman and I know God loves her, couldn't get the IV in. It took quite a few tries. I wonder if she has a clue just how close she came to being knocked over the head with an emesis basin?

By 2pm I was very uncomfortable. About that same time our Associate Pastor came by to visit. That was very nice of him. I was very nice to him. If I had been given my preference I would have visited with him the next day with a baby in my arms instead, but what can you do?

I lose track of time after that but it seems it was around 4pm that I had a thought that panicked me. A contraction was just ending and all of a sudden it occurred to me that, "I can't take a break!" It really freaked me out. I had absolutely no control. It was going to continue to the end and I couldn't do anything about it. I couldn't decide to step out for five minutes. I couldn't press pause. I had to endure whatever came and for however long it took to be finished.

It was after this that I started sleeping in between contractions. It doesn't sound possible, but I'm not kidding. The beginning of each contraction would wake me from a dream and I would start to doze again as the contraction started to diminish. I wouldn't believe it either, so I'm not offended if you don't. I just know that God's grace was sufficient for me! (2 Corinthians 12:9 "But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.")

At 5:07pm we met Alison Elizabeth!!! She was long and skinny and had a mess of dark hair with blond tips. I didn't know a baby could be so beautiful. I didn't know my heart could love so deeply. This 7lb. 5 oz., 21" long little girl had brought the room to tears. And I was a mom. What was God thinking? Later that evening when family had gone, Gary and I called his mom to ask her (I wish I was making this up) if we could change Alison's diaper or if we were supposed to call the nurse!

As I pondered all of this over pancakes, it occurred to me that God didn't need me for this miracle of life. He spoke creation into existence. He could have brought Aly into this world without me. Humbly, I recognize that although He doesn't need me, He allows me to be used by Him. To be a part of His work. I believe that's why each mother's story of how she brought each of her children into this world is so special to her. God gave life to my little girl...through me! I will forever treasure the story of how He did that!

Happy Birthday Alison!!!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Numbers 12:3

If you are not familiar with the book of Numbers, it was written by Moses, at least the majority of it. It was written about Israel's journey to Canaan.

The 12th chapter starts with this:

Miriam and Aaron Oppose Moses
1 Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite. 2 "Has the LORD spoken only through Moses?" they asked. "Hasn't he also spoken through us?" And the LORD heard this.

3 (Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.)

I just love verse 3. My footnote states that this verse was "perhaps a later addition to the text, alerting the reader to the great unfairness of the charge of arrogance against Moses."

In fact the verse is mentioned in the introduction of Numbers. It reads, "It is not necessary, however, to claim that Numbers came from Moses' hand complete and in final form. Portions of the book were probably added by scribes or editors from later periods of Israel's history. For example, the protestation of the humility of Moses (12:3) would hardly be convincing if it came from his own mouth. But it seems reasonable to assume that Moses wrote the essential content of the book."

This just makes me laugh every time I think about it.

I think Moses did write it himself! How funny would that be?

God isn't so serious that He wouldn't include some humor in His book! He created bugs whose bottoms light up! He's got a sense of humor or He wouldn't have created us with one. In fact there are plenty of funny things in the Bible.

And I don't think it made Moses any less humble if he recognized that others were not.

I don't claim to have any actual answer to this, I just really think it would be funny if it was in fact Moses who wrote, "Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth."

(Of course, regardless of the author, this verse is the inspired Word of God.)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

If You Give a Fish a Camera

Well, I am officially off the clock for my last full day of summer babysitting! And God has blessed me. How? He has given me the gift of finally being excited about sending the kids to school tomorrow! Still, it was a little sad when everyone went home...a little.

I have so many things to write about from our weekend adventure. I must start with cakes, though.

I made a cake for a friend's daughter who requested a horse cake:

And then of course, I made Aly a cake for her party with her best friends. Not wanting a plain-ole-boring cake, she went with a "tubing cow" theme!

With the cakes done on Friday night, I moved on to my next project - a spiritual gift test. Gary and I were going to our church's membership class on Saturday morning and this test was part of our pack of information. I have never had so much fun taking a test. Okay, so the fun was after the test. Specifically, after question #100, when I glanced up to the top of the page and read that #1 meant "almost always", #2 meant "occasionally, and #3 meant "not very often." This was after I had answered 100 questions with the (mis)understanding that the numbers were, well, the opposite.

In my defense (and boy do I need a defense), don't you think my way makes more sense? Really. If you are marking answers of "almost always" and "not very often" it is so much more logical that #1 would be "not very often", it is after all, the smaller number. See?

Well, I ended up with a lot of x's and double the circles but I still came out of it with a spiritual gift or two. Which proves the point that God does in fact use the foolish things of the world.

Saturday morning we went to the membership class and I have to say that I really, really enjoyed it! It could have been pastors talking about statements of faith and here's what our denomination believes, but it was more than that. It was listening to the things God has done, the things God has said, and the things that God has in store for us. It was actually really exciting. Gary and I had a great time and we both mentioned later what a different time it was from the last church membership class we attended together. (another church, another story)

Eventually Saturday, I headed to Beaver Dam with 4 girls and left our guys at home. They had a great time at the fair Saturday and fishing after church on Sunday so I don't feel bad that they were left out!

The first order of business at my Dad's was a boat ride and tubing. The girls had a blast and I took lots of pictures! I'm sure the pictures were cute. At one point, someone needed to be pulled in so I set my camera down and grabbed the line. I think is was Megan I was pulling in, and once she got into the boat, I turned around and saw Rachel. You can see where this is going.

Rachel had her elbows propped up on the side of the boat and was looking into the water. She looked so cute that I wished I had taken a picture...but I couldn't. She was watching my camera sink to the bottom of the lake. Kind of how my heart sank down into my feet.

The lake was not clear, as lakes tend to be. We could not physically see the camera in the water, but I knew. We searched the boat and asked Rachel repeatedly, "Where's mommy's camera?" Her response was always the same. "Um, floor." And she would point to the water. When we got ready to motor away, Rachel waved and said, "Pictures. Bye." It was very sweet. Whatever.

The rest of Aly's birthday bash weekend was nothing but wonderful. There was tubing and burgers. A beautiful sunset over the lake. Girls giggling. Boating and jumping off the boat to swim at the dock. Rachel and I hung out at the dock while everyone went out on the boat on Sunday. More tubing, more girls giggling. Rachel was allowed back on the boat and even got to tube. Then came pizza and yes, more girls giggling. Rachel's afternoon nap was taken on my lap in an inner tube.

As I floated with Rachel and watched the girls speed by in the boat I realized the blessing that this was. It was not an "Ah, life is good" moment. It was an "in spite of our sin, here in this fallen world, God still orchestrates moments like this when I can enjoy His creation, and feel somewhat removed from the consequences of sin that we can not escape from until the day Jesus comes back for His bride" moment.

And that is what I took away with me when we left the lake on Sunday evening.

That and the mental image of a little fish slapping seaweed above his lip and saying to his buddy, "Hey, take a picture of my mustache!"

Sorry, that is just how my mind works.

Monday, August 18, 2008

A Glimpse

I have been especially in awe of God lately. Just starting this post is exciting me. I'm already getting goosebumps.

Everything has seemed more amazing to me lately. Everything stirs me. Everything excites me.

Talking about God, saying His name, expressing thoughts about Him, listening to others do the same makes feel like I could run through the mountains singing like Maria in The Sound of Music!

Here are some things that have me bursting with praise.

God spoke and from nothing, everything came to be. He spoke! As if it's not impressive enough that He made something from nothing! He just spoke!

He took the time to form us. He obviously could have just spoken. No, He formed man from the dust and He knits us together in the womb. It was His very breath that gave life to the man He formed.

The stars in the sky? He knows them by name! I have four kids and I mix them up!

The sun comes up every morning and sets every evening. If I did the same thing every day it would quickly become boring. I am 35 years old. I've seen a lot of sunsets and I can still be so impressed with a sunset that I have to call anyone nearby to come witness what I'm seeing!

I spent some time with my Dad looking at pictures he had taken in Hawaii. All I could say was "wow" about 40 times and pose the question "how can you look at this and think it just happened by some accident?"

I can find rainbows in the sky. God first painted one as a promise. And He still shows us His promise today. It was created for no other purpose but to reveal Himself to us.

His Spirit worked in men and used them to pen His very Word. And it's His, and it's meant for us.

I watch my kids giggle and I am overwhelmed by the fact that we laugh because He created laughter.

Rain falls from the clouds that He has covered the earth with. When it does, the grass is renewed. It's color is never more vibrant than after a rain.

All of these things make me want to know Him more. To see more of Him. To be closer to Him.

I have been listening to Alli Rogers and she has a song called "Closer to the Moon." There is a line in the song that didn't make any sense to me for awhile. I'd love to link to the lyrics but I can't find them online. She says "it's like watching dancers through a crack in the door."

I get it now.

It's just a glimpse.

I can see God everywhere. There is so much beauty in this world that I will never see it all and never tire of what I see.

It's just a glimpse.

I feel like a little girl standing outside the ballroom door and what I can see has captivated me. I can't wait for that door to swing wide open!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Is It Summer Yet?

I just added a clock to my sidebar! Ironically, now I have time on my blog but in my day I am running out of it!

It is not quite lunch time and we have already learned the names of 3 teachers, been to 2 schools, and explored 1 classroom.

Aly was anxious to find out if she and her best friend would be in the same class and also anxious to find out if her classroom would actually be inside the building. Last year she was in the portables and had to go outside when they went to lunch/library/gym/bathroom breaks. We called her classroom the port-o-potties and joked that they didn't want her in the building.

Well, this year, she made the cut!!! They let her in! She's not in her best friend's class but she's 2 doors down. She is one happy camper!

Aidan is right next door to his first grade classroom from last year. Unfortunately we couldn't get into the room and couldn't see much from the window. We also forgot to look over his class list and check for friends.

Way down at the end of the last hallway, we found Garrett's Kindergarten classroom! It was open and his teacher, Mrs. S., was there with her mom. She told me that she just got back from a missions trip to Africa but our conversation was cut short by children (imagine that). I'll definitely have to talk to her more about that!

She has a large rug with large colored dots for their reading area. The first thing the kids said when they saw it was "Garrett! You get to play Twister!" So, we played Twister. Then Garrett decided that it looked more like a dance floor. Mrs. S. is in trouble.

Now we need to make a quick lunch so I can get started on some cakes. I have a horse cake to make for a friend's daughter and a "sky-diving cow" cake to make for Aly's birthday sleepover at the lake! (thank you to Grandpa Bob and Grandma Sandy!)

Aly is very much like me (which is not always a good thing)! Her creative juices are flowing and with summer vacation coming to a close, she is eager to fit in some extra special fun before the party's over. Her latest idea is that we should buy white t-shirts for everyone to decorate and each one should read "Is it summer yet?" She thinks it would be great fun for them all to wear on the first day of school.

Funny girl.

I Have a Button!

Okay, I'm having way too much fun with my blog now.

I just added a button to the sidebar. If you click the picture you will be sent to "Mck Mama's" blog. Here's the story...

I came across her blog by clicking the button on someone else's blog. I have really enjoyed her posts and have been praying for her and her "due in November" baby. Stellan.

She was just recently sent home from the hospital after spending 2 weeks (I can't remember the exact amount of time) there. You really need to get the story from her. But the really, really quick version is that Stellan has/had heart problems. They were told he would surely die when he developed a heart block that could not be reversed. Until it did. She is being closely monitored at home and I wanted to help share her story so that more prayers can be said for Stellan's little life!

On a lighter note, I also have tickers up to watch the kids grow...actually, it's more like watching them age, but that sounds strange.

Like I said, I'm having way too much fun!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Some Back to School Theories

Six more days and I will be waking 3 kids at 6:45am to get them to the bus-stop at 7:30.

Six more days and 7:30am won't bring the first 2 of our friends to the door. Just me and Rachel.

We have had a packed house this summer and it's been a blast. I may be strange but I am still human, so believe me, I am in need of a break. But oddly, I'm not anxious for it like I thought 8 kids would make me.

So, I've been pondering life after school starts and I have some theories about how it will be.

First, I don't think it will be a whole lot quieter. I really think that being Rachel's only playmate will keep me as busy as having everyone home. I'm so looking forward to having time with just her, but I have a strange feeling it will be exhausting! That's okay, though.

Now, this second theory is more fantasy really.

I think that I will be able to get the house in order. Organized. Clean. I want this to be the case because if it is, then the fact that my house has been a mess all summer, is all the fault of the kids. My fear is that my house will be no cleaner and I will have to accept that the reason for this is me.

We'll know soon enough.

My third theory is that I will have time to do some craft work. I have Christmas stockings to make and I'm going to make fabric crayon holders too. Hopefully, a friend and I will be able to sell at a craft fair this fall. I'm getting really excited about sewing again. Especially, the crayon holders. My mom made me one when I was a kid and I absolutely loved it! It rolls up like a sleeping bag (think much smaller, though) and ties with a shoe lace. When you unroll it, it has all your crayons tucked neatly into their own pocket. When I get one done, I'll post a picture. It's perfect for color nuts who can't stand when their brothers put the crayons back in the box out of order and the reds aren't all together and you can't look at all your crayons and see a rainbow...I mean...maybe some people are like that. Is it so wrong to like your colors in order?

Anyway, those are my theories. Those are the things that I look forward to when school starts. And yet, I'm not really looking forward to school starting. For that, I thank God. He has blessed me beyond measure this summer and I'm not ready for it to end. But it will and He has plans for our fall that I can't wait to discover.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Pondering Peace

I had a thought today. Yes, just one.

Philippians 4:7 came to mind. "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

I wondered, should I really be surprised that God allows bad things to happen to good people? (of course we are not good people we are either sinners or forgiven)

Do we see God's peace when life is peaceful? Isn't it the turmoil that reveals His peace because it doesn't make sense to be peaceful?

I think that God wants us to know Him. Why? Because He said so. He reveals Himself in nature (Romans 1:20), He reveals His secret wisdom (I Corinthians 6-10). The list could continue, but I'm trying to make a point about peace before we head over to a friends house for pizza. I know, where are my priorities?

God wrote this book so that we would not be in the dark anymore. He wants us to know Him. So, why does God allow bad things to happen? Well, first, bad things will happen. We live in a world where nothing has been untouched by the curse of sin. Really, only bad things can happen here. But not when God is with us!

So, when good things happen, from an unborn baby's heart healing, to little details of my day working out to be "perfect timing", this is God at work. Because life in a world of sin is really just pain and struggle. But God wants to use the struggle that will enter our lives and use that for an amazing thing.

To show the lost that God's peace will transcend all understanding. And in my turmoil, in a marriage filled with hurt and hopelessness, in the uncertainty of an unborn baby's fate the peace that passes understanding will point us all to God.

Without our storms, we would not know God's peace. Without the crashing waves, Peter would not have known the power, through Christ, to walk on water. Don't get me wrong, my flesh will not ask for troubles. I will cry and my heart will break over the pain in this life. I will cast my cares upon Him and I will pray for miracles and deliverance and health. But I will thank Him for everything that brings me closer to Him.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

How Sheepish of Me!

I've been spending the day cleaning and thoughts of our recent fun at the doctor's office started running through my head. I decided a break was in order. This story is something I don't want to forget, so I'm putting it down here as much for myself as for anyone who might read it.

A few weeks ago I had an opportunity to sit and have a really great talk with Aly and her friend Megan. One of the many things we discussed was the fact that God refers to us as sheep and talked about why that is. Of course it can be summed up by "sheep are stupid."

Aly has since coined the phrase, "Well, that was sheepish," whenever someone does something that falls into the category of "stupid."

Then, just a week ago, Gary heard a Christian comedian on the radio. He heard Ken Davis on Focus on the Family and if you want to hear it, just click here and go to the daily broadcast for August 1. I won't go into all that he talks about because you really just need to hear him. Gary and I listened to it and I don't remember when I've laughed so hard.

Fast forward to Wednesday morning. I was driving the kids to the park in between doctor appointments. Rachel had a 9am appt. with her ear doctor and we had some time to kill before Garrett's school physical. We had Megan and Josh with us so it was a van full of much conversation. From the very back I heard Aidan and Garrett discussing career choices with Josh. They were trying to convince him to become a comedian when grew up.

So, I thought I'd help them out. I told Josh that he could be a Christian comedian, making people laugh and sharing God's word with them at the same time. Here's where I did something "sheepish." I shared with them the Ken Davis stories about sheep (especially about Herman).

Not surprising, the kids were bursting with laughter. (Oh, and Josh agreed to become a comedian when he grew up.)

We spent some time at the playground and headed back to the doctor office for appointment #2. By this time everyone was in an extremely silly mood. They were having such a good time that all we were missing were party hats and a cake. Fortunately, the doctor was amused and not annoyed with all the fun happening in the room.

Just to give you an idea of what kind of fun I'm talking about, Garrett asked the nurse if she was going to shoot him with a tranquilizer and later claimed to be in control of his reflexes because, as he said with his hands on his head, "I can read my own mind!"

And then a fight broke out. Aidan and Garrett both wanted to tell the doctor something. I was about to have to stand up and get in between them to break up the brawl (it didn't really get that bad) when someone blurted it out..."Did you know God thinks we're stupid!"

I don't think that was God's command to us...go into all the world and tell people I think they're stupid?

So. No more Ken Davis comedy for them. It's back to the family devotions I think.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Lessons From a Lawn Chair

This is not a lesson I learned while sitting in a lawn chair. That would have been nice. No, this lesson actually came from the lawn chair. Of course, now it sounds like my lawn chair pulled itself up to a podium and proceeded to educate me on something. That would have been cool, but it didn't happen that way. Why don't I just share the lesson with you?

At one time I had a really great lawn chair. My mom had given it to us and it really was a wonderful chair. Until it's fabric ripped.

I loved the chair so much that I kept it around even after it had been torn. Little by little, the tear worsened and soon it was obvious that one of two things needed to be done. Repair it or replace it.

Not being one to make quick decisions, I chose a third option. I put it in the basement until I could decide.

It was out of sight, out of mind most of the time. But because I had to walk past it when I did laundry, I did occasionally put some thought into the fate of the chair. I didn't know how to fix it but I didn't want to throw away something that could be fixed. I also knew that if I replaced it I would want the same kind of chair. I didn't want something different.

The thought crossed my mind that it could be professionally repaired. This thought was quickly followed by the thought that whatever that may cost would surely be more than the cost of buying a new one.

I soon decided that I wasn't going to spend any money on a lawn chair so I might as well take a shot at fixing it myself. I had nothing to lose. So, I grabbed my trusty roll of duct tape didn't work. But I tried and then didn't feel so bad taking the chair out to the curb on garbage day.

It got me thinking about life in general and the question of what is and isn't worth repairing. The things that are cheaply made are never worth the cost of repairs, while things of quality craftsmanship are worth saving.

Then I considered me.

I was crafted with the highest quality of craftsmanship, God Himself. I was not cheaply made and my Creator did not make a mistake. I am definitely broken but He doesn't want to toss me away. He chose to repair what He created, even though the cost was His only Son's blood. I was worth the cost because I am His handiwork. The thought is quite humbling.

I believe the lesson holds true of my marriage as well. My marriage was quite broken. By the world's perspective, it was probably broken beyond repair. But I believe that a union that God created, even when we've made a mess of it, is something worth the cost of repairs. Whatever the cost may be.

And God taught me all of this from a lawn chair.

Well, not really. It's actually all in His Word...

Psalm 139:13-14 - "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."

Romans 3:23 - "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,"

Romans 5:9-11 - "Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him! For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation."

Matt. 19:6 - "So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."

There's more, of course. You should really read it.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

We Interrupt This Program...

I was just sitting at the computer typing my soon-to-be latest post when I caught Aidan doing something out of the corner of my eye.

I just had to stop writing to share with you what I just saw.

Aidan was holding a flyswatter in one hand, lifted his other hand to the kitchen table and dropped what looked like a dead fly.

As I was saying "Aidan! Put dead flies in the garbage!"

He lifted the flyswatter, slapped the fly, and the fly flew away.

Then he turned to me and said, "But it's not dead."

I'll just write later...