It's not as odd as it sounds...

Prayer happens everywhere, even in the tanning bed.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


I am woefully inadequate for what I'm about to teach on in my Bible Study on Friday. It's 11:30 Thursday night and I feel like the pastor that wants to teach on Acts but is determined to find a graceful way to skip over Acts chapter 2. It's not that I don't completely agree with what I'm teaching on it's just that so much of the success of what the book I'm using depends on is Christlike character. Not as much from the women I am teaching - their desire for that is apparent in that they are in my class. No, it's the ones they will interact with that it is dependent on. And I am sad to say that there's not a lot of that to be found these days. I could never teach on this topic to a secular audience. The unbelievable amount of selfishness could never be put aside long enough to apply what I was saying. Actually, I'd be booed off "the stage".

No, there won't be a stage on Friday morning. I am rearranging the room. This teaching time needs to be done sitting around tables close together. It needs a completely different atmosphere. I am about to ask women to trust God so completely that they wrap their "self-worth" in fancy paper with a big pink bow and hand it to God on a silver platter. With a smile on their face they will be expected to exclaim with glee "Here's all I am, all I stand for, all I'm worth. It's here for your pleasure, for your taking, to do with what you will. That is how much I trust YOU!"

It dawns on me that we were all supposed to do that the day we asked Christ to be our Lord and Savior. It also dawns on me that if I am at all struggling to ask these women to do that, that I question whether they've done that at all. Why is it that I am the one who has to confront them on this issue?

I am woefully inadequate... PRECISELY...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Saving Face

In our home, we have a rule, before anyone can get their license they have to memorize the WHOLE book of James. Yes, you read this correctly. I'd love to take credit for this idea but I can't. I got the idea from Joe White's book "Faith Training". It's one of the books I recommend to the left of this post. He uses Bible memorization for different reasons but at the time, I didn't have children even close to driving age. I was so proud of this decision. However, I didn't realize the full impact of it. Oh, the drama that ensued. How difficult, how unfair (not a good word to use at me), it's their right to drive (cleared that one up REAL fast) etc. Obviously, I had no sympathy for them. But as 16 came and went for our oldest child, I realized that it was I who was needing sympathy. While all my friends used their kids for errands and no longer had to run here and there to pick them up, I continued my frenzied taxi service and had an internal pity party. I kept telling myself that this was for the best and I needed to stick to my guns, all the while wishing that I would have never made that rule. But I knew well enough, that rules were rules and by quashing what I spouted as an excellent idea, I'd lose my edge in the future. Regardless of how it affected me, I HAD to stick to my guns.

I learned two things. Waiting is not so hard when you are on the other side of it, and sometimes there are things in your life that you CAN do but possibly SHOULD NOT do. Drew didn't get his license until he was 18. Now that he has been driving for over 6 mos. I am past the struggle of carting everyone around. He gets himself and often his siblings to places I can't be or frankly, don't want to be. But nothing prepared me for the day that we invited our Youth Pastor and his family over to facilitate the recitation of the book of James. We sat there, dumbfounded, as Drew recited, no almost preached the word of God, from memory. And as each couple of verses passed his lips his eyes lit up more and more. All the other children in the room stared in awe of him knowing full well that the standard was being set and the bar was high. Our youth pastor's teens were praying diligently that their parents wouldn't adopt this idea themselves, I'm sure. And maybe for the first time in his life, Drew understood that he was accomplishing something great. That he was doing something with relative ease, something that took months of work... something that most people don't think they can do. For that moment, I would have taxi'd the family around for another year or two.

The other thing I learned was that he was probably not ready to drive. Just because it would have been legal for him to drive didn't mean he was supposed to. And for him, James was a good excuse. Frankly, I didn't care one bit if he used his hard-nosed parents as an excuse for his lack of a driver's license when his friends were all signing up for their parking spots at school. If he needed that as an excuse than so be it. It's better he not do something that he's not ready for than to go along with what's "permitted" to save face.

I occasionally wondered if there's a parallel here. After all, the Bible often uses the description of Father and child to describe the relationship believers have with Him. Could there be things in my life that are "permissible" but not appropriate for me now? Do I need to have a few apparently unrelated things come into my life in order that what I think I could jump into, something that seems like a good thing, is put off until I'm more prepared? I don't know. But I think it's possible. After all, no one knows me as well as He does. He made me and prepared a special work for me in advance. (Eph. 2:10) He knows what He expects of me, what He wants of me, and how I will perform. If I need something to "save face" He'll provide that for me, even if I don't realize it.

There are three more siblings that all have to accomplish the task that Drew accomplished. #2 son is on Chapter 2. He knows he has a lot to live up to. AND the word has gotten out - the number of people who want to be present for his recitation are too numerous to count. Oh, and by the way - he could have gotten his license LAST week. :)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Candy Kisses

I just ate half a bag of candy kisses. Why? I am not sure. Today was a pretty yucky day. There are more descriptive words for today's events but at the risk of offending some of you I will stick with yucky - you put in whatever word you'd prefer. For the 2nd time in as many weeks I have successfully laundered a brand new pink item with a whole load of whites. I can only tell you the reality of the situation is exactly the same as the one you are imagining. Yes, I've bleached, I've "Carbona'd", I've washed again. NO LUCK. Once again, a whole load of clothes will have to be thrown away.

I should be happy about dinner though, after all, I had a salad with a decent meal for the whole family. But alas, it's not a happy thought because it was the first dinner in weeks that I've had a veggie at.

A worse than yucky thing happened today to a friend of mine. It's something that will forever change her life regardless of how it's resolved. I'm very sad for her.

So, somehow, I think these kisses are going to help. They aren't even real kisses which would be nice but Michael isn't home to give those to me. I am not sure why I think chocolate will help me feel better... but it doesn't.

What makes me feel better is when my kids don't judge my mothering based on the lack of veggies I have on the table (actually that may win me points with them). What makes me feel better is that I can buy new socks to replace the ones I've ruined (and maybe a few new shirts for Josh- sorry buddy). What makes me feel better is that this friend knows Jesus. It won't make her feel better, not right away, but when the reality of WHO she can always count on sinks in she will derive some rest from that. His promises will rush to her head, and to her heart and her dearest friends will be Jesus to her. He and only He can heal her circumstances. I pray that she lets Him.

What makes me feel better is to realize that MY day wasn't really as yucky as I thought it was, the things that made me feel defeated in my role as wife, mother, and homemaker are only drops in the ocean of life and to be honest, I bet God doesn't care one bit whether my whites turned pink or that the Caesar salad I made tonight was the only green my kids have seen at dinner in weeks. There are more important issues right now -one being to pray diligently for my friend. And to make sure I myself have enough Jesus in me to be Him to her when she needs me.

Vanishing Scars

I have invested in Mederma. I say invested because it's outrageously expensive. But it promises to reduce the nasty appearance of my scars. We shall see. I have some old scars that exist from injuries that were not my fault; accidents I had no control over. But the scars exist none-the-less.

Mostly I'm using the Mederma on some rather large scars that were created recently. Those scars are there because I chose to have the surgery that created them. I am happy that I had the surgery but no more happy about the scars created by that surgery than the scars created by the accidents.

How much good is the Mederma going to do? Not sure, but I'll probably go through several tubes before I will decide that the scars won't get any lighter.

My sins are a lot like my scars. Some were relatively unintentional - sins of omission. Others were completely my choice - sins of commission. Jesus Christ forgives me, every time, when I sincerely fall at His feet and confess my sin to Him and ask Him to forgive me. (1Jn 1:9) But like the Mederma, I'm left with the scars that come from my sin.

You know, I can name the event that coincided with each scar I have on my body. Maybe it's not a horrible thing to have the scars from my sins left behind either.

Monday, February 2, 2009

How this began...

I love the tanning bed. I know, some of you, maybe most of you are cringing now. It's not that I want to be a dark tan, I just like a little color. But I have found that for many years, there's something that brings me closer to God when I am laying in that machine, alone, warming. It's quiet, there's no chance (at least I hope not) of anyone coming in and interrupting me, my eyes are closed so there is nothing to distract me. I am enclosed in a case of bulbs so there is nothing to feel guilty about not attending to. I am just there - me and God - what a wonderful place to be. I'm only there for 10 min. PROMISE. I just can't help feeling like there's something more... after all, it's like His warmth is enveloping me and it's just us, all alone, there in that tanning bed. So I pray, and pray, and before I know it I am in an almost audible conversation. (thank goodness for the low hum of the machine, who knows what someone would think on the other side of the door).So, to those of you who encouraged me to start this. I hope I've not let you down from the start. To those of you who are rolling your eyes because "who needs yet another blog?" I'm not blaming you at all.

What a challenge...

I have been re-thinking this whole blog thing while I have trying to create it. It's taken me a long time to put it together and therefore a long time to let my thoughts steer me in other directions. I haven't been very nice to my kids while I've been trying to create this. I have been short, ill-tempered - yet another great Christlike example - "leave me alone while I create my Christian blog to encourage people to live a Christain life and treat people in a Christian way" If it wasn't so disappointing, I'd be laughing hysterically. Of course, tomorrow they will wake up and if I am smart, I will make some muffins and greet them with a smile and hugs and kisses and they will forget all about how grumpy I was the night before...

So, it's posted, for better or for worse. I am sure I will tweek it along the way as I see things I don't like about it. I am still VERY unsure of myself here. I have been hiding this from my family all day. My dh thinks this is great! I am glad - I hope he thinks this enough for both of us.