Thursday, July 31, 2008

Misunderstood. Or Should I Say Mr. Understood?

Since my son is here visiting, I thought it would be fun to tell a little story about him. Yea. As if my last post wasn't enough to make him run, full speed, back to California. But...he is my child and must accept the fact, as most of my friends and family have, that anything he has ever done or said may, and most likely will, at some point, become entertainment for my blog;)

When Sam and Josh were little, they loved grilled cheese sandwiches. Almost daily they would request them for either lunch or dinner. So, one day I was in the kitchen getting ready to fix their lunch and they were sitting at the table. I wasn't sure what I was going to make and asked them if there was anything they were hungry for (Sam was about 4 years old and Josh was 3 years old). Neither of them could think of anything so I offered them their favorite...grilled cheese sandwiches. Samantha squealed in delight and wholeheartedly agreed that grilled cheese would be best for lunch. I assumed that Josh would be fine with it too.

As I began to prepare their sandwiches I heard Josh crying. I turned around and he was sitting at the table with big crocodile tears streaming down his face. I couldn't imagine what had made him so upset. I went over to him and this is the conversation that took place:

Me- "Buddy, what's wrong???"

Josh- "I don't want a grill cheese sandwich!!!" (sobbing and sniffing)

Me- "How come?"

Josh- "Because I want a BOY cheese sandwich!!" (crying)

Apparently he thought I had been saying 'girl cheese sandwich' all those times I had made them and he was getting to the age where he realized that there were distinct differences between boys and girls. NO WAY was he going to be caught eating a 'girl cheese sandwich'!

To this day, if I offer him a grilled cheese sandwich, I still call it a 'Boy cheese sandwich':)

I love you, buddy! Thanks for that awesome memory!!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Armpit Hair, Adams Apples, and Febreze

My son made it home safe and sound. God is good! I cannot begin to explain the sense of relief it is to have him here. There is always a piece of me that is unsettled when he is so far away. When he is here, sleeping under the same roof, there is a comfort and sense of completeness that washes over me. Just knowing that my 'babies' are all within my reach causes my heart to swell with emotion.

I am always amazed at how much he has changed when I see him. This time, even more so. We have been apart since Christmas, 7 long months ago. This is the longest we have ever been apart and I have missed out on some pretty important things, like:

Armpit hair and his Adams Apple. I know that seems strange, but I was there when he got his very first armpit hair. It was one long hair right in the middle of his armpit. He was very careful with it because he was afraid it might get pulled out. Yesterday, when he lifted his arm, I was shocked! His whole underarm is filled with hair. Man hair. In December he was already 6ft tall, but his neck and body still resembled a 'boy'. Now, there is a clearly defined 'lump' in the middle of his neck. I noticed this while we were sitting at the airport having coffee. My poor boy. I think I said it loud enough for the entire airport to hear: "YOU HAVE AN ADAMS APPLE!" Yea. Wonder why he doesn't come home more?

Josh has always been a, how do I put this as to not offend anyone, um, 'gassy' boy? Yea. Silent but deadly is his motto. And he's proud of it. He would often walk into the living room while we were watching television and crop dust (crop dust: walking into a room. dropping a silent, smelly, fart. leaving). Then, he would go into the next room, wait for the smell to take hold, we would scream his name, and he would let out a belly laugh. It would infuriate me. Yea. As much as it hurts to see my 'baby' grow up, I was hoping this was one thing he had outgrown. Not so much.

We spent the night at my mom's last night. Samantha and I were going to sleep upstairs and Josh and Jordan were going to sleep downstairs. I had just finished reading my Bible and was getting ready to lay down when Josh came in. Apparently he misses annoying us right before bed:) He hung out with us and I took some very important pics (which will be posted soon). As he began to leave, a smell began to fill the room. I'm pretty sure I saw a hazy green fog, too. Samantha and I, simutaneously, yelled..JOSH! and, in his usual fashion, he let out his infamous belly laugh. Just like old times and I couldn't help but think.......I am really going to have to buy some more Febreze!

Monday, July 28, 2008

He's Coming Home!

My baby is coming home today. OK. So he's 6'1. He's still my baby. Always will be. He should have been here in June, but he decided to mess around in school and ended up with Summer School. He has finally finished that and is on his way home! I am so anxious to see him. I hope I recognize him because I didn't last time. He walked right by me. OOPS!

Josh knows Christ, but does not have a relationship with him right now. Of course this disturbs me greatly. I pray for him daily and my prayer now is that God will open Josh's heart while he is here. I realize that I can't make Josh have a relationship with Christ, but I pray that he will desire one. I pray that he will 'taste and see that the Lord is good'.

I will blog tomorrow and, hopefully, include some pictures.

Have I told you that I cannot wait to see him???? Yea. I think I did. BUT....


I can't.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Um. It's Official. I'm Old.

My non-blogger girlfriend, Deb, loves going to concerts. Me? Not so much. Unless it is someone I really love! Which typically translates to: just about any Christian concert where there are hands in the air praising God. Well, a few months ago we found out that Journey, Heart, and Cheap Trick were playing a concert....together. HELLOOOO!!! I was a big Journey and Heart fan. Cheap Trick? Not so much. I liked 'em, but never loved 'em. Anyway, Deb asked me if I wanted to go and I thought about it and decided that I didn't want to spend the money. I would rather go see a good Worship band. Needless to say, I received an email from Deb about 4 days later.....she had bought tickets. We were going. And let me just say.................


Seriously. I was so amazed at how good these bands still sound. Heart was absolutely amazing. Anne Wilson can still belt it out like no other. You would think that after this many years of singing and touring that her voice would've changed some. You know, a crack here or there. Maybe a slightly different tone. Something! Nope. Nothing. Her voice is as beautiful now as it was when they began. When I was young, I so admired her voice. I wanted to sing just like her. Yep. Still do.

Now, Journey. Well, that went a little different. If you are a fan of Journey, then you know that Steve Perry is no longer with them. A detail that I wasn't aware of until the tickets were bought. I was not very happy about it. At all. I mean, really! Steve Perry made Journey! As the new (well, new in my world) singer began to sing I had to do a double take. He sounds exactly like Steve Perry! He's even about the same size and shape with just about the same hairstyle (complete with sideburns)! He even dresses like Steve Perry and has a lot of the same mannerism's on stage. Except.....he's Asian. Yea. It's really weird. Not weird because he is Asian, but because he looks and sounds so much like Steve Perry that you forget it's not him...until you look at the big screen and there is this Asian man singing with Steve Perry's voice. OK. Maybe you had to be there, but it was weird. Their music is so much more beautiful than I remember and Neil Schon (lead guitarist) and Jonathon Cain (guitarist/keyboardist) are such talented musicians. I guess I never realized that when I was younger. Which leads me to my next discovery..............


Here are a few tell tale signs that I am old:

1) I sat in my seat for, almost, the entire concert.
2) I yawned in between bands
3) The concert didn't end until after 11:30pm and I was worried about getting enough sleep
4) The girl sitting next to me was young enough to be my daughter and didn't know the songs
5) It was really loud!
6) We left before the headline band is done playing so we could beat traffic out of the parking lot
7) The pictures below represent more than half of the people who attended the concert:

This one is hard to see, but this is an 'older' man.
He caught me taking his pic. Oops!

Just so you know, right or wrong, I ran after this guy to get this pic!

(He had a cane. I had to! Don't judge me!)

BFF's (not 'old' people;)

Thanks for the tickets, Deb. I so enjoyed our time together....... reminiscing about the 'old' days when we were 'hecka cool'.

I love ya!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Bloggin' Mama and Daughter

My daughter now has a blog, too!!!! I am sooo excited:)
Please click here to say "Hi" to her.

I am soooo pleased to announce this:


I have been asking (begging) her to blog, but secretly never thought she would. Well, once again, my mom has surprised me with her willingness to move into this electronic age. We even set up a myspace for her last week. Yea. She is the 'hippist' grandma I know!

So, please click here and welcome her to the community. I know she would be thrilled to hear from you.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Butterfly Effect

The strangest thing happened at work today. As I sat at my desk, where I had been sitting all day, a butterfly appeared. He was white with just a spattering of green. I was on the phone with a client when he seemed to appear from nowhere. He began flying over my desk and I was simply in awe. I couldn't, for the life of me, figure out where he had come from as no doors or windows are open. He finally made his way over to the large picture window in the front of my office. He was looking for a way out.

I went over to the window and pulled up the blinds. I wanted to help him get out, but didn't want to touch his wings. I placed my hand just under his tiny body and he landed directly on my finger. As I moved away from the window he panicked and flew back towards, what he believed was, the outside. He was consistently ramming the glass looking for a way out. Time after time he would land on my hand and as soon as I took him away from the glass, he would panic.

As this process repeated itself I thought of God. How many times has He had me in His hand trying to lead me the right way only to have me panic and go back to my comfort zone? The butterfly was convinced that his only way out was to go through this window because he could see the outside. He saw what was familiar to him and he was afraid to let me lead him into the unfamiliar, even though I could lead him in the way that I knew was right for him. That's me. There are times I am just too afraid to leave the glass. I see the way that is familiar and it looks right. No matter how many times God gives me His hand, I continue to jump off.

After many unsuccessful attempts, I finally cupped the butterfly in my hand (loosely) and made my way to the door. As I prepared to open the door he took off again. He flew to the frosted glass on the door itself. As I reached to scoop him up......he was gone. I have no idea where he went. I have looked for him everywhere in my office and he is nowhere to be found. He disappeared as mysteriously as he appeared and I sit here wondering......was that You, God?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

What Did He Say?

By now most of my friends and family have come to realize that anything they say can and will be used as entertainment on my blog. Sorry Heather.

During VBS last week, Jordan, Pastor Brett, Heather, and I were sitting together having dinner and chatting. Their youngest daughter, Alexia, who is only 5 months, was a little fussy. So, Pastor Brett, being the loving, doting, husband and father he is made some snarky little comment like: "Great. Now I have two neurotic women in my house." Yea. Pastors! Humph!

Heather, who was busy taking care of little fussy britches...along with their other 3 daughters, while her husband ate and made snarky comments, somehow missed the conversation. She asked what Brett had said and my daughter promptly replied:

"He said now he has two erotic women living in his house!"

Um. Yea. That's close.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

God Is Speaking

Every so often I read a post that just speaks so loud and clear that I know God is speaking to me. Today, I have read three of them.

Kelly at Just1Reason has been posting about a journey God has had her on. She has just posted part 3, so please make sure and begin at part 1....The Road To Emmaus.

Pete at Without Wax is on a Missions Trip in the Dominican Republic. Pete's wife, Brandi at Brandiandboys, puts things into real perspective in her post today.

The reason I am linking to these blogs are because they have all struck a cord within me. They are different, yet the same. I guess they are about getting down to the basics......the Love of Christ. Sharing it. Showing it. Spreading it.

God has been walking me down a path for a couple of months. Not sure where it's going yet, but I know He is changing me. He is changing the way I see things. He is giving me desires that I have never desired before. He is speaking.

Monday, July 14, 2008

You Know Your Folks Are Getting Old When....

During the summer my kiddo's and I frequently eat with my folks. They live directly behind us and my dad is truly 'King of the Grill'. When he grills hamburgers, he usually grills a dozen at a time so all we have to do is pop one in the microwave and Voila! Instant dinner.

So, the other night the kiddo's and I popped over for supper and began the normal chaotic dance that ensues when we all try to squeeze into the kitchen at the same time. One by one we microwaved our patties and prepared our buns (hamburger buns, that is:).

As we sat in the living room talking and enjoying the food and company, my youngest daughter, Jordan, got up and went to the kitchen for something. When she came back in she asked: "Who left their hamburger in the microwave?" My mom, dad, Sam, and I all responded the same: "Not me." I looked around and everyone had their hamburger. As a matter of fact......everyone was almost done with their burger. We couldn't figure out how in the world an extra burger got in the we only warm them up one at a time. Yea. I don't know why. We just do.

Just when I began to get very puzzled, I heard my dad say: "OH! It's mine!"

OK, he must've made two. That's not unusual.

Then it hit me as I glanced over and saw him digging through his onions and tomato.

He forgot the meat!

Here is my dad, sifting through his half eaten bun, that he was REALLY enjoying!

Yea. You know your folks are getting old when they make a hamburger with everything except........well........the hamburger.

Love you, dad!

Thursday, July 10, 2008


It's VBS at our church this week which stands for VERY BUSY SERVANTS! :) Seriously, I LOVE VBS. It's so awesome to see so many kids learning verses and singing praises to God.

Typically VBS is for K-6th grade, but this year our youth director decided to create a Jr. High VBS. It's called The Challenge and it's awesome! They created an obstacle course complete with a wall they have to scale and a moat they have to jump. Since it rained on Monday and Tuesday there was lots of mud and the kiddo's are LOVIN' it!

One of the things that we, the leaders, were supposed to be looking for was team work and we have been blessed to see LOTS of it! It's amazing to watch these kids help each other over the wall and through the various courses. Yesterday some of the kids even carried their friends across the moat when they couldn't make the jump. It was truly inspiring. I can't help but think of the friends who carried their paralytic friend up to the roof and lowered him down to Jesus through a hole when they couldn't get close enough. Incredible.

I will try to post pics this weekend or early next week!

Please keep the kids and workers in your prayers. Of course, Satan is hard at work this week. There has been lots of illness (my entire family and I included) and obstacles. One more day to go! Lives are being changed! God is GOOD!!!!! :)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Letting Go. Part 972.

Samantha arrived home from her Missions Trip in Colorado. Thank you for your prayers! God heard them and there were blessings abound!

Timberline Lodge is where they worked and stayed. It is nestled in the beautiful Colorado Rockies. Not only is it a lodge, but it is also a Bible College. Many of the 'former' teens from our church attended Timberline prior to making a decision about which 'formal' college they would attend. Since Timberline has blessed so many of our youth, our Youth Director, Connie, decided it was time to bless them. 5 adults and 9 teens worked from sun up to sun down to get many, various projects completed. The staff at Timberline was amazed at the amount they accomplished for such a small group and everybody's health was PERFECT!

In addition to working, the teens were also challenged both physically and Spiritually. One of the physical challenges was a 5 mile hike. Now, Samantha is not 'outdoorsy'. She is like her mom. And frankly, the thought of a 5 mile hike scared her. However, when she was one of her favorite things about the trip. She made it. She was one of the last ones to the top, but she made it and she felt good about it! She said that the pain of the hike was worth the reward of accomplishing it! (YES! :) She brought an application back home with her and very much plans on attending Timberline after high school. This had already been her plan, but this trip confirmed her desire.

She didn't miss me. As a matter of fact, she was sad to be home and I came to a realization: She is spreading her wings in preparation to fly. The little girl who used to ask if she could live with me forever, who used to call me crying when she would spend a night away from me, is now a young woman who is anxiously awaiting the day she begins a new chapter in her life.....without me.

The mom in me is torn. I am so happy for her as I truly thought she would never leave my side, but I am so sad because I truly thought she would never leave my side. My heart aches with pain and swells with joy at the same time. What an honor to be her mom. What a privilege to watch her grow up. What a struggle to let her go. I fight the urge to not make her feel guilty when she seems ecstatic to leave and go to college. Sometimes I lose that battle. I don't mean to. I just can't help it.

Have I told you lately.....................

(Yea. I know. Only about 972 times!)

I love her soooo much, yet He loves her more. I can't imagine. And the one thing that gives me nothing but pure joy is to know that she is leaving me to serve Him. Before she knew Him....she wanted to live with me forever. Before she knew Him......she was scared of everything. He has given her strength, hope, and, whether she realizes it or not, confidence. It's because of Him she feels as though she can fly. And...........

It's because of Him I will feel more joy than pain when the time comes for me to truly let go.

You are soooo good!

Monday, July 7, 2008

We ARE The Body

One thing I failed to mention in my previous posts of moldy carpet and hidden treasure is the fact that I also had a slight mental breakdown. As I was investigating my basement/family room, I went into our workshop area and found 'fungus/fungi' growing on the walls. I called my friend, Heather, and she came over to investigate. She had never seen anything like it....neither had I. It resembled lasagne (Yea. It will be a while before I eat that again!) and it was bulging out of the wall. I felt overwhelmed. My gutters needed cleaned, my garbage disposal died, there was a leak by my chimney and it felt like the house was going to fall down around me. My exact words to her were: "I just want to cry!"

Heather called me the next day to see how I was doing. I was fine. The realization that God is the Head of my household had sunk in and although I knew it would take some time, everything would get taken care of. Shortly after we got off the phone Pastor Brett, Heather's husband, called me. He said that I probably wouldn't be happy, but he had organized the men of our small group to come to my house and work on some of the issues. I began to protest that there were people who needed help more than me, but Brett was having none of it. They would be there Sunday and I needed to get a list ready.

Yesterday, at 2pm, they showed mom included. Mold....GONE! Gutters....CLEANED! Gutters that were missing.....HUNG! Leak....STOPPED! It was amazing! These men and women, who I am so blessed to call brothers and sisters, jumped into the raging waters and calmed the sea for me. AND.......after all of that work, Brett and Heather opened their home and fed us. We had an awesome time of fellowship. I was overwhelmed by the genorosity, love, and support of these dear friends. So often we speak of the body of Christ and what it should look like, but when you see it, it leaves you breathless.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy 4th of July!

Thank you for your service!
We love you!
Please take a moment and pray for the men and women
who have risked EVERYTHING!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Unnoticed Treasure

Treasure to trash in 2.3 seconds!

Yea. I know. It should be trash to treasure. However, when you think you have a beautiful stone floor only to find out that it is extremely dirty linoleum layed over then becomes treasure to trash. Although, there was some nifty gold-glitter-polish-like stuff on parts of the floor (insert eye roll here). So, my floor didn't turn out to be quite what I thought it was. Disappointed? Yes. However, the wet, moldy, smelly carpet is out of her bedroom and that in itself is a treasure. She's happy and I'm happy.

However, God did bless me with some real treasure this morning. My phone rang before 7am. I looked at the caller ID and almost didn't answer it. I am ashamed to admit it, but the person who was calling is someone who I struggle with sometimes. She means well and her heart is good, but there is always something. Due to the hour of the morning I decided to answer it in case there was an emergency. It wasn't an emergency, but this dear woman was crying. She had been buying a lie that the devil was feeding her. She didn't feel she was adequate enough. Apparently I said something that encouraged her and she wanted to thank me. She also expressed thanks to me for the work I do with the youth and told me how much she admired me. I gave the glory to God as He humbled me first thing this morning. I am so undeserving of this woman's praise. We chatted a bit, I encouraged her, and she asked me for some prayer time. We prayed on the phone together and I could feel the Holy Spirit surround me. It was an amazing time of fellowship with a sister. God opened my heart and my eyes and allowed me to see a treasure that I had allowed to go unnoticed.

Thank you, Lord for early morning blessings and a lesson in humility!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Hidden Treasure

With all of the rain we have received in the Midwest, it seems my basement may never recover. While I am fortunate that my basement did not flood, it has definitely not been dry either. My basement is finished (for the most part) and has carpet. As you probably already know- carpet+water= MOLD.

My daughter, Amber, has her bedroom in the basement and her floor has been soaked for the better part of a month. She called me today and asked if she could remove the carpet from her room. I was slightly apprehensive because I had no idea what shape the floor was in. However, I decided that whatever shape the floor was in, it had to be better than wet/moldy carpet. Yea. I'm smart that way. We talked about a couple of different ideas of what we could do. Should we paint? Lay tile? I told her to just get the carpet up and out and we would deal with the rest later.

Shortly after our conversation Amber called me again. She said: "Mom! Our floor is NOT concrete!" OK. I was extremely nervous at that point! If it was hardwood, then it had to be completely ruined. I asked her what it was and she said they were small stones. Like the kind you use to cover a patio. She sent me a picture from her phone and let me just tell is sooooo cute! Who knew???

The black stuff is glue from the carpet. My house isn't that dirty. My daughter reported back to me and said that the glue is coming off and the stone is an off-white and resembles marble:)

It just goes to show you........

You never know what kind of treasure lies beneath the surface. Sometimes it's finding cute little stones underneath carpet and sometimes it's looking past the surface of a person to find a friendship or love worth more than gold. Appearances are deceiving. I believe there is treasure beneath the surface of every person and every circumstance. Sometimes it's hidden. Sometimes it's revealed immediately. Sometimes that treasure is a little rough around the edges and requires us to use some extra TLC to make it shine. That's me. I am a little rough around the edges, but God continues to cleanse me with His TLC because He desires to see me shine. He desires to see YOU shine. If you can't see the treasure of who you are or the circumstance you are in.....wait. He's not done with you yet. God is the Refiner. The Refiners ultimate goal is to see His reflection in His finished work.

Thank you, Lord for this little gift today and for reminding me that we are Your treasure.