June 30, 2008

So Beautiful

Remember that Joe Cocker song, "You Are So Beautiful"?
I remember it from the 80's radio station 102LITE.  You know, the stuff we thought was so cool, they now play in elevators and while I'm shopping at Food Lion.  My personal favorite is the Lionele Richie version.  In case you are scratching your head, let me refresh your memory:

You are so beautiful to me
You are so beautiful to me-ee-ee, 
Can't you see.
You're every thing I hoped for, 
you're everything I need.
You are so beautiful, to meee.

If you don't have it running through your head yet, look it up on itunes.  You'll be cursing me as you sing it for the rest of the day in your head. You're welcome.

On the way to the beach, the kids watched the remake of 'The Little Rascals' movie (silently, with headphones, I might joyfully add).  It brought many giggles as well as provided  a new appreciation for 'old songs' such as You Are So Beautiful.  The kids have been humming them all week.

Tonight at dinner, one of the kids answered "OTAY" to something and it set off the whole song list again.  Only this time, our daughter (the same one who looked in the mirror and exclaimed 'perfect' when she was four) began the song.  And it went like this:
You are so beautiful,
like me.
You are so beautiful,
like me, can't you see?

Oh, baby, we can see.  We can see how beautiful you are, on the outside, and the innocent, self confident inside.  

June 28, 2008

Pick Me

Were you the girl that hated to play kickball?  Not that you didn't like the game itself, but rather the dreaded pre-game player selection.  Some days it was just plain PAINFUL.  
Please don't let me be the last one picked.  Please don't let me be the only one standing there.
Please don't let the captains look at each other and say, 'You can have her ... uhh, no, that's okay, you can.'  Please pick me.  PICK ME!  

Who decided that those two boys in my class would ALWAYS be the captains?  
Who decided that the biggest boy ALWAYS got to pitch?
Can't we change the rules to allow a couple of kids kick the ball at once, rather than feel the heat of a thousand eyes on my wobbly pre-teen legs?
When someone is throwing the ball at me, why do said legs always get tangled up and result in me going to the school nurse for ANOTHER band-aid for my poor knees?
Can't we skip the whole picking teams thing?  Let's just draw numbers for pete's sake!

This week, that same old feeling crept into my heart.  
My girls were playing some sort of name game in the back seat.  I was fiddling with the radio and not really paying attention until I heard my name.  My ears perked up.  I heard:
Do you like Mommy or Rocko (the dog) better?
In unison: MOMMY
Whew.  Glad I won that little popularity contest.

Then I heard:
Do you like Mommy or Uncle C. better?
Uh-oh.  I knew what was coming, but my heart was screaming 'PICK ME!'
In unison: UNCLE C!

Thanks, I murmured.   
My sweet girls immediately tried to back up and make amends with words.  But the damage was done.  My heart was pierced.  

In reality, I know they love me the most.  I know that they thrive under my tender, motherly care.  I know that Uncle C is more fun and they only get to see him once in awhile.  I know that he gets to shower them with love and gifts and fun times, and I am grateful.  I get to do the same, but I am also the enforcer.  The rule director.  The keeper of their hearts.
While my head cried pick me, my heart said I choose you, no matter what you say.

I realized the little girl that dreaded recess still lives in me.  I still have a voice deep down inside that pleads, pick me.  Some days it whispers to my heart in a room full of women.   Pick me.  I don't want to stand alone.  Other days it glares at my silent telephone and says pick me. When my children are giving out kisses.  My heart breathes pick me. 
I am often so consumed with others picking me,  that I ignore the gentle voice that whispers, I've already chosen you.  You are mine.  No matter who else picks you, you've already been chosen.   I won't ever leave you or let you go.  Dear one, you are forever chosen.  Let go of the inner need to be accepted and needed and wanted and enjoy the place I have for you.  A safe, place in the palm of my hand.  The hands that I purchased you with.  

But now this is what the Lord says,
he who created you, who formed you:
Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name.
You are mine.
~Isaiah 43:1
I have loved you with an everlasting love.  I have drawn you with loving kindness.
~Jeremiah 31:3

June 22, 2008

Soaking in the Moment

I'm soaking in these moments.  

I'm ignoring the tug at my heart that says they are fleeting.

My heart is full and overflowing.

We are in the 'wonder years.'

Life is beautiful ... not perfect, but beautiful.

This is a week to unwind and put away the pressures of everyday living.

Their smiles and laughter are like dark chocolate for my soul.

This week makes all the weeks of homework, driving, working, seem distant.

I am refreshed.

I breathe in the moments.  Inhaling the sweet aroma of my children enjoying life.

I watch them jump in the waves and shriek with laughter and I am satisfied.

Goodbye Lello

When our first child mispronounced words, we corrected her, for fear of speech issues when she got older.  With our second child we were less fearful and knew that she would outgrow most of her word slips.

By the time our 3rd child arrived we knew that we had to hold onto those little words because they vanish without warning.  So not only did we cherish those words, we encouraged them this time around.  Take for instance, the word YELLOW.  One of my favorite words to hear because it is pronounced LELLO from my little man.  

But it happened.  Long before my heartstrings were ready.  He said it.  He actually said Y-ellow this week.  I even tried to correct him by saying 'Lellow, lellow, honey it's lellow.'

You're so silly mommy.  It's Y-y-yellow.

Oh, alright.  

I'll give that one up, but if any of you tells him that the stuff growing in our garden is not 'SHABBEGE', I'll come after you with my lello pitchfork!

June 18, 2008

Porch Progress

When we built our house, there were a few things that we just hurried up and finished ... 
as cheap as possible.  You know how the budget ends before the project, usually.
Our front porch was in that category.  We grabbed the cheapest porch lights at Lowes and decided we would pick something better in the near future.  

By the way, the photo above is after we ripped out the original ceiling. 
So six years later, I finally got my new lights.  But the best part is they came with a new ceiling and fans!   Funny how that works out when your husband is a builder.  
So here is the after shot:

June 17, 2008

He's Talking

Over the weekend we visited family in the NC mountains.  One morning, our 4 year old son was gingerly walking around the edge of an elevated patio with a 4' drop-off.  Unbeknownst to him, his great uncle was watching from a balcony above.  In a deep voice my son heard, "Be careful, I don't want you to fall off of that."

Curious, my son looked all around and finally up.  
Oh, I thought you were GOD talking to me! he said.

This afternoon, we were playing doctor and he listened to my heart with a real stethoscope.
Did you hear anything? I asked.
What do you hear? 
(fully expecting something like 'thump thump')
I heard Jesus!
What did he say?
He said 'I love you, Mommy!'  
But you're not HIS mommy.
Who was?
Who's your mommy?  
You are.  But Jesus still loves you.

Wow!  Thank you, God!  I needed that today.

Perfectly Imperfect

I love this kind of afternoon.  The kids all playing well together.  The mess was contained, even though it was in the foyer.  Sort of like organized chaos. Sort of.  On this particular day, they decided to get EVERY puzzle out and do them ALL at the same time.  

I love to have a clean house, but I also love to see the fingerprints of life.  A mess like this speaks in the present tense.  One day, it will be quiet and clean, but then I will have to live on memories and voices of remember-when.  Today I am going to enjoy those messes and fingerprints.  I am going to ignore the crumbs in the couch and the toys in the corner.  Today I will love the perfectly imperfect.

Thanks to the Nester for her idea on this.  Check out other women's perfectly imperfect lives there.

June 7, 2008

Old Things New

Here is the 'trash to treasure' I've been working on.
In the winter my family was exploring the old barns at my in-laws' home when we stumbled upon this old door.  I immediately fell in love.  It had great character, ALL the windows intact, and great history.  It was, after all, the back door to my father-in-law's farmhouse when he was a child.

We had recently remodeled our mud room and had a large space that needed something.   This was the perfect fit.  I wanted to maintain the integrity of the age of the door.  So I used a light blue glaze to freshen it up, without covering up the grain of the wood.

My father-in-law came to visit after it was hung and his comment was: 'I didn't know you could do anything with an old door.'    Um... I think I'll take that as a complement.

So this got me thinking about my life.  Sometimes I feel like an old door, put in the corner.  A little rough around the edges, tired and dusty.  Then my Savior comes to the rescue and sees my uniqueness.  My beauty despite the worn places.  
He then begins the restoration.  He cleanses me, brings out the unique details of my personality, gives me a fresh coat of His grace and LOVES me.  He is proud of me, and I bring him glory.
Yes, He does make old things NEW!

I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have the power to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge.
Ephesians 3:17-19

June 2, 2008

Facing my Fears


This is what I've had to face this week:

1.Remember my post about going to the mountains for Memorial Day weekend?  It was only tainted by one thing ... bears.  In all the years we've been going to the mountains, we've never really had to worry about bears.  Until now.  We were notified that there was a large black bear lurking in the neighborhood.  There had been evidence of them eating trash, birdseed and prints on our neighbor's deck.  Their DECK!!!  That's right up against the house!  We sleep with the windows open up there!  
Great.  Looks like I'll be suffocating this summer on vacation.

2. The day we returned home from the mountains we had an alert on the local news that there were bears in the area.  WHAT?!  Here?!  We've lived here for 30 years and have NEVER heard of bears in the area.  Now they have been spotted near our rural neighborhood.  A video clip showed them walking down a street with houses, picket fences and mailboxes!  That's not allowed!

3. Saturday night we had a BBQ at our house.  We had about 45 people over to eat.  We were able to have dinner outside, but before dessert was served, a huge storm hit.  No problem.  We just moved the party indoors.  The kids (about 25) were playing upstairs when we heard a deafening crack of lightning.  Our largest twin poplar had been struck 20 feet from the house.
Wow!  The power was amazing!  It blew off 4' chunks of bark and ripped a hole in the ground. 
Oh.  Did I mention what was in that hole?  Our brand new underground dog fence. 

 It ran through the wire and blew the transmitter off the wall in our detached garage.  The outlets were blown out of the wall.  The garage door opener was melted.
The guys are coming today to take down the trees.  My husband will replace the door opener.  *We're not telling the dog that his collar is just for show now.  

4. Last night the five of us and my parents went to get some dinner (Salsaritas, LOVE it!).
When we got home, we were all headed inside together to catch up on my parents' latest travels.  As my dad headed up the stairs in the garage I looked up and there, on the wall, parallel to the angle of the steps, AT EYE LEVEL, was a huge black snake!  I was the only one who saw it.  I screamed, apparently (in the shock of the trauma, I don't remember screaming, but my family claims I did).  Unfortunately, the word snake escaped from my vocabulary.  All I could say was Get back!  Get back!  Get in the car! oh, oh OH!

My children, sensing my fear, started screaming and shook with fear.  Yes, I failed that mom test.  You know, the one where we are supposed to protect our children from our fears.  Big fat 'F' on that test.  By the way, this is the 3rd snake we've had in the garage in the past 6 years!  Really, there should be a limit, doncha think?!

So.... now that I have had to face my top 3 fears in less that a week, here is what I've learned:
1. Bears do not just prowl in deep dark forests.
2. Bear spray is a reasonable investment.
3. Lightning really does like tall stuff.
4. Trees are expensive to have taken down.
5. Houses are even more expensive if said tree falls on it.
6. Always check your surroundings for large slithery things.
7. Snake-Away is a reasonable investment.

This is what I am thankful for:
1. I did not have a snake and a bear in my garage last night.
2. Only our detached garage was hit, not the one that I keep my car in.
3. All of our home appliances work.
4. Our dog does not have curly hair from the jolt.
5. My children have a healthy (okay, maybe not so healthy) fear of snakes.
6. Weatherstripping around doors.