A Wedding Dress, My Daughters, My Hope

I found my wedding dress in the first Brides magazine I purchased; my fickle heart’s desire met. I remember tearing the page out for safe keeping. I shopped with my mom and (soon-to-be) mother in law and tried on a half a dozen dresses, but I knew the one I wanted. And luckily we got our hands on it quickly; the very same dress pictured in the black and white magazine photo tucked in my purse.

Finding my dream dress was easy.

The girls and I are having our summer visit at the house I grew up in.  Today I had the girls humor a romantic notion to model my dress. I had Rylie brave yellow jackets in the shed. Hallie participated without complaint as I captured shot after shot of a dress whose time has passed.

h2

I wanted somehow to preserve such a precious piece of the past. I think we succeeded.

h5

r1

 

My real hope though is that my girls see past the silk and layers of petticoat. My dream wedding dress was easy to find. What I really want them to know is that

 

 It’s love beyond the frills that’s worth working for.

r4

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.

h6
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.

r11
Love doesn’t strut,

h11
Doesn’t have a swelled head,

r5
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”

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Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,

h7
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,

Hallie in my mom's dress with my dad
Hallie in my mom’s dress with my dad

Puts up with anything,

-When she noticed the yellowjackets
-When she noticed the yellowjackets

Trusts God always,

h12
Always looks for the best,

h9
Never looks back,

h10
But keeps going to the end.

1 Cor 13:4-7 (The Message)

r9I still love my dress.  But this LOVE stuff is worth working for.

 

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When your “Suck it Up” won’t Work

 

It hasn’t been the best morning. I’ll spare you the details.

Surprising, huh.

If you ask me later, I’ll probably tell you.

When your "Suck it Up" won't work
When your “Suck it Up” won’t work

 

It’s been one of those mornings where I wonder if I’ll ever be a good housekeeper. Or a mom who remembers to make eye, hair and dental appointments. Or a cook who hears the whole table say “Mmm!”, instead of sympathetic words like “That’s ok….I like my chicken dry”. (Unfortunately I’m not making this up.)

My morning, like so many mornings, and afternoons….and evenings..and midnights was pity-FULL.

I’m never a great housekeeper. Those responsibilities that other people seem to know to do, I’m not aware of. I find out about those things along the way; like the time a friend mentioned how long it had been since she cleaned the ceiling fan or the time my mother-in-law mentioned cleaning her baseboards.

People do that?

And that’s just the housecleaning stuff.  I’m quite inadequate seeming in other areas. I’ve considered asking my thirteen year old exactly how I’m supposed to apply eyeshadow.

Anyway. This morning I was vacuuming the stairs; a chore I most hate. It’s one of those hand held vacuum things that I carry that has an extending (always in the way) suction arm. Vacuuming the stairs hurts my back. And frankly, it boggles my mind. How do those tiny feathers of unknown origin and tufts of hair find their way to the staircase? And how long have they been there?

To make a despised chore worse, the vacuum has had poor suction. I find myself scattering the contents instead of sucking them up; having to be satisfied with merely rearranging the untidiness and making the carpet look at least look brushed.

 

My “suck it up” hasn’t been working lately.


This morning I had a brilliant idea though. I decided that like all other vacuums, this hand-held model must have a bag that needs to be replaced. It HAS felt heavier the last few go rounds. I boldly took the little machine apart and found a bag bursting at the seams.

Giving no heed to the sign on the bag that said “DO NOT REUSE BAG”, I  leaned over the garbage sack and began to empty the contents of the burdensome, soil-filled bag.

I’m still in shock at the amount it held.

Kind of like the amount of junk I hold.

I started out the morning thinking about how I just don’t get it done. In terms of “the things I need to do” as a mother, a wife, a growing Christian and even a friend, my list is a mile long.

And the end of that list is a moving target. Something is always being added. The things I want to do are unending. Who I want to be is always out of reach. That’s when the unending cloud of dust and hair balls I dumped out were like magic sands.

 

For a moment I rested in conquered dust bunnies.

The heavy stuff appeared weightless as I let it all fall.

I didn’t lament what’s yet to be done. And I looked in victory at what had already been accomplished.  And honestly, I felt ready to face what lies before me.

 I assume this peace came through the process of emptying; getting rid of all the junk I’d been carrying in my effort to “do these things”. When my dust-clouded vision cleared, I was reminded how very important it is that we empty ourselves. There is something more important than our busting at the seams list, more important than our seemingly lofty goals or our self-given report card.

I decided (AGAIN) that I want to be the woman who frees her toiling hands and empties her guilt-laden, overdriven heart…. to make room for weightless, beautiful grace.

I want to empty myself of all that I’ve done (good and bad). I want to let go of my ambitions “casting my burdens upon the Lord”. Psalm 55:22 reminds me, that in doing so, he will sustain me; not a clean house or a glowing resume’. My nature lends me to live by the “suck it up” motto. And undoubtedly, there are things I must endure. My unreasonable goal of “doing it all”, “BEING ALL” though, is one thing I can get rid of.

True story.

 


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Why I’ll Always Brush Your Hair

 

Dearest Daughter,

You reminded me again today how hair brushing is a dreaded daily activity. I know. You’ve got a mess of hair on that head of yours which means you’re going to have tangles. You squeal in pain almost every single time we have a brushing session. It hardly helps when I let you watch the Disney channel trying to distract you. The twenty different kinds of moisturizing shampoo, conditioners and detanglers that I’ve tried haven’t helped that much either.

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You accuse me of being the worst “hair brusher” lauding your uncle and dad as better than me.

Here’s the thing.

Mamas know that tangles can’t stay. Tangles left alone grow to be stubborn, massive knots. They have to be addressed. Though it causes you discomfort, we work through strands until each knot relents. It’s not easy.  And I may not show it, but hurting you, hurts me.

That’s something you won’t understand for a while.

You’re learning to brush your own hair. And I’m glad. It thrills me to see you grow.  Unfortunately, there are those other catches that you need help with. There will be confused messes in life that very much resemble those hair tangles you get.

There have already been some of those occasions. Remember those times that you brought home math papers with circled, missed problems? You couldn’t understand why I made you go back and correct them. Why couldn’t I just leave it alone? They were life tangles; a mess to address. We needed to work through them so that next time you approached those kinds of problems you’d master them with more ease.

I’ll continue to make you clean your room. And tell the truth when you’ve made a mistake. I’m here to help you with life’s disarranged parts.

Later there will be relationships that you’ll wish I’d stay out of.  Still, there will be times I’m going to be right there in that mess. I’ll keep teaching you to make right, the things you’ve done wrong. There will be apologies you are taught to make and apologies you are encouraged to accept. There will be times that I tell you to walk away from people who don’t treat you the way you should be treated. I will teach you that some relationships aren’t healthy.

Some of life’s snarls you won’t be able to see. They’ll be just like the knots in the back of your hair right in the underneath. You never knew they were there. But a mama knows.

Learn to trust me.

There will be other times when I brush and there’s ease. No tangles.

I’ll keep brushing anyway.

Please understand. This act will prevent tangles. I’ll do much the same as I stay in your business in the years to come. Just ask your older sister. I’ll be involved in what music you listen to and what you post on Instagram. I’ll help determine what you can wear and the places you’ll go.

I pray that as you grow older your mind will change about my constant care over your life. I hope that someday you won’t find it intrusive like you may for the next couple of years. This discipline of working together through the disarray of life will be one of the things that brings us closer together. And I hope that as you grow wiser you’ll come to trust my forever-desire to bring about good things in your life.

It’s my hope that someday you know that the tangles, life’s snarls and knots, they’ve never been important; YOU ARE.

And maybe there will come a time that you ask me to brush your hair.

I think your hair is beautiful.

For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:11

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The Epidemic of Poor Commenting

I blame my Granny for this; or at least tabloid-type magazines that could always be found in her bathroom. Globe. Star. The Enquirer. “Enquiring minds want to know.”  It’s true. They do.
It may have been those magazines that gave me my first real taste of wanting to be up-to-date on current events (even though the events were often untrue). My inquiring mind would usually have an opinion. Back in the day, having an opinion meant shaking my head at the fact that Dolly Parton had gotten another reconstructive surgery. Or Granny and I could discuss the events leading up to the night Princess Di lost her life.

It’s different now.

Social media (which I love for many reasons) has an unending menu of events to read about. Articles on moral and political issues and world events are at the tap of your finger. You don’t even have to go to the check-out aisle of your supermarket if you’re wanting to read biased or incomplete information regarding current events. After reading about such issues and events, one usually finds that they have a comment. Now days when I, or anyone else wants to discuss such events, we have a much bigger audience than Granny. Social media has become a playground for the bored and the bullyish.  It’s a place to inquire and then insult or threaten anyone who doesn’t agree with you.

Thankfully I’ve never I experienced any mean-spirited comments personally. It seems that most of the hateful things people say are to strangers. I guess it’s easier to be insulting to someone you never intend to face. It’s also a little safer to be courageous when commenting online. We teach our children (I think most of us do) not to bully. But there are so many who go online and lose their wits when it comes to giving their opinion. Online speech seems so often to be laced with anger and hate.

Then of course there are the spiteful commenters that care little about the issue. They care more about taunting. I think some of them might be the same people who pulled the legs off of Grand Daddy Long-Leg spiders just for the fun of it.

The following are comments I read in the comments thread regarding two recent events. The first event is the Hobby Lobby case that went to the Supreme Court. It was decided that Hobby Lobby would not have to provide employee coverage on four types of abortifacient birth control methods that violated their religious conscience.

The second event I read about yesterday. A Texas Tech cheerleader went on a hunt in South Africa. She legally killed several animals, giving some of the meat to local villagers. She took pictures of herself with the animals she killed. A rhino that she is pictured with was only tranquilized to receive medical attention for a leg injury. I am not a hunter. I don’t even fish. But I’m flabbergasted at the response this girl has received.

When deciding to use direct quotes for example, it didn’t take long to find a variety of unnecessary responses. Keep in mind that I didn’t post any of the many comments that included profanity or vulgarity.   

Common Poor Commenting Tactics (Suggesting some of us need a break from social media): 

 

1. Use of false analogies.

So, I’m curious.

If your boss is Muslim, and requires you to wear a burqa at work, because of his religious convictions, you’re all for it, right?

You know, because of his religious freedoms.


2. Use of one or more colorful words to call someone a loose woman though 1.They have given you no reason to believe such and 2.The fact of whether or not they are of loose morals has nothing to with the issue at hand.

3. Making uninformed comments.

-Usually uninformed because you have not read the article in its entirety.

Birth control pills are quite commonly used to help with health issues like PCOS or endometriosis.  Now we are denying medicine to treat a health condition because of its other use.

 

 

Sixteen types of birth control are covered by Hobby Lobby.  Whereas the sixteen approved are used to treat conditions such as the above mentioned, the “morning after pills” which Hobby Lobby is not covering, are not as far as I can tell.


4. Assuming that you know someone’s political leaning or their faith based on a single comment. And then attack that leaning, or that faith.

5  Responding to someone by talking about their lack of attractiveness.

6. Intentionally going to sites that you know are disagreeable to your beliefs.

7.  USING CAPS LOCK TO MAKE YOUR POINT!!

(or usage of multiple exclamation marks)

FOR THE VERY LAST TIME! DO NOT COMMENT IF YOU’RE GOING TO SAY ANYTHING ABOUT BIRTH CONTROL NOT BEING COVERED!  IT IS STILL COVERED!

 

8. Insulting someone’s intelligence instead of calmly stating why you disagree or by stating facts.

I think there is an overpopulation of dumb bimbos in the world, should we put retards like you in a fenced area and hunt you down?  It will be for the common good of all people….We need to stop hereditary retardation from passing on to your offspring. we kill you, we kill the disease.

 

9. Making fun of their spelling or grammar.

10. Making wild generalizations.

Thanks for not giving me the choice to my own body. Can I get carrots banned because I want to?

 

killing just for fun is sick and horrible. every person who needs that kind of recognition has inferiority complexes. what surprise….she is from Texas

.

Because people from Texas like killing for fun,  They also all have inferiority complexes….

11. Wishing for or threatening harm

Because of hobby lobby’s war on women, it’s little consolation that as a Christian I’m 100% certain the owners will burn in Hell.

Can’t decide which one I want to burn down first, Hobby Lobby or SCOTUS.

I hope all five conservatives on the high court BURN IN HELL!

 

12. Wishing for their death

Hopefully an animal takes you down soon

Unnecessary comments come from all sides; Christian, left, right, meat eaters and public breast feeding fans. Snarkiness and impatience with people we disagree with is just plain old human nature. But why share a comment that holds no good purpose? There’s insinuation that in our passionate commenting, we all want to make the world a better place.  The fact is, the world would be a better place with a lot less poor commenting.

 

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My take on Hobby Lobby (because I couldn’t get it out of my mind)

It’s always dangerous when I write at night. I’ve been switching back and forth all day about whether or not to get in on the Hobby Lobby case. It stems from highly controversial matters. Primarily, do we as Christians have a right to have our religious beliefs protected? I would tend to believe that most of you who read this would answer yes. If your answer is no, there’s probably no point in reading any further. By doing so, you’re likely to shout at your computer much like I do when I read information which I disagree with.hobby-lobby1 If you’re still with me, there is another layer of this controversy that deserves attention. Why does Hobby Lobby refuse to pay for birth control for its employees?  I did some research.

It seems that droves of people are angered that Hobby Lobby would refuse birth control to its employees. In response, I wanted to know more about the drugs Hobby Lobby is against and what their reasoning for such opposition would be.

First, I found that out that according to USA Today, the Hobby Lobby case doesn’t currently affect the birth control methods that are most commonly used.” In fact, Hobby Lobby approves sixteen out of twenty types of birth control. This brings me to share what I found about two particular methods that Hobby Lobby does not approve of.

(Hobby Lobby is no way keeping women from using these drugs,  They are still highly available. They’re simply against covering them.)

Hobby Lobby (namely the Greens who own the family business) fought not to have to pay for coverage of Plan B “the morning after pill” and ella, another morning after pill. While the “morning after pill”  is not the same as an “abortion pill”, its effect on an already existing pregnancy is unknown, according to multiple sources.

I’ve heard more times than I can count that these pills do not affect an existing pregnancy, but sites that I encountered said otherwise (and I tried to stay off Christian-leaning sites lest I appear biased).

According to the Center for Arizona Policy, “the ‘morning after pills’ (MAP’s) potential mechanisms of action include

- interference with transport of the fertilized egg to the uterus

and

-prevention of implantation in the uterine wall.

Both instances are referring to a fertilized egg. If a fertilized egg is a human, the morning after pills act as an abortifacient (an abortion causing drug). Hobby Lobby has the right not to pay for such a drug. I might add that these pills (the Plan B MAP) can be obtained without a prescription. Plan B is found at some pharmacies on the shelf. There is no need for it to be covered in a health plan just as there is no need for coverage of other obtainable drugs without a prescription, such as cough drops.

There is more concern for the “morning after pill” ella, which Hobby Lobby has earned the right not to cover. Ella is made to be taken up to five days after intercourse. Its chemical makeup is closer to RU-486 (the abortion pill). Arizona Policy states that “‘morning after pills’ can cause an abortion. It further states that the main difference is that the morning after pill “can only be taken up to 72 hours after intercourse, is available over the counter, and doesn’t always act as an abortifacient”.

Hobby Lobby covers sixteen drugs/methods for contraception. For someone who has not been using contraception and fears pregnancy, they have the ability to purchase the MAP. There is no reason why a company that believes that a newly-formed life could be destroyed by this drug should have to pay for it.

Lastly, Drugs.com (which I suspect has no political or moral leaning) suggests that a woman can use ella in case of suspected pregnancy. Isn’t an intentionally-ended pregnancy an abortion? It goes on to say that “the risks to a fetus when using ella is unknown and should be apprised (as) a potential hazard to the fetus.”

Maybe most interesting in the ella drug information, is the section titled “Use in Specific Populations”. Ella is a tablet of ulipristal acetate. The following describes what happened when ulipristal acetate was administered to rats, rabbits and monkeys.

Ulipristal acetate was administered repeatedly to pregnant rats and rabbits during the period of organogenesis. Embryofetal loss was noted in all pregnant rats and in half of the pregnant rabbits following 12 and 13 days of dosing, at daily drug exposures 1/3 and 1/2 the human exposure, respectively, based on body surface area (mg/m2). There were no malformations of the surviving fetuses in these studies. Adverse effects were not observed in the offspring of pregnant rats administered ulipristal acetate during the period of organogenesis through lactation at drug exposures 1/24 the human exposure based on AUC. Administration of ulipristal acetate to pregnant monkeys for 4 days during the first trimester caused pregnancy termination in 2/5 animals at daily drug exposures 3 times the human exposure based on body surface area.

I’m not looking for a fight. I am truly compelled to be informed. Maybe its my passion for the cause of the unborn that compels me. Take Hobby Lobby and do with it what you will. I personally will pray thanks that a victory has been won. And I’ll probably soon use the two Hobby Lobby gift cards that have been burning a hole in my wallet.

Here are several of my sources:

www.azpolicypages.com

http://www.pregnancy-period.com/termination-of-pregnancy.html

http://www.drugs.com/pro/ella.html

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Ten videos/articles that will give you a healthy dose of perspective

Because

Because I’ve been awful cranky,

Because the news is full of depressing junk,

Because we all need to laugh and cry (the good kind of cry) a little more,

I’ve searched for ten heartwarming videos and articles to get me out of my funk. Several times I sat down to write today, and everything I started to type out was negative. My kids still won’t put their plates in the sink regardless of my daily demonstrations and reminders. The news disappoints with headlines of people who lie and use their children to make a buck. Then there’s the Christian lady in Sudan who has been imprisoned for her faith. As soon as she’d tasted freedom, having been released only hours before, she is rearrested for nonsense. I’m still waiting to hear she’s on a plane to the good ole’ US. We have children starving and unsupervised at our border, and honestly there’s no easy answer. Bad news. And more bad news. We can’t ignore it. But some days call for perspective. Today is one of those days.

Here are ten videos and articles. They’re not all new.  Some made me laugh, some made me smile, and some caused tears to run out my nostrils. In observance of my emotions, Jason left the room.  He doesn’t know what he’s missing……But I’ll tell him.

#10 This video is a couple of years old.  It’s about a boy with autism who manages his HS basketball team.  He finally gets his shot (actually quite a few shots) on the court.  You’ll cry happy tears even if you’ve seen this before.

#9 Amy Adams gives up her first class seat to a soldier.  Heartwarming. Now check it out.

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2014/06/27/amy-adams-gives-first-class-airline-seat-to-soldier-sits-in-coach-passenger/

 

#8  Gosh.  I keep trying to type out my feelings about this video.  It’s pretty cool.  I’ll just say that.  Trust me.  

http://www.faithit.com/why-is-like-a-girl-an-insult-build-confidence-always/

My favorite line? I would run like myself.

#7 Isaiah Austin picked for NBA draft.  I’m sure you’ve probably read about this, but it deserves to be on my list.

http://www.faithit.com/the-nba-just-pulled-classy-move-moved-me-to-tears/

 

#6 This a dad and daughter duo.  You may not cry, or laugh, but your cheeks just might hurt from smiling.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bpu0TIXzI1w

 

 

#5 Sad one. But a really, really good one about a selfless lady who is leaving behind a legacy of love.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pib7AOKfpr8

#4 Rylie loses her first tooth.  Came across this jewel trying to remember some of my all-time favorites.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDGznXNhFEM

 

 

#3 You had to know there would be a military homecoming surprise video in here.


 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-gQLqv9f4o


#2 Susan Boyle’s First Audition_ I remember calling my mom the minute I watched this video.  I made her look it up on youtube. As soon as I publish this post, I’m going to watch it again (and sing along with her quietly).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSDoPY9B0wQ

 

#1 Kid President He just might be my #1 hero.  He’s a kid with osteogenesis and an indomitable (couldn’t even spell it without help) spirit.  He has a bunch of videos.  I love them all.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-gQLqv9f4o

 The world needs more good news makers and good news sharers.  Got good news? Have a video for my next cranky/need-a-new-attitude day?  Share that too.  Because sharing is caring.

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15 signs you’ve spent too much time in the car

image If you’re anything like my family, you’ll be making some miles this summer.  Here are 15 signs you’ve spent too much time in the car. 

Check yourself.

1. You start counting the yellow stripes in the center of the highway.

2. You can’t wait for the next gross gas station bathroom. Literally. You can’t wait.

3. You find yourself wishing you still had one of those large laminated maps in the glove box so that you could unfold it and then challenge yourself to get it back to the correct folded position.

4. You count cows.

5. You count the white car to total car ratio.

6. You start to think you might have OCD because of your obsession with counting everything, until you see a small bruise on your leg which gets you to thinking about blood clots.

7. You consider waving wildly at the car in the next lane, like you know them, just to get their reaction.

8. You flip down the visor and the mirror suggests that you carry a slight resemblance to Dustin Hoffman.

9. You look an hour later and decide you could more easily be mistaken for Johnny Depp himself than his girlfriend (which makes you decide that you should freshen your makeup).

10. The fly in the car keeps you on the edge of your seat.

11. You start to make acronyms with the letters on the license plate on the SUV in front of you. (912 LSG -nine-hundred twelve large speckled goats)

12. You’d pick a Big Grab of Spicy Doritos from Pak-A-Sak if given the chance to have your wish granted for any one thing with the exception of being home.

13. Your kid invites you to a Pokemon challenge. And you accept.

14. Drooling and/or head bobbing happens.

15. And finally, you may have spent too much time in the car if you considered one or more of the following:

-Learning the parts of both the phantom and Christine on the Phantom of the Opera soundtrack

-Performing the “Cups” song with dash-slapping being the replacement for an actual cup

-Teaching the kids the “Fresh Prince of BelAir” theme song

-Recording any of such acts

Drive and ride responsibly this summer.

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A Video of Rylie’s Performance (And how Smother Mother almost ruined it)

ry olaf

I’m just a little girl caught in the moment

I’m so scared but I don’t show it

I can’t figure it out

It’s bringing me down I know

I’ve got to let it go

And just enjoy the show

(lyrics from The Show –by Lenka)

 

Before we get started, those lyrics are about me, not Rylie.

 

This has been an anxious week.  May was anxious too because Rylie decided to perform for the Variety Show at school. I’m just going to go ahead and tell you that I tried to talk her out of it. I even offered to allow her to skip school and do something fun in lieu of participating in the show. Rylie once asked me if I was a “Helicopter Mom”; in other words a smother mother. I think this attempted stunt to avoid the variety show answers that question.

I just worry.

To begin with, the words Rylie and microphone are redundant. She lives loud. Giving her a microphone, a stage and an audience is just plain dangerous.

playSee what I mean?  Who knows what she’s doing here.  This was her last play.  The whole hat pulled down with her arms crossed wasn’t in the part.  She told me that she’d decided to “go off script”.

Any of the three above (microphone, stage or audience) invite some sort of Super Rylie to emerge. She’s likely to come up with spontaneous choreography, or lyrics, or both. Not knowing what to expect scares me senseless.

I wasn’t sure how she’d be received. Of course, I love her to pieces. And yes I love hearing her sing. But as a parent I don’t want her to waste her talent singing for anybody who doesn’t appreciate her offering. Not knowing what to expect, or even worse, expecting the worst scares me senseless.

Would the microphone make that awful screechy sound if she held it too close? What if she trips on the way up? What if she forgets the words? What if the audience doesn’t clap? What if some kid insults her performance? Would she get off beat?

When she told me that she wanted to sing, the first thing I did was order a magic trick from Amazon.com. If she was determined to perform, I thought it safer to perform a fail-proof magic trick. It was one of those cool blue and red scarfs. All she had to do was say a couple of cute words and presto-chango the scarf turns magically to yellow and green. I want to leave little margin for mess-up.  She wasn’t having it though, so I slyly bullied her into doing the safest song I could come up with. It was short and sweet. And it was a song from the hit “Frozen” so it had to be popular. Who doesn’t love Frozen for crying out loud?

I was a wreck this morning. Then just about the time the tardy bell rang in the school hall I finally did what I should have been doing all along. I prayed. Not that I haven’t been praying about this situation, but this prayer was sort of a “I give” prayer; A “now that I’ve fashioned this experience to the best of my ability and still ended up NOT in control” prayer. I prayed that God would be present. I thought of all of things that His presence assures. God’s presence makes her safe. I began to realize that there was nothing that could happen to her outside his control. I was reminded that His presence meant that she would be surrounded by love whether or not that love came in the form of human accolades. I prayed for peace and realized somewhere in the midst of my frantic uttering that my pleadings were more needed for myself than for my trusting, innocent eight year old.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened and do not be dismayed, for the Lord is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9

She sang this morning with an unplanned twirl or two. People clapped. She smiled. It was beautiful just like every other single act that was performed this morning.

I realized that the stage she sang on was much smaller than I had imagined it in my mind. The real stage is much larger and I’m on it too. In my nervous dance this morning, I decided to do my own unplanned spin. I prayed the kind of prayer that comes from a desperate heart. I prayed earnestly. And I decided to trust.

Hayden is now officially a Senior. Hallie starts her last year of Junior High in August. Rylie will be facing the dreaded STAAR test next year. I want to be a director of this thing called life. I want to write the parts, and the ending to each act. But I know pretty well that I’m more of a participant alongside these three. May they see me trust as I walk beside them. May they see me be strong and courageous in the parts that unexpectedly become a part of the script.

All my fears, and grand ideas, my control….

I’ve got to let it go.

And just enjoy the show

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Realizing the Whoopty Doos (a shared blog post with my thirteen year old)

 

 

Here at the laundromat again. This time Hallie is my unfortunate companion. I say that, but really we’re becoming our own world changers as we sit here. We’re thinking of things to make life better and well….life easier.
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Here’s what we’ve come up with.


We face decisions every day, every hour. Some are big decisions and some are less consequential. The problem, Hallie and I decided, is that we have a hard time figuring out which decisions matter and which decisions aren’t worth the lint collecting in the dryers here at the Sunshine Washateria.

The dynamic duo that we are, we’ve come up with an approach to help those of us who spend unnecessary time and emotion making decisions.

In the dozens of times in a single day you find yourself facing a decision, always proceed by answering this question.

Does the decision I’m facing illicit a response of


1.whoopty doo?


or


2. Jesus probably cares about this?

If your decision’s rightful response is whoopty doo, don’t waste your time mulling over what to do. Flip a coin. Do eeny menie miney mo. Or see the decision as meaningless and just do something!….. or other (keeping in mind that it doesn’t matter).

If it’s likely that Jesus would probably care about the decision you’re making then be thoughtful, prayerful. Wisely and with caution decide what to do.

Not with us yet?  Let us give you a few whoopty do and JPC (Jesus probably cares) scenarios.

Your afternoon snack. Should you have Lays chips or a cosmic brownie?

Whoopty doo. It really doesn’t matter.

You were short and critical with your sister when she asked if you like her new dress.

Jesus probably cares.
The next thing you should do is decide how to make things right.
Apologize.
Go back and compliment her.

Or
Go hang out with her.

You’ve got an unsightly pimple to the right of your lip? Do you say you got stung by an ant? Cover it with gobs of makeup? You could. But you shouldn’t have gone that far. The answer was whoopty doo.

Move on.

You notice someone has been down on their luck for a couple of weeks. They’re not your favorite person in the world. You see them sitting down, they seem unapproachable.

JPC.

Do you walk off knowing they got what they deserve?

Ignore them (it’s probably none of your business).

Or

Talk to them.

 

Flats or sandals?

Whoopty doo.

Cover those tootsies and keep walking.

You’re having the best conversation with your mother. If you don’t hurry, you’re going to miss your favorite show.

Whoopty doo.

Que importa.

Hallie’s conclusion:


Be careful to know which is which. Sometimes personality pimples are worse than facial pimples.

Kristi’s conclusion:

Eliminate the stress that comes from overthinking the meaningless. Stop wasting your time on things that really don’t matter. Count your whoopty doos as blessings. You’ll be freeing up your time and heart for things that Jesus probably cares about.

 …..theLORD has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you; to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8

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A Thursday for Your Thoughts; The healing power of Jesus (by Lisa Melton)

 

I can hardly contain my excitement.  My friend Lisa is sharing her powerful testimony with you today.  Can’t let her talk without me telling you first how wonderful it has been to get to know her.  Several years ago we were having a Bible study at our church in Trinity.  We were told that there were some ladies at the local House of Hope who would be joining us, but needed a ride.  I was one of the ladies who volunteered a ride.  Lisa was one of the ladies who joined us for Bible study.  The House of Hope is a temporary home for those recovering from addiction.  I quickly grew to love those ladies, especially Lisa.  They were serious about their study of the Bible.  We also would have a snack and game night on Fridays, always a most enjoyable time.  These ladies are so strong.  Their wild faith pointed me to a powerful Jesus I had yet to experience (Oh me of little faith).

I’ve read over Lisa’s testimony over and over, and I tell you, she’s got me singing.

Come to this fountain so rich and sweet,

Cast thy poor soul at thy savior’s feet;

Plunge in today and be made complete

GLORY TO HIS NAME!

Now I’ll let you hear from Lisa:

Isn’t it amazing how God allows you to see what His Word has for you, in just the right time, at just the right moment?

     One instance that I refer to is during a service one night, the pastor was teaching out of John 5.  The story goes somewhat like this.
     Jesus had gone into Jerusalem for one of the Jewish feasts.  The First Fruits Feast. It was the feast when the people would bring in all their first fruits of their labors, being crops, animals, textiles, etc to be sacrificed.  The sacrifices would go to the priests, the Levites, because, by law, they were only allowed to go about their priestly duties, and studies.  They were not allowed to work, to toil in fields or raise animals.
     During these feasts, people who were ailing, ill, lame, or having other afflictions would come to bathe in the healing waters of Bethesda, meaning, 5 colonnades, or 5 porches.  Picture hundreds, maybe thousands of people trying to get to the water’s edge  so that when the water was disturbed by an angel, the first one into the water would be healed.
  During this one particular feast, was a man laying near the water.  He had been afflicted for many years, 38.  Jesus got word of this particular man, and went in search for him.  when Jesus found him, he asked the man if he wanted to be healed.  The man replied that he had no one to help him into the water.  Jesus then told the man to rise, take up his mat, that he was healed.
      We read and hear of the many miracles that Jesus performed  while here on earth.  Many people believe that  the healing power of Jesus continues today.  Some, unfortunately, do not.  I am here to tell you….That the healing power  of Jesus is amongst us today.
     I accepted Jesus Christ into my heart when I was 9.  I was raised in a loving, Christian atmosphere.  Because of poor choices, I became a drug addict, that eventually led me into a life of homelessness and prostitution.  I had been homeless about 6 and 1/2 years, addicted to a $400 a day habit of crack cocaine, after years of abusing methamphetamine, cocaine, morphine and heroin.  Three times I had entered secular rehabs, where I was told after about  a week, that they couldn’t help me.  They could find no funding for me.  I had no children, I was too old, too young, etc….
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After being on the streets of Houston about 3 years, an organization in Houston Texas called 45 & Hope, scraped me off the streets and found a place for me in a faith-based rehab for women in Trinity Texas, named, House of Hope.  About 3 weeks into my rehabilitation, we attended a women’s conference in Crockett, Texas, at Harvest Baptist Church.  I didn’t want to be there.  I spent all morning watching what time it was, going back and forth to the ladies room.
After lunch,  things changed.
     I don’t have a clue what the speaker spoke about.  When she asked if anyone needed prayer, I found myself surrounded by her prayer warriors, not remembering the walk I took to the front.  I didn’t request any particular prayer, but I later walked out of that church renewed through my faith and through Jesus Christ as being delivered from drugs, and in a walk with my Lord that would begin my healing emotionally and spiritually as well.
The man at the Bethesda and I have a lot in common.  We both were afflicted for 38 years.  Yes, I was an addict that long.  We both searched for help into healing waters that was not found.   Jesus came in search for us, found us, healed us.  Jesus told us both to stand.  Today I stand before many believers, doubters, and non-believers as proof that Jesus continues to heal and perform miracles today.
     Today, I am free to assist others in their search for deliverance, their search for healing.  I enjoy the fellowship I have with the homeless and addicts in the East Texas area.  I find renewed strength daily in prayer, in God’s Word. As a state certified Peer Recovery Coach, I help the homeless find shelter, I help the addict find a rehab that will benefit their needs, free of charge.  If you know of anyone who is willing and ready for help, call me on my cell at 903-522-0857.

 

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