Sunday, June 27, 2010

This girl is 9 today! Happy Birthday Townsend! It's an honor and privilege to be your Mom! My prayer every day to show you Jesus and to point you back to Him.  Thank you for showing me Jesus and pointing me back to Him.  I'm so thankful!

Monday, June 21, 2010

From here to Honduras

Early, very early, yesterday morning Malone left for Honduras. He's gone with a church group to live and work for the week in Orphanage Emmanuel. He went two years ago with his dad. This year he went with the group on his own. He's 16 and I've watched him grow so much in just the last 6 months. He's gotten his driver's license, finished his sophomore year, matured spiritually, and come out of his shell in ways I'm not sure I ever thought he would. It's amazing to see!

I know it's good for him to go and spread his wings. I know he will come back changed and with more maturity. Last time he went he had a hard time leaving the children there and coming back here. My prayer for him is that God would have His way with Him whatever that looks like. I've learned in my 43 years that is the only way we are truly ever at peace and full of true joy. And I really want that for all my kids. Even if it looks like taking them from here to Honduras.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Powerwashing 101

On Saturday I got Jack to break out the power washer. He got it started and did the porch and then I took over. I did the carport and then Sunday the front porch and found some rock walkways that had overgrown with dirt and plants. You get a lot of time to think when you are power washing. During that time, here's what I learned:
Dirt gathers slowly over time if you don't keep on it. Kinda like dirt in our spiritual life. It can gather so slowly that we don't even see the filth we are living in.
Cleaning like I did this weekend is messy before it's cleaner. The muddy water was gross and really was worse before it got better. It's the same with us spiritually some times.
As it got cleaner, I wanted more. It got addictive. I even joked that the power washer was calling my name Sunday morning. God can give us that same hunger for His ways...we just have to keep asking, and striving, and obeying.

And one more thing...the symbol of the hand with the X through it...yeah it really means don't touch. Jack got the privilege of hearing the skin on my fingers sizzle! I'm sure there's spiritual application there too!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Spring BREAK

This really has been Spring BREAK for TBone (one of our nicknames for Townsend) Sunday she was riding her scooter at the Sports Plex and apparently took a tumble and the result was a hurt wrist. I got the call on Tuesday afternoon around 4:00 as her dad's next door neighbor sent her home and said "you might want to get that checked".

She and I saw sweet Dr. Anz on Tuesday evening, and then Dr. Bob on Wednesday morning at 7:30 and then fabulous Amy adorned her with a lovely purple cast. A first in our family.

Never Underestimate the Power of a Color

It started months ago...a conversation with Katy about a pink streak. A small one underneath. She is so pretty both inside and out but has wanted this for a long time. She had the original conversation with my best friend and they were going to do it together. We never could find a time for them to get together and do it. I made sure Katy checked with her mom so we didn't rock the boat. I know it's hard to let me in as her stepmom and let me do stuff with her. So off we went yesterday to Sally's Beauty Supply. We talked with the girl in there. Elizabeth was her name and she was so very helpful. She told us how we would have to bleach first and then apply the pink dye. She assured us we could do it. Made us feel like we weren't " Beauty School Drop Outs" although I was humming it under my breath all day long. We bought a "kit" to bleach and then a bottle of the pinkest stuff you could imagine...think pepto bismol on steroids.

Last night the process started with a ponytail and a piece pulled down in the back and then just like they do when you go to the real hair place we took a bowl and the kit with powder and this milky stuff and the brush with the kit and mixed up the stuff and painted the piece we pulled down. Then we waited....and it turned lighter. We followed the other directions and applied the pink. We waited and dried it and it was...somewhat pink. So we pinked again and this time put foil on and she went and played a game for awhile. And then....the big reveal...and it was PINK!!!! and so pretty!

And then...Simms comes into the picture and wants a streak. Simms is 13 also...and a boy. A very sure of himself, funny boy. So we did his too...started at 10:00 o'clock last night! He was so funny about it!

But the greatest and funniest thing of all...afterwards as he and Katy were comparing and talking about it. Katy says "You have to go to drop-in now (the teen activity at Opelika Sports Plex). The girls will be all over you!"

They don't know I heard that...I love that!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

We will miss her...

Last Sunday a great lady finished her earthly race with grace and dignity. But she didn't just finish it that way...she had lived it that way all the days of her life. She had lived well, loved well, and laughed well. And we who knew her are all the better because of it. Here's what Townsend said of her: “I’ve known Momma Carol my whole life. She’s the most beautiful, kind, intelagent, sweet, loving person you would ever want to meet. I know Jesus partly because of her. I know how to love people partly because of her. Sometimes when I get mad at my brothers I remember to forgive them because of her. My mom is a better mom because of her and says we know how to love well because of her. I’m going to miss her very much. I know that she is dancing and singing in heaven where she was meant to be. I have a seashell from her office that she gave me that I can listen to the ocean when I miss her and remember. I love you Momma Carol!”

She is so right! In every word so right. And we do and will continue to miss her but as Mike King said at her service, we wouldn't ask her to come back for anything. And one day we will be reunited with her...and I for one can hardly wait.

I'm so thankful as a mom for amazing people who pour themselves into the life of my kids in ways that matter for eternity sake. I could make and endless list. I might just start on that list...

Monday, February 8, 2010

Talk about a Wild Glorious Ride

Starting back in November, Simms (13) began to pass know the "normal" "hey, I'm gonna pass out" and then he'd be out for 30-45 seconds and then back to normal in about 5 minutes after he came to. It happened about 17 times between the middle of November and the end of December. I diligently recorded every episode including where he was, what he was doing, and what time it was. There was no pattern- at all. So we pressed with the pediatrician who called the cardiologist who did a cath 2 years ago and he didn't feel that it was heart related and so we got what we felt like was nowhere. Anyway...after a long time and some help from a physician friend we headed down the "this might be seizures" road and went to Birmingham to have an EEG. It was normal. The next week during an episode, Simms' wonderful math teacher put him on the floor and put his feet up and he didn't go all the way out, thus giving us another clue that he could interrupt the episodes. Now we were on the road back to the cardiologist. We saw him two Fridays ago and he was fabulous....Neurocardiogenic Syncope is the diagnosis. Basically Simms brain is sending signals to his heart rate and blood pressure that make him crash. Right now we are trying to keep him very hydrated and increase his dietary salt so that he will retain the fluid. The theory is that even though the signal will still come, when his blood pressure drops the vessels will not be able to constrict all the way because they will be well hydrated. So far he has still had a couple of episodes but they said to give it a couple of weeks. I'm a bit concerned about his weight since he's full of water all the time. They will work with us to adjust what needs adjusting.

In the middle of all this I found a lump. In my right armpit. It didn't hurt. I just watched it for about 4 weeks. I was hoping it would go away. I was also wearing my mom hat and the hat was really big at the time. It was all I could wear and all I could carry. Last Monday I saw my internist. He said he wished it hurt. He said I needed to see a surgeon. It scared me a lot. I knew God was not surprised. I know God has a plan for everything...even little ol' me. But it was still scary. I saw the surgeon on Thursday and he was less concerned but wanted an ultrasound to see what we were dealing with. He said he wouldn't be concerned. I felt better but still wanted to know. I had an ultrasound on Friday where they drew on me with a sharpie and circled the lump. They couldn't get it to show on the ultrasound at all. It's like it isn't there. You can see it and feel it but it's like it's not there...Still processing this for spiritual object lesson.

The lesson I do have now is that God loves me...not more than He did before but just the same. Always has and always will. He is constant. My Redeemer is faithful and true and steady and constant. In the midst of medical issues and great unknowns. He is faithful and true. When we don't have answers. He is faithful and true. When we can't "see". He is faithful and true. When we are scared...and it's ok to be. He is faithful and true. When we are unfaithful and untrustworthy. He is faithful and true.

On this Wild Glorious Ride...He is faithful and true.

20 minutes at a time

Yesterday I lived my life 20 minutes at a time. Running watch and all. Reset every 20 minutes.

It's amazing what you can accomplish in 20 minute blocks:

Laundry loads shifted out and folded

Learned a little about Google wave (still have lots to learn)

Kitchen cleaned up

Conversations on specific topics

Refrigerator in the laundry room cleaned (like each shelve taken out and washed!)

And several other things....

All of this was because Malone had all four of his wisdom teeth out and we were advised ice on/ice off every 20 minutes. So also in there were times of trying to find something cold he could eat and get him to take his pain medicine and antibiotic. He was a trooper. He didn't sleep all day which surprised me. I thought I would have to wake him up but he was up. Fortunately, he slept all night and is still asleep. I did wake him enough at 3 am to give him more pain meds.

One conversation he and I had was that pain is a gift. He said that. But we also talked about how no one really wants that gift. As I read Facebook updates and Twitter updates I see so many needs and concerns and hurts and I realize again and again that there is a LOT of pain in our world. Physical, mental, emotional, relational, etc.

But pain is what drives us to the end of ourselves and to the throne of Grace where only the Great Physician can take the mess of us and heal and cure and forgive. But it takes work on our part too. Surrender work and turning work and choosing work.

For Malone today will be a day of work and he hopes of more food. He's looking forward to football on TV, but not all the food commercials!

Shower Doors

Anybody else out there have old shower doors? We have them in the master bathroom and I have always hated cleaning them. Hated it so much that I put it off...put it off a lot! I was thinking about it today as I sprayed them down with Clorox Clean up TWICE and then scrubbed them and cleaned off the junk. It's like they are clean or semi-clean one day and then down right filthy the next. I think I ignore them as they are getting dirty. I see the little bit of scum but think "It's not too bad" and then WHAM the next morning it's like the Crud Monster moved in over night.

I've been really trying to focus on what I can learn and apply in my walk with the Lord from everyday things and here's what I think I learned today. Sin is like the crud on the shower doors. In a Christian's life it creeps in little by little and we tend to ignore it because it seems so small - maybe it's an attitude or a thought or the lack of doing something we know we should do - and it builds up over time. It builds a wall, brick by brick, between us and the Lord and between us and the ones we love.

Still processing this. But the shower is clean...for now...will have to be diligent about it or it will get dirty again. Got my eyes wide open for the Crud Monster. Don't want him moving back in!

Hello World

Well, here we go! First blog post ever...just finding a yearning to begin to journal this wild glorious ride we are on in our lives. The ride I am on. The Lord is showing me so much in this time in my life and I am realizing that I don't want to miss a thing or forget any of it and I want my kids to be able to go back and read all this and see what God did in this time in their lives. It's overwhelming to be a mom and watch how God is growing them and me through them...if that makes any sense at all.

These last few days there have been several occasions to point others (kids and my BGF) to rehearsing the truth so I think I'll start there. Here's what I know:

I am blessed beyond anything I deserve.

I have a husband who loves the Lord and serves on a daily basis and wants others to see and feel that joy.

I have three fabulous children who God is growing into incredible followers of His.

I have two incredible bonus kids that I have the privilege and blessing of being a part of their lives too.

I have a great mom who lives close by and is a big blessing in our lives.

I have a roof over my head, food on my table, clothes to wear and my basic needs met.

I am grateful!