Sunday, March 30, 2008

My beach house

Not the most gorgeous shade of blue, not the whitest sand this globe has to offer, but it’s “my ocean,” “my sand” and it’s “my little beach house.”

As if preparing itself for “blogdom” or an inanimate, analogical character in a book, my little beach house is named, The Four Seasons. Hidden between The Ritz, a new stately house, with its fresh yellow paint, white columns, and heated pool, and another brand-spanking new trendy-green getaway, my little beach house and another pre-hurricane place (seemingly-abandoned gray thing on stilts), rest. The Four Seasons’ blue-gray paint is beginning to chip again. Its boardwalk was never fully rebuilt after Hugo. She’s a humble thing. My grandmother used to call her a “cottage.” That she is, a cottage by the Garden City, South Carolina sea.

The view of the ocean out the large picture window has changed. It was shockingly strange after Hugo… a parking lot of sand, flat, straight out to the closer ocean. I was carried to that same plot of sand, where I ate and drooled its little grains. I toddled my way up there, crying over sandspurs. My mom let me bring my best little friends along, with our too cool walkmans and early-nineties shades. I remember going out past where I could touch in the ocean, floating on my back with my best-bud Melanie and talking. We made giant sand castles, buried each other countless times over the years. Melanie, my brother Brad, and so many other dear friends shared in all-day, sometimes blistering adventures. I’ve sat on that back porch and looked out at the reflection of the moon, year after year after year. I’ve talked and thought and made long phone calls, rocking away in the breezy evenings.

Now both of my children have drooled the sands of Garden City. They’ve danced in the surf.

A physical place of remembering, I remember how lavishly loved, I’ve been since before birth. I see the rich heritage of my mother’s parents, who purchased “the cottage.” My dear grandfather, his walk with our God – straight into Heaven. My mother and her unyielding strength in raising my brother and me. I see God’s plan for friendships, for heartache, for discipline. I see seasons of dancing-in-the-surf-kind-of joy, of fear, when the undertow felt mighty strong, of intense hurt, of being held so tight, with not a soul around. You just can’t help look at that sky, that sunrise, smell that air and not see Him. For me, on “my” sand this week, I was reminded overwhelmingly, of how tight His grip, His pursuit, His prepared plan, is on my life. I could choke on its weight. His love, resting upon me, straight up through my throat.

From heaven the LORD looks down and sees all mankind; from His dwelling place He watches all who live on earth – He who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do. Psalm 33:13-15

Praise Him that He sees me! That He sees you dear friend!!
But a speck on the shore, on a shore of many many many shores. He sees you. Close-up. Intensely.

Do you feel it?
May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in You. (Ps. 33:22)

Monday, March 24, 2008


"Mommy, God gave Jesus so much strength that He just didn't die when they put nails in his hands. He gave Him enough strength to say a prayer too, right?" -Belle
Yes, sweetheart, that is exactly right.

"Jesus only had to die one time, right mom?" - Christian
Yep, just one time. (By the way, he repeated this many times, as if trying to wrap his head around it).

I like hearing truth from 4 & 6 yr-olds. God always provides "enough," and Jesus died once. Just once. That too was enough.
Hope you all had an amazing Easter.

If you're a facebook user, checkout some awesome pics of our fun Spring Break moments, thus far.

Friday, March 21, 2008

ok, talk about creative

I can't wrap my mind around a God that takes care of my itty bitty details and makes crazy two-foot starfish.

I'm just sayin.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

filling in the gaps

Hey friends. I'm exhausted. worn out. pooped. such a good, but long week. but this is a post about glory, God's glory (not specifically the precious baby that was born to my friend Jessi named Glory - see her blog... that's another story). I have big plans for bedtime as soon as this is written, but I wanted to get it out and give God some much due praise.

being tired is something I feel soooo often. i'm reading this fabulous book, my single mom life by angela thomas - more to come one that, but she echos my cry of "I'M EXHAUSTED." But here's the hopeful, praising tone of this blog!!! - my God meets me in my tired and in my dropping of the many plates i attempt to spin.

Here's the short story:
I had a list - a mental list and an actual list of the many things that i needed to get accomplished this week at work and home and church and home and work... :). And I worked my tail off trying to scratch them off one by one. well, I did pretty well. i was up and spent some amazing time with the Lord, loved on my school children this week and tried to give them my all, lots of hugs, lots of praise, lots of patience. I prayed and bit my tongue when speaking with my own children. I called them beautiful, and thanked them for their help around the house. I wasn't "mean mommy" in the mornings. but i still forgot something pretty crucial that was work-related. I needed to call this lady who volunteered to sew together all of these quilt squares my students created. they are being displayed and raffled off in our upcoming art show & had to be sewn over spring break in order to be ready by the deadline. well my children (school children) had done great and we got it done in time, in spite of me being out with the flu family. BUT, she was a major thing on my list of todo's: "CALL QUILT LADY" (so we could meet and she could pick up the quilt squares, bla bla bla.) It was like #7 on the list, but should have been #1. I forgot on Monday. But told myself and rewrote myself a note to call her on Tuesday. I was going to do it when I first got to school, but I forgot. I told myself to call her as soon as I was done with lunch, oops, and then after school on my way home, but yep you get the picture. It was Wed., - crap! I forgot to call that woman. And my God showed up.

In she walked at the most opportune time, without us scheduling it, without an email or message or anything. her timing could not have been more perfect. I don't have planning on Wed., but one of the 8 I teach is a really small class, the best class, and on this day they happened to have a sweet teacher cadet with them... and after I had given out instructions and my children were busily creating, in walks "quilt lady" all smiles. So we picked out all of the best art for the raffled quilts, while teacher cadet took care of my best small class and she left.

And I'm left thinking, "God you are just too good."
There's no happened to it, and while quilt woman is super sweet, I'm giving her only minor credit here. My God is so good. I pray all of the time for my LORD to fill in the gaps for me - in my parenting, in my time-management, in my lack of money, my failure to remember...

and HE DOES. He meets my every tiny need, even thing #7 on the list, and I just wanted to say
night night :)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

If you haven't seen this... you need to.

I know that it is finished.

This song, left my heart beating fast this morning in worship. I couldn't sing it loud enough.

Here is the link.

Here are the lyrics:

How deep the Father's love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the Man upon His cross,
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

Thursday, March 13, 2008

6-yr glow

My sweet Belle is turning 6, officially in a matter of hours. I suppose nearly every mother reflects on her children’s births each year as their special day rolls around. And, I am certainly no different. I think back to 2002, me, age 20, and the excitement, the anticipation of the actual birthing event. But I sit in awe now, an awe that differs from the wonderment of that first encounter, when I held Isabelle Kathryn, my baby, for the first moment. Then, I marveled at the intricacy of her knitting and at my Maker’s physical mark. She was perfect. She was surprising. They never look exactly as you imagine them, but there’s something quite perfect about that. Her hair was… well we weren’t sure, but it turned out to be exactly strawberry-blond. Her nose was turned up in a cute way; she weighed in at 7 lbs. 7.7 oz. His ways are higher from the get go.

Now, my amazement contrasts weightily from the mere wonderment of how marvelous her flesh was made, for it’s a look at her soul that nearly takes my breath away. That amazing body, as beautifully as it was made and as it grows, will one day die. But my Belle, my heart’s little delight, that Belle-girl -- her soul blows me away.
Who am I that you would be mindful of me, Lord? Who am I that you would grant me the joy of not only knowing someone who so purely reflects LIGHT, but then to allow me to be “Mother”, Mommy to that… image of you??? OH GRACE.

Belle glows.
She has a crooked smile; it’s her Gran’s. Belle’s brain operates on levels that surpass the average kindergartners’ and often, I’m pretty sure my own. Belle loves to create. She likes to hoard “treasures”, bits of paper, used boxes. She’s the one that announced, “You know, Mommy, I would really like to have a place of my own to create. A table in the corner of the living room would be lovely.”
Belle enjoys HGTV. She would replace our kitchen with all stainless appliances if it were up to her.
Belle travels in her sleep. She wakes up in all sorts of odd places in her bed. And when she wakes, she can be an absolute grouch. My Belle can become disgustedly fed up with her little brother and her Mommy, and is at many times, quite sure that she is the only sane soul around. (She reminds me of myself in these moments.)

When my Belle prays, she prays to her Lord, not the “God of her Mommy”, Oh Yes!, He is my God, but see, He is the ever active, redeeming God of Isabelle Kathryn, just as He is the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob. Precious girl, your heritage remains in loving the Lord. I sit in awe of your soul, the creation and salvation; He brings Himself glory through you.

Happy Birthday, sweet love.
Praise you Lord.