Friday, May 30, 2008

uh... no..shoot! where is my lipstick?

I was on my way to work and at "assigned stoplight" was going to put on my lipstick. (no lashes please; I am a new woman, who 90% (used to be more like 15%) of the time leaves in the morning with her makeup on... except for my lipstick, cause it comes off when I drink my coffee on the way to work while shuffling through CD's... I am NOT a distracted driver - no.)
I typically place the lipstick and gloss in a certain pocket of my purse. So... back to where we were: I reached, and NO lipstick. So I dug through that giant thing I carry and could not find it or anything close for the life of me. "Red marker....? uh maybe - no, what am I thinking." All my eye shadow was brownish. crud. Okay, I know all of this is vain, but geez, without some lipstick or gloss, my lips feel naked and dry and I look like I should still be sleeping. Oh and I had car-rider duty and was prepping myself to say "good morning" to a billion moms/dads/kids etc. But then!!! I had a thought. I went to the nurses office and asked for a q-tip of vaseline... and explained why, so she would think I was silly not crazy.
I dipped & stirred saving q-tip into a corner of my powdered blush and had a lovely natural shade of gloss for the rest of the day. I did it on purpose at home this morning.

Hope this lightens up the mood of this ole bloggy. Now, keep prayin and checking in on Abel, the warrior that he is, via Katie's blog.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Say a prayer for Abel's lungs!

Katie and Josh welcomed Joshua Abel this morning. He needs some big boy lungs, so jump in and pray for those to develop lickety split! Our God is so good.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Remembering and praying hard.

God dumped out a huge gift about 8 years ago in the form of Natalie.

I was attempting to run hard (in the wrong direction) at this point, but boy, the Lord knew what He was doing when He enlisted her as part of His pursuit. She kept lovin me when I didn't want to be discipled. (I giggle just thinking of it)

I don't leave a conversation with her without taking away a new teaching and am continually blessed by her wisdom, maturity and heart for the Lord.

One year ago, today, she lost her brother David, while he was serving in Iraq. Natalie has 3 other sisters, one of whom (Rachel Baxter) has added a gorgeous post in his memory on her blog.

I ask that you pray for her family this Memorial Day.

I also ask that you pray for John, my friend and my children's father, serving in Afghanistan, and for our troops. But, my heart is much more for LIGHT in such dark lands. While there are some faithful believers in uniform, there are many more guys, who are lost... so lost, and are stationed in places with stances against our Almighty God. Their physical safety is of course our concern, but their salvation and peace are where true victory resides.

Thank you again for sharing your brother with us, Rachel.
May all of you guys find yourselves blessed by our outlandish freedom this holiday, and join me in praising Him.

Friday, May 23, 2008


I've never regretted a silly moment. I regret some inappropriate or disrespectful moments, but never a simply silly one.

I have the best job ever. Being an art teacher is pretty much wonderful, as long as you're good on bladder control and speed-eating, there really are few drawbacks. Let's face it, I'm like a flower-deliverer or the ice-cream scooper; I get super sweet smiles because I'm handing out fun. Here's one silly moment with my kids today that I LOVE!!! (I'll have to write about my school children another time... I look at each of their faces and my heart feels intense love for these children... okay another time.)

Oh and I have to mention this as well:

Tonight after dinner Belle and Christian and I were "break dancing in the kitchen." Total white people style. We thought we were hilarious and we were. I don't know how people spin on their backs. I think it's genetic, like curling your tongue or something.
Seriously... we did the whole "go Belle, go Belle, go! go! go!-thing"
silly. pure silly.

Moral of this short story: When faced with the dilemma of "to be silly or not to be silly" - go with silly. You won't regret it!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

just me and the Swiffer

Last night I was swiffering the kitchen floor. (I don't ever mop the "real way;" I once dumped soapy water on the floor and let the kids skate on towels, until somebody got hurt - should have seen that one coming). So, Belle and Christian were soundly tucked, and I was literally getting up the residue of our day (or days) and replaying what a sweet one we'd had. It involved my beautiful t-ball player and the way she hops in place on base as she waits for the next batter or twirls in circles in whatever position she's in... and of Christian and our awesome time playing with his little army men; we sorted all those tiny plastic guys and stood them up on his floor and then fired his miniature pirate cannon ball at them. He rattled off hilarious quotables... But, I was reliving these in my head and wishing so deeply that I could share. I thought of my friends who lie in bed with their spouses (or at the very least talk during commercials!) and marvel or chat about their kids, laughing at their silliness or praising the Lord for their shear beauty... dag gummit (I feel the sting now), I just wanted "my someone" to say out loud, "Isn't she amazing? Isn't he the funniest thing ever?" And then... I felt it. I felt the reply, coupled with overwhelming chills. And I knew.

I didn't remember. He reminded me, within my spirit. Tell Me, child.
And I spoke - out loud.

"Lord, isn't he just the funniest thing!? Don't you just love how Christian... how Christian is just soooo Christian! Lord, you made him to want to protect and provide and you made him stinkin hilarious. Lord, you are so amazingly funny" And I went on... out loud, and I felt that lonely blanket sever, injected by chills of the holy spirit and of that listening ear, the God who sees... me. And I praised Him. And, I knew that my God loves Christian and Belle more than I do, and He gets a kick out of them MORE THAN I DO. And He delights in talking about them with me!
and leaves His mark: my hair on end.

ugh... how amazing.

I was left (but not really left... just still swiffering) laughing with pure happiness - once again, out loud, and praising Him that in the lonely, I am NEVER alone.

I'm going to re-read Angela Thomas's My Single Mom Life. When I read it's first pages, I wept. I'm not sure I've ever felt so connected to another human's book. I'll leave you with this quote followed by another.

From p. 37:

I don't think other people believe that single moms are all that lonely.
We've got kids who live with us, and those brilliant little minds are always
coming up with a million things for us to do for them. And single moms are
ridiculously busy, they reason, so how could we be lonely? We are balancing and
multitasking more than any sane human being should have to. But maybe that in
itself is a part of it. When you are holding up the world, all by yourself,
fatigue sets in. Everyone assumes you can be strong because you are getting it
all done, but no one wants to be that strong. And really, no one
should have to be. Eventually the fatigue is overwhelming, and being tired just
makes you lonelier.

Loneliness maybe more than anything, has been my greatest struggle these
past years. There have been a lot of other heart-wrenching struggles, but
loneliness is the thread that has woven through everything. Honestly, not a day
goes by, even the craziest, most productive and extraordinary ones, when my heart
doesn't yearn for someone to share it with. God made each of us for
companionship. Healthy, loving, nurturing companionship. and the person who
tries to live as though that's not true is just pretending.

and this, His direct Word:

22 I was so foolish and ignorant— I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you. 23 Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand. 24 You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny. (Psalm 73 - NLT)

I've always loved reliving my day - out loud, and...


"Lisa called the other night when the kids were away. "what are you doing?" she asked.

"Just over here alone with my dang integrity," I told her.

"Oh, stop it," she said, laughing. "Take your integrity and go to bed."
Big smile. to bed, I
shall go!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

my eyes itch... does that count?

Wow... they're really red too. What in the world? (see Katie's blog for clarification)

So Ruby and I were talking about the blog thing and I mentioned how I felt the need to clairify, though it probably isn't all that needed. Hopefully this will come in the form of encouragement.

In my brief blogging stint, I plugged into the thought of many that this forum would most honorably be used as a place of fun-lovin commentary, words of encouragement, updates on fam, etc. You know, a "build-ya-up" or "put-a-smile-on-your-face" kinda place. I deliberately choose not to hop on and post during the times when I feel absolutely cranky, exhausted, angry, annoyed, etc... cause I mean, I don't want to give off the WACKO impression and I desire for my words to honor our Lord - sincerely.
That being said, i'm going to get honest, but truly not honest enough. Take what I say, and know that the truth is probably far worse.
Without my Jesus, I suck, and not because I have good reason. (Nope, I'm pretty sure these allergies don't give me any validation)
When my face isn't upon Him. When I don't remain IN HIM. I am gross.
I want stuff. I get ill with my children and they hear it. I feel cranky as all get out, where the sound of whistling, which should bring delight, grates on my nerves. I try to fill the "lonely hole." (doesn't exist within my Jesus... outside of Him, it's gaping.) Chocolate is a fav hole-filler of mine & peanut butter, as is blog surfin... ironic, I know. When it's just me, I do not honor my mother or father. I doubt. I feel stinkin sorry for myself. I feel inadequate - not enough stuff, not pretty enough, not in shape enough, not talented enough - for cryin out loud, we could go all day. I feel... well itchy, a sensation that doesn't really go away when we in and of ourselves try to scratch it. Not physically (usually!), but that annoyed and out of wack feeling that has no real self-reliant fix.

And, I'm sure there's someone, maybe just one of you that might nod your sweet head, and say... me too. I'm sucky apart from my Lord.

But then there's the grand news.
With Him, In Him, through Him... Him in Me, not because of me and certainly apart from me... I become Holy, solely because He is HOLY. That is a refining miracle that I fall short of understanding.

When I attempt to share what seems like wisdom-given or what the Lord is graciously achieving in spite of myself, please know, that my goal is to humbly communicate, because I stink and He is GOOD.
And I know that hooked up to THE VINE... I am beautiful, I am set apart, I am loved beyond comprehension. I am saved, and I am destined for plans filled with HOPE and my Jesus.

Glory, Lord. Remove me. Glory.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I'm shaking my head and seriously cracking up

This is my friend, Katie... no wait, Ruby (as seen on Elle's blog). I HAD to link this.

like the last 2 on page 53

"The roads around Burton are a plethora

of Norman Rockwell's Americana --
apple orchards, dilapidated gristmills, craft stores, comb honey, smoked
bacon, Coca-Cola, the Marlboro man, and cold beer at every turn. Vintage
cars painted in rust dot the pastures that flow with creeks, cows, and
horses. All summer long, hay bales rolled into one-ton mounds sit big as
shacks, covered in white plastic like melted snowmen until the winter cold
sheds their coat and feeds them to the livestock. And farmers, those whose lives are connected to the lake yet uninterested in it, sit atop green or red tractors beneath dusty brimmed hats, roll cigarettes, and pull at the earth for one more year like a pig suckling the hind teat.
And God?
He's in these hills because we are. No matter how far you run, you can't shake Him. Maybe Davis and I know that best, but Emma knew it first, and Saint Augustine said it best:
You stir man to take pleasure in praising You, because You have made us
for Yourself, and our heart is restless until it rests in You."

-Last 2 paragraphs on p. 53 of When Crickets Cry by

I know this place. Well, not Burton... not Georgia either. These hills in "my parts" roll with sand, blanketed with rusty shades of pinestraw; apple orchards replaced with Mac's Pride peaches and there's not so much in the way of a lake around, moreso, a burnt sienna crayon-shade of a river, and winding creeks with names like "Huckleberry."

This is where we are now, me and my babes.

My nose stuck way up to these familiar sights and smells. Creeks stink. Pinestraw is itchy. And sand, not so pleasant once covered with crabgrass, baby pines, their daddy tree's cones, and sandhills critters. "Nope, not for me. I'm outta of here, when I graduate, and heck no, I'm not comin back." One of many wrongo statements my 17 yr-old mouth and/or brain voiced.

I see the beauty in what once annoyed... not because I've simply matured or enlightened myself by some means.

St. Augustine said it in gorgeous fashion. No need to repeat. I rest in Him. Send me to Africa, and I will have rest. Send me to Nova Scotia (random) and I will have rest.

Speakin of... it's bedtime. Oh and, more to come on how I'm a super sinful, gross, girl without Jesus! just wanted you to know that there is NO high horse here.

Also, precious picture of Belle picking strawberries.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

10 for today

1. Breakfast in bed...
I had already gotten up and then was told to go back to the bed. :) It included microwavable sausage biscuits, applesauce, and a brownie with icecream and hershey syrup! (I kid you not - they know me so well!!!)
2. I was praying for the right spirit about having nursery duty during worship on Mother's Day. I'm gonna be blatantly honest, when I got that reminder card in the mail I thought... "oh, suck." and the Lord was so good and super merciful and sent a chunky 5 month-old for me to get to hold, feed, change, and walk around with the whole time. Belle and Christian (my helpers) were also enthralled with the baby.
(side note: I am out of practice with those onsie snaps! I thought... man this is taking forever. I used to be able to breastfeed one, while snapping the other.)

3. Hanging flower baskets for my front porch. I now have an ounce of curb appeal.

4. Bill's Barbecue - (local BBQ buffet - arguably one of the best ever!) guilt free

5. Naptime after this post. Also, guilt free.

6. Fresh set of handprint art from Sunday School and red paint all over Christian's khakis

7. Loving and undeserved words from my friend, Katie. I'm so glad you're stuck with the A-names for now. I love each of your children deeply. I didn't know I could care for someone else's babies so. Thank you.

8. My mom, her faith, her love for me and my children, and her love of the Lord. I don't doubt any of these things. I never have ever wondered if my mother loved me, if she supported me, if she prayed for me. I've always KNOWN these things, deeply and certainly. I understand the parental nature of my Heavenly Father's love, because He provided a model in her.

9. Seeing the Lord's blessings of Belle and Christian and the 4-6 years we've had together. They bring just about as much earthly joy as two little humans could, gift-wrapped with strawberry-blond hair. Nearly every other blog post offers faithful support, so I won't go on and on and on... but I could.

10. Where the Lord has brought me as a mother - 7 years in the making.

Remembering Connor, my first son, the first time I felt his kicks after a bowl of mac & cheese, knowing that physical moment was at the height of remarkable. And then, my first Mother's Day, when my heart ached intensely and I wept during baby dedication, as my child was held in heaven. Thinking back to that dear man, nearly a stranger, who knew my story... the one, that wasn't scared to look at me and my mascara streaked face, and say in the kindest of ways, "Happy Mother's Day."

He knew. My God did. I remember how my Father dearly loved me and picked up that man (I don't even know his name), walked him over, opened his mouth, and gave me His message. I love you, brokenhearted one.

May I always be sensitive to the brokenhearted, especially on this day. Friend, if you're aching for a mother, or a child, whether conceived, conceived and lost through death or to the darkness of this world... or for the child yet conceived or received, the Lord is close. So close.

Psalm 34:18 (New International Version)
18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

and another promise:

5 Those who sow in tears

will reap with shouts of joy.

6 Though one goes along weeping, carrying the bag of seed,

he will surely come back with shouts of joy, carrying his sheaves. (Psalm 126:5-6 HCSB)

Lord, I PRAISE YOU for evidence of these promises in my life.

To those of you with heavy hearts, I pray these promises for you. Truly, you are so precious, and in a world of breakfast-in-bed, flowers, buffet dinners and silly cards and everyone carrying on, He sees you, as if it was only you; He sees your wounded heart, and boy, OH boy, does He comfort... does He heal. Our Father is so good.

And to my sweet sweet friends that do currently bear the title, "Mother," I love sharing this adventure with you. Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Playing school

I attempted to make a real dinner tonight, and suggested Belle & Christian play for a few minutes while I got things together. Well, I failed to get specific, which resulted in them literally running around the house and what they call "karate." Neither were "wise choices" on their parts. So, I said in haste, "why don't you guys go play school or something." (It was not a sweet, patience-filled conversation). I overheard Christian saying he didn't want to play school. And then I heard Belle say something like this... "well, at this school we have pizza every day and you get to play outside and eat popcorn all the time..."
I don't have to tell you who took on the role of "teacher."

I tuned the rest out for the most part. From what i could hear (we have an older home... no open floor plan here!), Christian was quite compliant, even though there wasn't any REAL pizza or outside activity or popcorn. :)

We did have a decent meal, and then they bathed, and I brushed wet hair, and read a book, and practiced letter sounds with Christian, and we prayed (had a conversation about the Lord's protection, because Belle is pretty convinced that a "bad guy" is going to be standing outside of our house at 8:00 PM), and we tucked with lots of hugs and kisses, OH and flossed for the first time since the week of our last dentist appointment which was a couple months ago.

It was super busy, but so good.

But, then as I was doing the nightly clean up and went into the living room (which is separate from the main traffic area), I saw this:

Their "school."
They had drug these chairs all in a row, pulled out specific animals for the school, and each fluffy guy had his/her own crayon and piece of paper.

It was pretty much the cutest thing I'd seen.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I love Ruby!

I signed myself up as a member of Katie's movement. I think I have to start calling her Ruby to help out with the cause. I'm okay with that.
There's a link to her on my site.

Monday, May 5, 2008

the art of losing myself and bringing you praise

So many of you have likely heard this song... some amazing precious friends led my church in worship to "From the Inside Out." The widget is on my page. play it!

Not only does it echo my delight in corporate worship because I'm sooooo DELIGHTED IN MY LORD!!!! But it hits at the heart of where I am. As an earthly "artist" of sorts... oh, to learn this art, of the death of me. I invision the bonfire of canvases, brushes, and see a masterpiece, void of myself, created before time made perfect for all time... how can this be?

daily this is my cry

my soul cries out


Click download to play a song to the right and read on, if possible.

Mass celebration is a personal favorite. I'm a Gamecock. Love you Clemson fans and others who could care less about either SC alliance (that's right, I said love you, so return the love - keep reading). For those who have shamelessly and heartily worn the garnet and black, though, (it is a rather classy combo, you gotta admit), there is a moment that thrills. The drums pound, the brass shrills... 2001 vibrates the 80,000+.... dun, dunn, dunnnnn, dun da (loud roar); ...dun, dunnnn, dun, DUN DAHHHHHHH, (more roars, excessive coed jumping-in-place) dun, dun, dun,... dun, dun, dun,... dun, dun, DUN, DUNNNN, DAHHHHHHH!!!!! Okay left out some duns and dahs, but I know some of you sang it in your heads. For me, that rocks. I LOVE IT! How fun.

My sweet, lovely friend gave me some mixed CDs a couple weeks ago. She declared them, "the greatest thing ever," as she handed them to me. She was right. I've already worn the worship one out, trekking it across the scenic and notso routes of Chesterfield County. Chris Tomlin's I Stand Amazed (How Marvelous) has accompanied some slightly dangerous, one-handed driving, because the truth leads me to Praise! But, additionally, the live recording, sends chills...

I absolutely delight in hearing masses praising our LORD.

Please, let me pause to say, that I do not want in any perverse way, to make an idol out of worshipping. Worshiping worship is an easy one for me to slip into. But OH worshipping my God is soooo good.

Let me scoop up these thoughts and bring them all together into the image I've rested upon many times this past week:

Heaven. the billions there, who believe in the one true God, the ONE true Savior, His children, brought into the fullness of mercy and the embodiment of grace. I thought of the raging sound that Williams Brice rings out, when one side roars "GAME" and the other bellows "COCKS" and I envision that sound multiplying until the actual reverberation would be deafening to carnal ears, and I then replace those silly words and conceive of these

HOLY!!!!! HOLY!!!! HOLY!!!!

And all of the angels and the beauty of their harmony and echos... American Idol kids knock my socks off.... and they are but a shadow, but sea foam of the OCEAN of sound that will engulf our heavenly senses. HOLY HOLY HOLY, ARE YOU LORD GOD ALMIGHTY. And every tongue and every nation and every voice shall say.

dude. OHHHH!!!! I could shake you with excitement!!!!!

1 ...I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and
exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphs,
each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they
covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to
one another:
"Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory."
4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
Isaiah 6:1-4