Friday, September 28, 2012

Flashback Friday

Last night I had the distinct pleasure of escaping the routine of a weekly school night.
I know, lucky me right?
Do you want to know where I escaped to?
It was a place that was quiet, and clean.
It had fresh homemade popcorn and wine.
It had my near and dear friend, well it had her because it was her house.
I went to my friend Jentry's house to watch To Kill A Mockingbird.
To Kill A Mocking Bird is the first book on the list of books for my book club. What a great choice right? My beloved, genius book club chose to do books that have a movie. 
Have I told you how much I love my book club?
Well, I do! 
These ladies are not your average ladies.
This book club is not your average Oprah's book club.
Oh no, they are amazing women that I feel honored to know, let alone glean from their wisdom. 
We are to come having read the books and watched the movies if we can. Jentry and I set out to do that last night, but
we ended up watching a documentary about the Author, Nelle Harper Lee. It was so interesting to hear all about her life and the time frame that she wrote this classic book.
It was also very inspiring to me as a writer to see how one book can change the course of history. I think we will be like the straight A' students for book club this time, because we will have not only watched the movie, and read the book, but now we know all about Nelle Harper Lee.
I took notes.
I came home and my Giant said,  "Did you have fun, what did you do?" 
I told him.
He said, "You're a nerd."
I said, " I know."
It's time for what I like to call a little FBF- if you are new here this is a link up for blogs that are a year or older. You find an old post that you want others to read or re-read and link it up. Then you read each others and I hope comment and get to know your fellow FBF'ers.

**Today I have a Co-Host, Bernadette from Barefoot Hippie Girl was kind enough to help me out today. If you don't already follow BFHG- head on over there and say hello. Barefoot Hippie Girl

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Squeaky Wheels

Did I tell you that about a month ago my brakes on the Beastie Boy needed to be replaced.
Beastie Boy is what I call my Ford Expedition. 
He's a Beast.
He's a Boy.
It works.
Ya can't exactly safely drive around the hills of Seattle with a Beast who has bad brakes so...
lucky for me I have a really HOT mechanic. He is skilled in the brake department as well as many other departments, and so it was not a major financial burden, thanks to "Dear Lord Baby Jesus" and my Giant.
But, My Giant did opt for the brakes that squeak for a bit until they are worn in, as opposed to the ones that don't squeak, but cost more money. I never knew that new brakes could squeak as much as old ones, and I never knew you could purchase a higher priced brake that takes the squeak out.
Did you know that?
Well anyways, new brakes are not really what I want to talk about, although I am happy to have them they don't exactly make for a topic that can fill a whole blog post.
I mean, my oldest daughters complaints about the sound they make and how embarrassing they are to her when I pull up to pick her up in front of her High School might fill up some more space, but nah.. what I really  wanted to talk about with you Beloved reader is the phrase,
"The Squeaky Wheel Gets The Oil"
You have heard that phrase before I am sure, but let me tell you how that phrase plays out in the life of a mom with four kiddos.
I'm finding that recently I am needed in several places all at once.
I don't know if this happens to every mom with more than 1 child,(maybe even it happens when you only have one child) but it's been happening to me more often than I would like.
Like last week on Wednesday night I was needed in 3 places at one time and yesterday 2 places at one time.
It is from this, that I have realized where the term "The Squeaky Wheel gets the Oil" came from, because that is kind of how I rule out where I am going to be in these incidences.
If it's an event with a child that has been squeaking a lot lately, then that's where I go.
Squeaky kids sound like this,
"Mom I really need you to be there for such and such because so and so's Mom needs help with such and such and no one else volunteered and ya da ya da ya da"
"Mom my teacher wants to talk with you about something."
Teachers and teacher conferences get a top slot on that sound thermometer of squeaks.
Now over the years the squeaks have changed for me. 
It used to be that when I was at home with all my Fab 4 when they were little, and someone would start to cry in one room, while I noticed another child in the other room getting into something they shouldn't  be getting into I would go to the crying child first. Unless of course the child I noticed being sneaky was getting into say the knife drawer, then I would put that fire out first, and then hurry right over to the wounded one. Which would mean I would leave the other two children who I was  reading a story to, to hit the pause button, but then they would start crying and ... 
you get the idea.
Can I get a witness that Squeaky Wheels are a common occurrence in the life of a parent?

Well, now the squeaks are much more of a scheduling conflict kind of thing. 
Which, I have to be honest is not my strong point. 
I'm not naturally a list, calendar, planner, organizer. detail oriented kind of gal.
But, I'm having to become one for the sake of my own sanity and for the sake of keeping all these squeaks well oiled.
And so again I say to all you Momma's and Poppa's who have gone before me in running this race called parenting;
Now I'm off to go take care of some more squeaky wheels.
Who knew motherhood signed you up for being a mechanic as well!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Goonies and Christ Followers

This might be a long stretch of my imagination, and an even longer stretch for YOUR imagination, but I think there is an analogy between the movie the Goonies and following Christ.

Stay with me here, as I process this out with you.
Ok so, you know in the beginning of the movie when they are all up in the attic and Brant, or is it Brand, or Brad...  alright well the old brother is talking to the younger brother Mikey and he's defending his dad's story about One Eyed Willy and the Treasure, he says "My Father always tells me the truth." This one line started this whole process for me of this analogy. 

I think because Mikey had such a strong faith in his Father's stories being true he inspired everyone else to come along with him on this adventure. Sometimes our faith, YOUR faith inspires people.
Wait, lets pause right here for a moment.
I feel compelled to let you in on a little secret about me.
Word Pictures. 
I- Love-Them. 
So, on any given occasion you might find me coming up with some pretty random, sometimes poignant, often times nonsensical analogies.
That being said, I guess this really isn't a stretch for my imagination to compare The Goonies to those of us that follow Christ, but if it's a stretch for you just...
Now YOU hold on, don't go getting butt-hurt if you are Christ follower because I just called you a Goon.
Let me explain.
The Goonies are a band of brothers and two sisters who are working together to find a Treasure.
WE as Christ followers search everyday for the hidden treasures that are in God's treasure chest.

They all share a common goal, saving the town of Astoria.
WE share the common goal to live and die as Christ.

There are leaders in the group, and there are followers.
WE are all leaders in some way shape or form and we are all followers of ONE.

They make mistakes.
WE make mistakes.

There are doubters, and there are encouragers.
WE have those who can wrestle with doubt or be full of faith, and we have those who can encourage your little socks right off on a daily basis. 

They each bring something different to the table, The Goonie table that is.
WE each bring something different to this banqueting table. All of our gifts are important. Not one is more or less important than the next.

And they each go about this adventure a little different from the next guy. Sure they are on the same path, but the way they handle each skeleton, each "boobie trap, that's what I said" from the next is so different.  But the important part is that they are on this Adventure TOGETHER. 

WE search out the heart of God, the treasure that is with in Him so differently, but that doesn't mean we aren't all in this together. 
They say things like,
"Goonies never Die"
We say things like,
"Be Strong and Courageous for the Lord Thy God is with thee"
I don't say things like that, I say things like what those pictures up there say, see different, but the same.

The goal- treasure.
The end result-  a mother load ship to end all mother load ships.
Akay, that's all I got.
I get to be Chunk ;)

Monday, September 24, 2012

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

I might need to seek some help on this one.
I might be an odd duck.
I might be a rare breed.
I might be a flipida-jibbet(your welcome Joe vs. The Volcano fans)
Call me crazy, but I have favorites when it comes to my dishes, mugs, pots, and pans and even the silverware that I use on a regular basis.
There I said it.
I feel so much better now.
Like a weight has been lifted.
Thank you for being my witness to that HUGE breakthrough.
This confession isn't even something that I have shared with my family, for fear of being cast out into outer darkness. Wait. That's a bit too dramatic even for me. For fear of being stoned to death. NO, no that's way too dramatic.  For fear of them knowing my favorites and then seeking them out before I can. That's the real reason I haven't admitted this to them. 
And you beloved reader,  well you are sworn to secrecy.
These are the cast of characters in my life. 
A Mug.
Which of course is swapped out seasonally. Right now it's this one that I bought at the thrift store a while back just in time to be my favorite Fall mug. When Christmas rolls around you better believe I have a favorite for that season. Maybe even two.
A Pot.
Is it possible to be in LOVE with a pot?
 L-O-V-E is what I have for this bright yellow pot.
Another thrift store find, this guy can go in the oven or on the stove and I lovingly call him Mr. Sunshine. Don't you mock me.
A Bowl.
This pretty bowl was given to me from a good friend and it was filled with candies and I just love it. 
I love that friend too. Her name is Jessica.
And lucky for you she blogs about money saving tips, crafts, DIY, parenting, and lots of other amazing things. Please do yourselves a favor and check out her blog,
Mothering With Creativity you won't be disappointed.
A Fork.
I can't really explain why this fork is a favorite it just is.
Does everything need an explanation in life?
Can't you just like a fork just because?
I believe you can.
Ok so, the problem lies when those items are not where they are supposed to be when I go to use them.
This happens quite a bit. 
Have I told you I live with a lot of people?
Well, I do.
13 right now to be exact.
That's a different story for another day, but you will be happy to know that I am learning to share.
It's only taken me almost 38 years to master this character trait, but I think I'm getting there.
Baby steps people. B-A-B-Y Steps.
And now I have to ask you,
Am I a Flibida Jibbit?
Do you have favorites when it comes to kitchen items?
Oh wait, you want to know what I am eating with my favorites these days?
Well, it's another favorite of mine, but in the food department. 
A high quality food item.
It's a food item that has helped many a college student survive the dog days of dorm life.
It's a food item that many a poor lonely soul has clung to for dear life. 
If this food item hasn't crossed your path at one time or another I'm not sure we can be friends.
Top Ramen.
Did you know when Regis Philbin was hosting Who Wants To Be A Millionaire there was a question about Top Ramen and when the contestant gave the right answer, he said "Top Ramen, what's that?" 
I love me some Regis, but that night he went down a few notches in my book.
What about you are you a fan of Ramen noodles?
Covered in Grace

Friday, September 21, 2012

On Active Listening

One of my favorite things about being a mom is overhearing what my kids say when they don't know I'm listening. There have been countless conversations over the years that I have overheard that just make me giggle. There are countless more conversations that I overhear and I have to step in and say, Whoa there kiddos in-a-pro-pro!
You can find my favorite quotes and conversations over the years from my kids here;Kids Quotes.

*Total side-note here, but doesn't my baby look like a Football player in the making here. Too bad his mom won't let him play. Put a pin in that point we will come back to it on another day, when I have more time to convince you that I'm right for making this decision and you are wrong. Come back, same place, I mean it.

Ok so...

 I love my blog for the fact that it has documented quite a few of these conversations. 
Well, really I documented them.
But Blogspot helps me keep an ongoing record.
So does pen and paper, but hey... I'm trying to pay Blogger a compliment here, do you mind?

One of the other things about being a momma that I love, is that you get to hear all the brilliant ideas your children have, hot off the press.
Ya know, the real news shattering headlines like;
"When I grow up I'm going to invent something that you could travel backwards with."- Isaiah 8yrs
"I'm going to make bubble gum that could be as big as this house." - Isaiah 8yrs
"I'm going to invent a fan that goes sideways, because it blows more air." Solomon 10yrs.
*Another side-note Solomon the boy rocking the 80's look up there, does not like to take pictures. It really is so sad because he's one good looking boy if I do say so myself. Somehow I need to figure out how to brain wash him while he's sleeping. Suggestions?

So the most recent quote that I need to document here is from  the other day when Isaiah came over to me very excited with something he just had to tell me.

Now,how many of you know that sometimes 8 year olds have a lot of brilliant ideas that they just can't wait to tell you about?

How many of you know that sometimes you don't always hear everything your 8 year old says because well, you kind of sometimes can sort of tune them out?

How many of you know this doesn't make you a bad parent? 

How many of you know, you shouldn't judge it's bad for your health? 
Besides this is a no judgement zone.

So as usual when Isaiah came over to tell me something so important I was half way listening, probably doing something really important like saving the world through blogging. But, My ears perked up a bit when I heard Isaiah say, 

"Mom I want you to know that I don't want anything for Christmas"



 "I don't want anything for Christmas."

So I said, "Ok. Why?"

It was at this time that I felt I was the best parent in the world. Like I had done my job in raising a sweet, wonderful, kind soul who probably wants to give all his toys and presents to the orphans. I was thinking all of our efforts with the Kony campaign really paid off. I was ... well I was sadly mistaken because he then went on to say;

"Well, I don't want anything for Christmas OR my Birthday, and then I want to go to Hawaii."


Now, the good news here is that my baby boy who is now 8 realizes that it cost ALOT of money to go to Hawaii.
The bad news is that he doesn't realize that with the current airfare it will probably take all the Christmases and Birthdays until he's 18 before we could afford a trip to Hawaii.

By then he will have forgotten all about it.
I hope.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Bringing Up Boys

Okay, here's the deal. I have two girls, and two boys. Most of you already know this, but what I want to tell you this morning is that often times I feel like I am raising two different families. The family from planet girl is easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy for me anyway. 
The family from planet boy... Not SO much!
Raising boys is something that I have found to be quite challenging. 
There are moments when I wonder if I am a good fit for this job.
I mean if you were to look at my resume, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be the top pick for a person qualified to raise two boys.
I'm a total girly girl who didn't play sports in high school.
Who doesn't play sports now.
And who doesn't plan on playing sports in the future.
What I'm realizing is that boys are busy.
Not just busy but OOBER-BUSY! 
They are a constant, don't turn your head for a second kind of BUSY!
I remember when I first realized that  I was headed into uncharted waters with my boys.
We were all sitting down watching a movie. The girls 9 and 7, boys 6 and 3. 
The girls are sitting watching all nice and quiet, and out of no where the boys are rolling around on the ground wrestling. I was like, "What is wrong with you? Are you hurt? Should I call 911?" 
They were just boys being boys.
Now you have to understand that although I have two brothers and two sisters, my brothers were not raised together really. They were too many years apart so I never saw this kind of behavior. 
My home of origin was very female driven.
My dad is not your stereo typical Tim Allen ARGH argh argh noise making, mechanic fixing, building, sports kind of guy. He was into music and was a disc jockey for over 20 years and so really I didn't have that stronger male presence growing up.
Now though, I am married to... well 
The Moses.
The Giant.
The Man to End All MEN! 
And I have two boys who are his spawn.
*Sidenote- Did I tell you when I was pregnant with Solomon, Moses wanted to name him Magnus so that he could be the kid on the playground with a pile of other kids under his foot and he could say, "I AM MAGNUS hear me ROAR!" ?%??? 
That is an exact quote from My Giant btw, and your welcome.
Back to the topic at hand Bringing up Boys, it's not for the faint of heart.
I am up for the challenge, it's just I have had to pick up some help along the way.
I'm reading the book Bringing Up Boys, by James Dobson AGAIN,
and here is one of my favorite quotes that I will leave you with;
"If you let that kid get bored, you deserve what he's going to do to you."
Ha, well that's what I'm doing.
I'm working on making sure these boys don't get bored.
Wish me luck,
God Speed,
and keep me in your prayers.

Monday, September 17, 2012

High School Football Games As The Adult

Last Friday night we went to the first High School football game in our town. 
My daughter Emma is now in High School and our team happened to be playing against a neighboring team that one of my friends sons plays for. It was a good chance to go spy on my teenager. 
Wait. Did I say that out loud?
 I mean it was a good chance to catch up with my friend.
That's my girl Em on the left, the one I didn't spy on.
It felt very strange to be there as an older, wiser(ok that's a stretch I know), parent versus well... anything else.
When I stopped to think about why it was strange I came up with a list.
I like lists.
Do you like lists?
I like David Letterman because he likes lists.
So in true David Letterman style these are my  Top 10 reasons why High School Football games CAN be strange for adults to go to.
10. As a child..ahem.. I mean mature teen, the field, the people, the experience seemed larger than life. Now as a grown adult the field seems smaller, the kids seem younger, and the crowd well...
For real. When did the experience become so teeny tiny ? So inconsequential to everyday life?
9. You keep thinking how did I get here? I mean I know how I got there I drove, but how did I become the grown up. The one who made all these kids who are now playing out on that football field. Well, I didn't make all those kids out there, sheesh that would be some kinda Floozy, but you know what I mean.
8.  I don't ever remember bleachers being a problem for my derriere before. The seats are not made for the ahem.. middle aged.
7. The noise level seems a bit louder and you think, boy those kiddos are going to be hoarse tomorrow. Why DO I THINK LIKE THIS? When did this happen?
6. The beverages well...I kept looking for a nice glass of Vino, but then I remembered where I was. 
5. The people in the stands that are your peers look old as hell, and you feel like SURELY I am in the wrong peer group.
4. Instead of wishing the whole night that you will see some action after the game(I never did this btw, purely in here for dramatic affect) as well as during, you hope that all the players will play safe and get home nice and safe, and tuck into bed nice and safe, and did I mention nice? And did I mention safe?
3. Cheerleaders skirts - When did they get so damn short? They keep getting shorter and becoming more of a distraction. They become the bane of your existence, for a whole different reason when you are the mother of two young boys. 

2. The high school football players are no longer the Hotty Pit Totties you remember them to be. They are now the pimply little teens that you remember as babies. Whose diapers you used to change and who you used to watch crawl around on the floor. They are just babies in your mind. Still babies!!

1. AND the number one reason that A High School Football game is a strange event is that High School is a planet that you no longer dwell on. You are now worlds away from it and it all feels like an Alien invasion now. Vaguely familiar and at the same time a whole galaxy away.

So needless to say,
 I haven't been to a High School Football game in are really long time.
A really, really, really.. really Long time.
And going as an adult, and as a parent is whole different ball game entirely.

Literally, and figuratively.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Reality Check

I was talking to a friend the other day who said that she can't read blogs sometimes because they make her feel jealous. I had to laugh because I knew exactly what she meant. Sometimes when you read another person's blog you don't remember to read with eyes that are pre-filtered. 

By that I mean, you have to remember that the edit process on mostly all blogs is pretty substantial.
People usually only post about the best version of themselves or their families. 
They post the funny, the exciting, maybe the occasional rant or rave ... but it's all through a HUGE edit filter.
The edit process on most Facebook Status updates is normally 90% BS+Fluff, 10% truth. 
And the edit process on tweets, well that might be where you see some real life going on. Strangely people like to tweet their whole life, but you still have to read between the lines.

So as a tribute to said, friend I give you this 

My Reality Check...

I eat too much sugar.
I don't exercise enough.
I yell at my kids.
I cuss.
I can be lazy.
I have zits at 37.
My house smells like dogs because I have 2 dogs.
I drink too much wine.
I sweep up a fur coat from said dogs almost everyday.
My washer and dryer are never empty.
My kids haven't been to the dentist in a really long time.
I haven't been to the dentist in a really long time.
My Giant hasn't been to the dentist in a really long time. (Who can afford the dentist these days, raise your hands? Anyone?)
My kitchen sink is never empty.
I am so impatient sometimes I make coffee nervous.
I make frozen dinners way more than I care to admit, or just buy pizza.
I hate dusting, so my shit is covered with a good layer of ... well.. dust.
My Giant and I disagree, a lot about a lot of stuff.
I have a teen daughter who is good at it, being a teen that is.
My car is old, really old.
Some days cocktail hour is not confined to an hour.
AND ...
My shit stinks.

Please Don't judge.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Flashback Friday

 I haven't had much to say lately, and I haven't had much time for old movies or any movies for that matter.
Although we did watch Spy Kids the other night, but I would hardly count that as a real flashback.
There has been the occasional blurb here or there on here but really, for the most part I'm kinda blogged out right now. 
Have you noticed?
Still, I sit and type on my Maccy hoping that something, anything will come to me as my fingers get moving.
But, nope. 
So because I love you, and because I have been a bit of a Debbie Downer on here lately I'm going to give you some funny knock, knock jokes to start off your weekend.

Knock knock.
Who's there?
Oink oink.
Oink oink who?
Make up your mind, are you a pig or an owl?! 

Remember when life was all about remembering a funny knock knock joke, and your biggest concern was remembering your locker combo in Jr. High?
Knock knock.
Who's there? 
Cash who?
Wait a second I'm not opening the door to a nut.

Well, that's where I am at right now folks.
My boys are all about the funny jokes,
and my girl Chloe has made it through two weeks of Jr. High with complete locker combo confidence.
Knock Knock.
Who's there?
Boo Who.
I'm Sorry I didn't mean to make you cry.

And Em, well she's a stud-muffin who needs to be on all these voice shows that are coming back on this season.
Do you watch those voice shows.
I do.
Which voice show is your favorite?
American Idol
X Factor
The Voice.
I have been an American Idol fan since it's start,  but now that Randy is the only one left as a judge I'm kinda thinking it's just not quite gonna be the same. I really like the idea of The Voice because the judges don't get to see what the contestant looks like so it really is all their voice that gets them the vote.
Love that. 
And now that I have rambled on about absolutely nothing at all...
It's time for what I like to call a little FBF- if you are new here this is a link up for blogs that are a year or older. You find an old post that you want others to read or re-read and link it up. Then you read each others and I hope comment and get to know your fellow FBF'ers.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Two Kinds of People

There are two kinds of people on this planet.
Those who like country music and those who don't.
I used to be of the cloth that didn't appreciate the wonderful world of country.
My voice teacher Mr. Peebles hated country, and so therefore so did I.
And then sometime around my Sophomore year in High School my Allie Dawl, introduced me to this wonderful phenom.
She said that you have to listen to country music in the Fall and Winter months and then it would all  make sense.
I had my doubts, but I knew better than to question that beautiful red head so I gave it a go. 
A light bulb went on.
My ears were opened, and I thought I will never be the same.

Since that time, long..long.. long ago I have loved Country music, 
but I still really only listen to it in the Fall. As soon as Thanksgiving is over I switch to Christmas music until January 1st. 
You might think it's strange to listen to certain genre's of music during certain times, but I'm telling ya
there is something about when the air gets cool, the leaves change into bright yellow and you hear songs like this one.

I heard this song on the radio yesterday and I'm not even gonna lie,
I started crying.
I thought about what a wonderful day that will be when I can sit and have a beer, or glass of wine with the Lover of My Soul.
And then I thought about how grateful I am that I get to do that on a regular basis.

I mean usually it's a good cup of Joe in the mornings and my Bible that I sit down with, but I feel his presence. The deposit, the promise, his HS, that he left until his return is there with me everyday... hanging out drinking beer, or wine, or coffee, or bubbly water, or.....
Okay moving on.

Country music is best listened to in the Fall because the songs tell stories. 
And there is no better time to hear a story than when you are all warm and cozy, the sun is shining, the summer and all it's wonderful memories are over and it's time to get nostalgic.
There is no better music for nostalgia. 

At least, that's what Allie Dawl told me and she's a smart young whipper snapper my Allie Dawl.
I've been listening to her for years, and she's never steered me wrong yet.
If you haven't ever been a country music fan, give it a go this Fall and report back here. 

Let me know if it makes a difference.
My Giant says it doesn't, but I listen anyways ;)

On Being Busy

Dear Blogspot,

I have been busy.
Too busy to blog apparently.
Oh but I miss you blog. I miss you dearly.
Please accept this list of excuses as my formal apology letter.
I promise to return soon.


Taxi Cab Driving
Calling my mom and dad everyday, sometimes twice a day (my dad has been in the hospital about 5 times this past month) 
Cooking(Those are homemade potato chips right down there, olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary. I have needed some comfort food these past few days. It's a need, not a want. Don't Judge!) 

Enjoying the last moments of summer, and getting my fall groove on.
Opening an Etsy Shop
Mailing Packaging from sold items in my shop(Yay NoDotsShop!)

Phone calling, lots of phone calling.
Going to the Beach(can you consider this being an item that should be on one's busy list?)

Back To school shopping.

Helping the village build, and then build some more
Sewing(oh wait I already said that, but that's really what's been stealing me away)

Re designing my blog
Writing letters
Mailing b-day cards
Baking yummy banana bread.(again... comfort food, don't judge)

Finding a winner for a big giveaway
Participating in a lot of giveaway's 
Guest posting
Back to school nights with kids. 
Baseball practices twice a week for Solomon.
Libero tracking for Em's Volley ball team.(Do you even know what a Libero is ?)
Mailing care packagings 
Sending out Thank you cards

And most of ALL sewing.
It's true it is without a doubt my new love affair.
Sorry Blogspot. 
I promise to return to you at some point. 

Until then look at what I made."Put A Bird On It!"

Monday, September 10, 2012


Yesterday, at church the speaker talked about that key phrase that seems to keep resurfacing in my life over and over, "harden not your heart." Do you ever have this strange occurrence, where a song, a quote, a movie will repeat what the Creator of the Universe is trying to say to you?
I had to laugh because it was like okay God I get it. But, really I feel like maybe I don't. So much of what he spoke about yesterday challenged, convicted, encouraged, and confused me.
You see, I've been a bit raw this past month because of a constant concern that is lingering, and that is My beloved Poppa. 
My dad has been in and out of the hospital for the past month with different health issues. This last ER trip was the worst of all because he had a seizure. He is ok now, I spoke with him this morning and he sounded better, but it seems we are all shooting a loaded gun in the dark, trying so very hard to find that target that will mean he will be back to normal.
Normally, I would put on a brave face for my kids and others around me, but I feel that would be a hardening of my heart in a sense, so I'm having mini melt downs, and I'm hearing God say that's ok.
Feel Noël.
Connect Noël.
Cry Out Noël.
The problem is that I have so many feelings it's hard to just pick one and go with it.
So there's this battle with my emotions. If I  harden my heart and ignore all these emotions then it comes out in anger. But if I let loose the flood gates... well...
 I feel whelmed.
I feel sad.
I feel helpless.
I feel worried.
I feel weepy.
I feel raw.

                                                      My heart is torn between here and there.

It is the new norm for me now living 700+ miles from my beloved family, and I'm trying to navigate through this space in time that I find myself in, where my kids are very much in full swing here and my parents are in need. It's a season in life that I knew was coming, I just thought I would have more time.
I'm beyond, BEYOND, thankful for my 4 siblings that all live there and are my eyes and ears to what is going on, but still... I want to go give my Poppa a big hug. 

When things like this happen, my old M.O. would have been to crawl back in bed, hide my head under my beautiful quilt cover, and not come back out again until the world was safe and everything was alright. Kinda like a turtle. I like turtles. Especially that turtle in Nemo? What was his name? Ok sorry I just needed a breather from my Debbie downer post.

This poem written by the artist Jewel, describes perfectly what I'm really feeling.

"I could stand to be alone
for some time
Lose myself in the white noise
slip into the blur
contemplate the color yellow

Right now
I just don't handle splashes too well
Or too many teeth
around me all at once
armed like guns with something to say
Urgent whispers
hoarse restraint

Quiet as paper cuts
people steal me away
cart my flesh off in tiny crimson piles
my bones have been sore
Rattling against each other in their anemic cage
raven circling
my heart beating
it's time to go it's time to go
someplace full of surf
full of flat blue sky
full of shuuushh."

But, that's not what I'm gonna do.
I'm not gonna stop these emotions. 
I'm not going to go run and hide.
Although the poem is a perfect description of what I'm feeling, it's not okay for me to go "find surf, blue sky and shuuuush"because I'm convinced
that poem is a recipe for a hard heart.

It's so much easier right, to live this life alone where no one messes with your shit?
It's so much easier to hide than to live out in the open, raw and exposed?
So here I am living my life out loud for all to see.
I've said before feelings are okay it's just what you do with them that really counts.

In this new place, being raw means for me that I am trying not to harden my heart.
I'm learning to bite my tongue.
I'm weepy.
I'm praying for grace for myself.
And I'm thankful for poems, songs, and promises like this.

"My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."
Exodus 33:14

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Learning To Bite My Tongue(again)

Something that I have done since I was a teenager is to read through the book of Proverbs in the bible every month. Starting with Proverbs 1 and ending with 31, if the month goes until the 31st.
It has been a habit that I've built over the years that is convenient because anytime I get off track I just look at what the day is and go to that Proverb.
I get off track a lot. 
God must have made this book for me ;)

So recently when I stumbled back upon the group of ladies over at  She Reads Truth, and I saw that they would be going through the book of Proverbs together I thought, hey I can do that.
 I believe with all my heart that we are to read Scripture together because there are so many different ways a person can interpret the scriptures. But, when we read them together it's like looking down the barrel of one of those kaleidoscopes.

We see the words of life, come alive when we share what God speaks to each of us through his words, and I LOVE IT!
It has been so fun to read what the ladies over at She Reads Truth have had to say about these beloved truths, because it makes me feel not so alone.

For me personally this journey through Proverbs recently has really convicted me to bite my tongue til it bleeds if necessary.
Scriptures like;

"He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from troubles." Prov 21:23

"Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the mind and healing to the body."
 Prov 16:24
"From the fruit of his words a man shall be satisfied with good, and the work of a man's hands shall come back to him." Prov 12:14

These and many more stood out to me because recently I have been made aware of how loose my tongue had become. Now, I know and have known for years how important the words of our mouth are and that once something is spoken however wretched it might be, it can never be taken back. It can be forgiven, but never taken back.
I'm working on it. 
And I will continue to work on 'IT'(my big mouth) until the day I die.
In the mean time, I'm thankful for God's truth that encourages, and convicts. 
And I'm thankful for She Reads Truth and what a wonderful work that is going on over there. I'm happy to be a part of it.

Happy Weekend Everyone.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Flashback Friday

It has been SO busy around here, as I'm sure all weeks are with all of you out there that have had a rude- slap in the face- kick in the pants-wake up to reality- Back To School Week!
I almost blogged about the first day which was on Tuesday when I was literally on the go from 5 in the morning until 10 that evening, but then I FELL ASLEEP!
I'm looking forward to next week when I won't have so much homework.
WAIT, how do I have homework? 
I'm not in school!
Oh that's right 4 kids that come home with about 20 papers EACH to sign, and look over, and write out checks. 
That's 80 signatures people!!
The funny things is that every year, no matter how I try to prepare for this back to school week, it never ceases to amaze me how unprepared I feel for the madness that is our lives when we head out those doors. 
That being said, I will admit I had a minute or two to celebrate with YOU, with this Back To School Giveaway. If you haven't already entered to win the whole sha-bang you really should. There is some good Loot down there.
And now that we've a mini- recap flashback of my week here, how was your week?
Are you ready to Flashback for real with your blogs?
Well, then lets get this party started.

So now it's time for what I like to call a little FBF- if you are new here this is a link up for blogs that are a year or older. You find an old post that you want others to read or re-read and link it up. Then you read each others and I hope comment and get to know your fellow FBF'ers.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Harden Not Your Hearts

*Warning the post ahead is not only FOREVER long it is also NOT for the faint of heart.
But, this is what I have been thinking about a lot these days so hang with me here as I process this out with YOU beloved reader.
When is the last time you cried, I mean really cried about something that moved you?
For me, it's not hard to remember because I'm somewhat of a cry baby.  But, I'm not talking about crying over something like a good, happy ending of a movie.
Or a sappy commercial.
NO, I'm talking about the poverty in the world, the thousands of children who don't have parents to love them and care for them, or maybe the children who do have parents, but those parents are broken and abusive. I'm talking about the broken marriages, the broken politicians, the broken pastors, the broken teens, THE broken. It's  the stuff we see on the news every night. Well, YOU see on the news, I don't watch the news for this very reason, It makes me cry.
 I've always wondered what it would be like if the anchorman or woman would read the news with the emotions of a relative to the person they are reporting about?
With a heart that wasn't hard?
Human trafficking, War,  Elder abuse, all the injustices of this world.
These are not topics that any of us like to think about.
In fact if you are like me you avoid topics like this with every ounce of your being, you run the other way from topics like this.
I run because, I feel helpless.
I feel overwhelmed.
I feel like I wish I could adopt every beautiful orphan child, but My Giant said No!
Whenever I think of all the world and humanity in it's darkest state, I remember in the movie The 5th Element when the Alien lady sees' all the worlds devastation like war, and terrorism and she thinks twice about saving the world that she has come to save. 
There's a good analogy there with the whole "Savior of the world" thing. Put a pin in that thought we will come back to that.
Have you seen The 5th Element? It's one of our favorites around here.
Good movie, but that's a side note there.
A brief intermission before we get 
Back to the heavy.
  Recently, I have been surrounded with a lot of heavy news from friends and family. It's hard not to feel so much sadness when I talk to these beloved people in my life. I can very easily become consumed by the sadness, but I have to remember that's not where I should stay. 
Speaking of staying, 
 I know this is a heavy topic.
I know it's not happy.
I know you want to skip this blog right about now and go to another happy place, but wait. I promise a happy ending and even a song at the end of this story.
Let me tell you that I know the easy route to take when you read and hear of tragedies is to either ignore, or feel there is nothing we can do to help so we harden our hearts.
We don't realize this is what is occurring. 
We are unaware that over time when we stop watching the news, when we stop hearing the out cries of injustices we are hardening our hearts.
I'm guilty of this a thousand times over.
And then before you know it, it's been a really, really long time since you have wept over something other than that spilt milk.
Your probably thinking about now, well what are you getting at Noël?
Should I turn on the news and immerse myself with every sad story that there is out there?
Should I become a social activist? Crisis counselor?
Should I go find every homeless person I can and invite them to live with me?
Should I drop everything and fly to Africa and bring home some beautiful babes as my homecoming present?
And to that I say NO BIG DUMBY! 
No I would never call you dumb my beloved reader, but NO don't do that. 
I mean unless that's what you feel prompted to do after reading my silly blog.
To be quite honest, I'm not really sure what I'm trying to get at here.
Except maybe, that even I need to remember that it's not doing nothing when we pray.
Jesus Heal.
There is a NAME we can call when we need help.
Jesus Heal.
It's not doing nothing when we try to help where there is an outstretched arm.
Jesus Heal.
It's not doing nothing when you do what you can when you can.
Jesus Heal.
There is a NAME that is above all names, it's better than calling 911 in an emergency.
Jesus Heal.
It's not doing nothing to keep a soft heart, and there is only one name I know that can keep this heart from hardening.
Jesus Heal.
This is what I read today;
"Blessed(happy fortunate and to be envied) is the man who reverently and worshipfully fears the Lord at all times(regardless of circumstances), but he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity."
Proverbs 28:14

And then I read this:
"In his hands are the deep places of the earth; the heights and the strength of the hills are His also.
The sea is His, for He made it; and his hands formed the dry land.
O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. For He is our God and we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand. 
Today if you hear his voice
Harden not your hearts" Psalm 95:7-8

That last sentence reminds me of my Gram or "Grandma THE Great" is what my kids called her before she went home to be with Jesus. Yes, she loved Jesus and she would say(with a beautiful East Coast accent) all the time, "Today if you hear his voice harden not your hearts." But, that whole scripture reminds me of the age old childhood song, "He's Got the Whole World In His Hands" and that makes me feel better. Like I don't have to solve all the worlds problems, but I can listen for HIS voice, ask HIM to keep my heart soft,  and pray. 
Jesus Heal.
I want to have a soft heart for when I hear of tragedies, of very hard things that my friends and family are going through, so I can weep with them.
I want to share in the joys AND the sorrows.
His Great Name is what keeps this heart soft. 
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