Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I am Little Miss Happy Pants!

I just had to laugh, re-reading my post from this morning. I sound so chipper, and pollyanna-ish, that it reminded me of one of my favorite in - law stories.

A few Christmases ago, while visiting with Rusty's family (on our once a year 3 hour visits. We're close as you can tell.), his older sister was telling us about a PTA mom from her son's school who frequently calls "Big Sis" on her cell phone. Big Sis was upset because this other mom calls her frequently, and uses up her cell phone minutes on silly chit chat, so she said she just doesn't answer anymore and looks the other way when passing her house.

Well, it didn't stop there, oh no siree! Big Sis went on to elaborate about this mother, describing her cute little outfits, and the way she is so super involved in her children's lives, and then, the biggeee... she described how PTA Mommy loves to surprise her husband by mowing the lawn for him, and even told Big sis that she uses it as her prayer time- just rides the lawnmower around the yard praying and singing praise songs to the Lord.

Well I had been charmed by the description of this sweet, godly woman, and thought she sounded delightful. I tend to be a pretty involved Mom and am a little on the perky side. Top that off with my love of driving and worshiping God all alone in my Mommy mobile and I was really identifying with this little mama. Thinking, mistakenly, that Big Sis was being complimentary in her description of this woman, I started to say "My gosh, that sounds just like me!". I didn't get the chance though, as Big Sis rounded out the tale with the closing line, "I just hate that little Miss Happy Pants! She is so darn happy all the time!". Well then! Imagine the audacity of actually being happy! Glad I didn't mention our similarities!

I laugh in retrospect still, at the mental picture of the smile sliding off my face as I realized that, Lord have mercy, I AM little Miss Happy Pants, and my sister in law would hate me if she knew me. Oh my! Rusty thought it was one of the funniest moments ever, and reminded me that it is exactly why he loves me! And that is why, among my dearest friends, I am Little Miss Happy Pants"!
Summer Is Here!

Cailin's hair has streaks of blonde running through it, and the pool bag is riding shotgun in the minivan... looks like it is officially time for fun in the sun!

This time of year always surprises me with its beauty and ability to fill my heart with sparks of happiness. Awakening early and hearing the birds chirp makes me feel like Snow White. I mean literally, my heart feels like it is singing with the joy that is God's creation! I love to sit on the deck with my tea and my bag of Bible studies, letting God lead me to the study my heart needs that day. I feel closer to Him, and in turn the rest of my day is better. I am better able to handle the rough spots, because I have had those first minutes of the day in solitude with the Lord. Oh, how I wish every day was summer!

Friday, May 25, 2007

James 4:4

You {are like} unfaithful wives {having illicit love affairs with the world and breaking your marriage vow to God!} Do you not know that being the world's friend is being God's enemy? So whoever chooses to be a friend of the world takes his stand as an enemy of God.
I have read this verse before; it is a commonly quoted one in the church, I think. Yet, today, this verse, in this version (Amplified- my favorite, by the way!) it spoke to me sharply.
If asked, I would say I am not a "friend of the world", but rather a child of God. I love the Lord, I seek His counsel on nearly everything and love Him passionately. But do I occassionally flirt with the world when I join in a conversation criticizing another mom at school? Am I not having a love affair with the world when I choose "Desperate Housewives" over the telecast of my favorite preacher? (AGAIN!) When I go along with my Christian friends in a gossip fest instead of gently reminding us of God's opinion of gossip , do I not step outside the bounds of my marriage vow to God? What could it be called other than unfaithfulness to God's glorious commands to us when I lash out in anger at my husband or children?
I do not want to be an enemy of God. Enemy is a strong word, but it is His and I better take heed! I do not want to be separated from Him because I lack discipline. Once again I have allowed myself to become self righteous and view myself as "above" this particular verse because I don't just go along with the crowd. I make most choices independently and am ok standing alone. God reminded me today, though, that even if I am alone, but making poor choices, I still am a friend of the world , and need to ask Him to help me rise above it. Instead of delegating this passage to the peer pressure pile, I need to apply it to my own choices and my personal daily walk with Him.
Father God, please let me seek your friendship above all else... worldy approval, personal goals, and selfish pleasure. The joy of obeying Your Word far outweighs the fleeting pleasure of selfishness. Thank You for being so good and righteous and giving us Your Word and Holy Spirit to encourage us.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


I can't believe my baby girl is 10 years old. I am such a sap that the night before her birthday I was teary eyed and weepy, realizing that the next time I saw her she would be "10", and she just said, "Mom. You are so weird."
I put off writing about it until today, because frankly yesterday I just couldn't even think about it. Now that the big day has come and gone, I feel up to addressing it, but instead of pouring out my heart, I think I'll do a top 10 list.

Top 10 Favorite Things About Cailin (Honestly there are so many that I could re-write this list a thousand times, but here goes...)

1. The expression on her face the first time I held her. I will always remember those dark eyes staring up at me as if memorizing my face. She was so serious, and would only look at me with one eye open at a time, as if adjusting to life out of the womb gradually. We called her Popeye:-)
2. Her skinny little legs, always kicking, and that tiny little peanut bottom that newborns have. I just couldn't believe how perfect and miniature everything was- even her goosebumps were teeny tiny.
3. Cailin has always awakened with a smile. As soon as her eyes were open she was beaming up at me- eager to face the day. Those long eye lashes and her sweet smile- what a blessing to awaken to! I still linger over her sleeping face before I wake her each morning, trying to soak up the sweetness of sleep.
4. That giggle!!! She is always ready for a laugh, and was such a good natured baby! It is only in the last few months that she has become occassionally sensitive to laughter that might be at her expense. Usually, though, even now she is able to laugh at herself. As a small child I could always get her cooperation through teasing and laughter... what joy she has brought to our home!
5. Hearing her ideas, and boy does she have them!!! I don't know how many times I have heard sentences that start with "Hey Mom! I know what we could do!... or Hey Mom! I have an idea!...." I have always tried to cultivate creativity and thinking in the girls; in her case I may have taken it too far! Actually, I can't even complain because she is able to maintain her objectivity when I tell her "no", or "not today". She is very open to my suggestions, and if I "shoot down" her ideas she usually doesn't fuss or whine, but just comes up with another one!
6. I love seeing her heart develop. She has always been a very tenderhearted little girl who loves to help others. She adores children and animals, and any one who might need her help. She has always been willing to jump in where needed with a cheerful attitude and do what needs to be done. I call her my world changer. She loves God and makes no bones about it. She loves Him, and wants everyone else to, too. One of my most cherished memories is of her walking around the campground singing "This Little Light of Mine" at the top of her lungs. She hoped people would hear her and want to come ask her more about Jesus. I am so proud of her, and so ashamed that I made her hush so she wouldn't disturb others.
7. She is fun; plain and simple. I often refer to her as my good time gal, and love seeing the joy she brings to any situation.
8. The drama of that girl. Oh my, the drama! She sometimes even makes herself laugh at her outlandish antics. One for the books, this year, was when she didn't want to go to school, and threw herself to the floor of the principal's office because the burden of her bookbag was too heavy for her to bear. The pain in her tushy was too much to bear, too, shortly after this tactic:-)
9. The way she must be rubbing your elbow whenever you are within reach of her. She usually isn't even aware that she is doing it, but compulsively rubs your elbow whenever she talks to you. It is this soothing little thing she has done since she was a baby.
10. I love that she is mine. That God found me worthy, in some small way, to raise His precious child. I didn't deserve her, but like so much in life, God looked beyond my deserving into grace and blessed me anyway. She is my joy and my love. I adore her with a passion that physically hurts, and brings me to tears at the mere thought of it. My prayer each night of her life is that I would be the Mommy God wanted her to have, and that I would hear His desires for her and be obedient.

Happy Birthday Baby Girl! I love you XOXO

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Childlike Faith.

I noticed, one night after tuck ins, that Cassidy had created a bit of a fort in her bed by draping a comforter from the top bunk, so that it encased her like a little cocoon. The telltale illumination told me that she wasn't sleeping in that tent, but probably reading or playing with a Littlest Pet Shop puppy she had stashed under her pillow. I pulled the fabric back, in an "Aha, Caught you!" kind of Mommy move, and couldn't have been more suprised at what I found. My sweet little second grader was sitting cross legged in her bed, praying.

"Mommy, I am having special prayer time praying the kids on our street will hear God's call. " My heart could have burst, that this quiet, shy child, who often is too embarrassed for shared prayer ,and has been known to fuss when I asked if we could pray about a situation, was choosing to come to the Lord on her own. She gets it. She knows that when you have something on your mind or heart, the place to take it is to His throne.

Cassidy has battled severe allergies and eczema her whole life. For most of her life it was common for her to awaken with her legs and sheets covered in blood from the wounds on her skin that she couldn't resist scratching in her sleep. She would scream and cry as we put painful ointment on open sores. Her nights were filled with nonstop sneezing and tossing and turning. We have prayed over this child every prayer you could imagine, waiting for her to be healed. My Dad felt that God told him He was healing her from the inside out, and we believed with hope, not knowing exactly what it meant, but holding on in faith.

As she has matured, we have seen a peace fill her life; a depth of understanding to encompass her mind and heart. And as this internal peace has developed, her walk with the Lord has grown to be a light that shines from within. I believe we are seeing God's will played out in my child's life. She is in fact, being healed from within, as she turns her sinful natural heart over to the Great Physician. As He restores her heart to His image, her physical body is also being renewed. Her skin is smooth and she now rarely requires medication. She is a happy child who is learning more every day to trust in Him, as she sees what He has done in her life, and she wants to share it with others, in her own quiet, faithful way.

Since the night I discovered her praying she has made it a nightly ritual, and as I pass by her room I see the light under the blanket, and my heart swells. She has begun inviting her sister to join her, and seeing the two of them praying together, and journaling their prayers in her special "prayer book" is one of the greatest joys of my life. (I believe we could have a full revival soon, as they have begun to add praise and worship.)

As they pray, the light that glows from within that special bunkbed chapel is a physical reminder of the Light that shines from within their hearts. And I thank God. Oh, how I thank God.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

I am a friend of God.

Someone hurt my daughter's feelings yesterday, and in turn hurt mine. Moms tend to feel everything their children do, tenfold, and then spend the rest of the day (and night, in my case unfortunately!) plotting a revenge.

Ironically most of my resentment stems from the fact that this parent is a Christian whom we have know for years. I was angry because I felt that for a friend to be unkind was such a betrayel, and if they are that inconsiderate then they can't be my friend. In my mind Christians aren't selfish and mean spirited and gossipy. They are kind and loving and, forgiving. Ahem. So while I wasted hours stewing with self righteous anger at this "so called Christian's" lack of love, I was living out exactly the same sin. What is that about a plank in your own eye? Ouch!

So as I sat down to vent share, I realized I was singing "I am a friend of God"... and therein lies the answer I prayed for last night. God is my friend, my support, my One True Constant. He is always here for me (and my family) when others let me down. How awesome that the One Who created the heavens is my friend. He wanted to be with me so much that He let His Son suffer injustices for me. The anger I am feeling at a betrayel of my child, He is well acquainted with. He has been there, and His child truly was perfect.

Once again I am overwhelmed at what He really did for me, and come to Him asking for a renewed spirit, mind and heart. A spirit that keeps my eyes so focused on Him that the hurts of this world won't matter, beacuse the only One who matters is Him. A mind that takes every thought captive to His Word. And a heart that is so filled with His love that I am more concerned with the hurts I inflict than the ones I receive.

Thank You Father God for Your grace and mercy. You are greater than all others and I praise You in all things. Thank You for blessing me so abundantly with such a rich life that the biggest problem facing me today is a rude comment by another. Thank You that my children are happy, well adjusted, energetic children with fun friendships and a heart for others. Let me come to You with a heart like theirs and childlike faith. Thank You for being You, always and forever.