Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What's your house built on?

On the heels of my last post where I talked about making the outside of our house pretty, I thought I would reflect on how we made the inside pretty too.

We started with weakness and sin. My husband and I had only been married a few months and it really wasn't nearly as much fun as we thought it would be. Bummer! We decided church might be a good place to go and see what they had to say about things. Wouldn't you know it, our beloved pastor had just started a 10 week series on "Marriage". Anyone out there (I do realize I am only speaking to myself and the cute craftsman) know our God? That's what He does, His timing is perfect, He meets us where we are...all slimy and sinful and stinky and says, "How about walking with me". And so we did, both of us. "He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand." Psalm 40:2.

So here we are, 2 weeks away from being happily married 10 years. Our house is so much prettier on the inside now that Jesus lives here! We praise you Father for overflowing with grace so that we could build our house on the rock. We thank you for the miracle you performed when you lifted us off the sand we were standing on. And I thank you for allowing me to marry a man who just built me three of the cutest window boxes you have ever seen!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Meet Thomas: AKA T-Bone or The Dude

I have so many words for and about this little man, but for now this picture will do.
Oh, and we will very soon be talking about my extremely cool sister who just so happens to be my own personal photographer. She is responsible for this edible picture!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

"I have called you by name, you are mine" Isaiah 43:1

Dear Caroline,

I was thinking of you last night when I went to bed. Your Dad kept asking me why I wasn't asleep yet, and the truth was that you were on my mind. I had actually gotten off on a rabbit trail in my brain. A couple of years ago I went with a few friends on the women's retreat at church. I remember thinking the speaker was great, but honestly I cannot tell you now what her lessons were about or even what her name is. However, she told a story that I hope I never forget and last night I could not get it out of mind. There was a woman years ago in a car accident not far from our city. She was young with small children. The accident was late at night and she was somehow pinned between the two cars involved in the crash. I remember having a pit in my stomach when she began this story and even now it gives me a bit of a sickness. The woman claims that God himself was there with her and spoke to her. I am fairly certain she said she could feel Him and hear Him, but could not see Him. I wish I could remember the details of everything that she said, but there was one part of the story that I could not handle at the time and I still cannot grasp now. She told God that she wasn't ready to leave and go to heaven because she had not finished one of her child's scrapbooks. She said that as soon as she said that, God roared with laughter. ROARED. She said it was unlike any sound she had ever heard. She tried to describe it as loud, but at the same time it was soft. Big enough for the world to hear, but contained enough for just her to hear. I get a bit weak at the knees to hear such a thing, but isn't that just like God. He is big enough to speak a universe into existence, but contained enough to know you while you were in my womb. He could have the mountains with all their beauty and majesty fall to their knees in worship, but He prefers it if we would... sorry, weak, sinful us. He could have forsaken us while we were squirming in our pit of sin, but instead he died for us while were still sinners because He couldn't bear the thought of not having us in eternity with Him. Though impossible to grasp God's love, I can attempt to comprehend it when I hear that He laughs. It just makes sense to me. All of this brings me to you. You, my sweet little girl, must give our great God some reasons to smile and laugh. You make your flawed and selfish mother laugh everyday, how much more do you think your perfect Heavenly Father watching every step you make smiles and laughs with you.

You are what some might say "all girl". You are what your Aunt Mary calls "our little bag lady". I am sorry to say you often look homeless when you leave the house. You are almost always wearing a skirt and shirt that do not match, sparkly shoes or cowgirl boots, and a wide variety of hair accessories (none of which were intended to go together). I used to make you change, but I am done with those days. I love it, I get excited to see what you have put together each morning and to hear your explanation of it all (you always have an explanation). It is too precious for words. I could go on and on. You say the funniest things and you are so innocent! I just know that Jesus smiles and laughs with me often, a roaring laugh, the kind of laughter that shakes the heavens. What an awesome God we have Caroline. I know He delights in speaking over you "I have called you by name, you are mine" Isaiah 43:1.

So there is my rabbit trail. I went from car accidents, to God's laughter, to you. Is that bad? One day you will understand. For now I am grateful that that woman survived the crash for many reasons; but selfishly, I am glad she survived so that I could be assured that our God laughs with us...and sometimes at us. The bible tells us that He delights in us, but there is something about Him laughing along side of us that I delight in. I am looking forward to the time when you and I get to kneel together before our Lord and hear His laughter with our own ears. I hope you are wearing your pink sparkly shoes when we get there.

I love you Caroline,

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Baby Birds are Gone

Dear Ella,

The nest is empty. I saw it this morning when I left the house to run. We have been watching the mother bird sit on her two eggs for several days now. She wasn't a smart bird, but what she lacked in intelligence, she had in beauty. She was grey with a large orange beak and an orange belly; and she thought our small tree next to the laundry room door that we come in and out of a thousand times a day was a good place to lay her eggs. The nest was perfectly eye level for you and Caroline and you both often monitored her nesting progress through the window in our side door. Some creature in the night clearly got her eggs. They were busted open on the ground this morning and I knew we would soon have drama in our house. I sent your father down to get rid of the bloody evidence, but figured we needed to leave the nest in its place for you girls to see.

This morning while running, my friend Stephanie advised that I should just ask you what you thought happened to the birds, rather than going into the details of what really happened. This way we could consider the possibility that perhaps they hatched in the night and flew away happily protected under the wing of their mother. I temporarily forgot who I was dealing with, and thought this was a good idea and that it might even work. While putting my make-up on this morning, it became necessary for me to frantically carry Matty downstairs and launch him out the back door before he threw up...a lovely thing to do in the morning while half dressed and the maintenance crew on the course mowing the lawn. I sent you down several minutes later to let him back inside and realized very soon into this what was about to happen. You were going to go to that side door and see the empty nest. While I was quickly making my way to the stairs to quiet the scream so that you would not awaken the rest of the house, the screaming began. It was really more like a loud moan than a scream. "The cat next door got the eggs!"...well, so much for sweetly asking you what you thought had happened. I met you halfway on the stairs and tried to convince you that the birds had probably hatched and flown away in the night, but you would not hear it. In fact, you were kind of looking at me like I was an idiot. A little surprised even, like, "wow, she is dumber than I thought".

The rest of the day, you told everyone about the bird and her eggs. You explained my theory and then you explained what you thought really happened, you even supported your theory with evidence. This is what I love about you Ella. You are real, intense, and you have a big and tender heart. I know you so well! What you see is what you get with you ; a lot of good, a tiny bit of naughty, and a lot of pretty. You truly did care about those little eggs and you wanted the best for them. Though not the end of the world I know, I did think about it all day and feel bad for you. You just do not handle injustice well, it doesn't roll off you easily. I love that about you too! You're such an awesome kid Ella. I love you!