Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Michaels Part Two and Saying No

I went back to Michaels today to purchase cake pan number two and use 40% off coupon number two. I found said pan and went to check out lane. After waiting for a moment Elizabeth announced she had to pee and when I told her she needed to wait she proclaimed, "It's coming out." So we quickly ran to the back of the store to the restroom. Used restroom and came back to the line which of course had grown. We waited in line and while waiting my eye was drawn to a super cute gift card holder. I thought to myself, "I think I will get that." Immediately I used my brain and told myself, "No way. They will not win." You see I understand that the whole reason they wanted me to come back to the store twice was because I might buy more if I am in the store one more time. So I resisted the urge to buy the super cute gift card holder and reasoned that sticking a gift card in a card is much more practical. We made our purchase and I actually saved only $8.00. $8.00 is still a savings.
Then we promptly left and went to Mcdonalds where I spent $7.00 for lunch. Anyone see the humor in that? Ohh well.
I went to Mcdonalds because I read an article yesterday that said when at all possible say yes to your kids. Now, the article was not trying to turn our children into some self centered brats. It is important that we do not give our child every single thing they ask for. They cannot think they are the center of the universe. Or they will behave like that. It was simply pointing out that we as moms have to say no a lot. We have to say no for a lot of good and practical reasons. Like when my child asks if they can jump off the back of the couch. I say no because I do not want her to break her head. I say no when she wants to stay up past bedtime because she needs rest and so do I. I say no when she wants to take some toy from her sister. I say no a lot and my kids are better off for it. But, sometimes we say no without any real reason. We simply say no because we are programed in our brains to say no. Like when Elizabeth asks for the 500th time if she can paint. I say no because I don't want to clean it up. Or when they ask if they can color. I say no because I am busy and do not want to stop and find crayons and paper. I say no and do not even know why sometimes. So today I said yes. We were leaving Michaels and Elizabeth asked if we could go to the play area at Mcdonalds. I thought about it for a moment and almost said no. No because we have perfectly good food at home. No because it costs money and is not the healthiest meal. But then I did not say anything at all. Instead I drove in the direction of Mcdonalds and when we were getting close to the driveway Elizabeth said, "Mom, can we go?" I said, "I don't know hunny." And as I pulled in the parking lot there were shrieks of excitement. We went in and they played and then we ate lunch. It was fun and I am glad I said yes. Yes to Mcdonalds and no to the gift card holder. Michaels did not win today.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Dear Michaels

Dear Michaels-
I am not really angry at you. Just a bit agitated that today of all days I was serviced by the one person in your store who follows rules and would not allow me to use my two 40% off coupons at the same time. I was buying two of the exact same items. Two large sheet cake pans. The 40% off coupon would allow me to save about $9.00. I really wanted to buy both of those cake pans today. This would save me a lot of energy and prevent me from having to drag my two children back into your store on a whole other day. You see we have a lot of very important summer activities we need to be doing. Like swimming and playing and anything other than taking two kids under three into your store. I was even willing to have two separate orders, so it would seem like I was two different customers. But no. Today, of all days, the person who waited on me decided it was very important to follow the rules. More important than making me drag my children back into your store on another day. So if on the day that we return one of my children happens to break something I will not be held responsible.

Return customer

(Ok, so I really would not allow my children to break something. I do try to reign then in when we are out in public. And I am not really angry. But just irked because I have seen cashiers bend the rules for customers and I was just hoping I would get one of those cashiers today. But alas I did not. God is probably trying to teach me something. Like maybe we should follow rules. Or maybe, I just needed a good laugh. I like that one better. )

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Sometimes I feel like I have so much going on in my head that I want to burst. By nature I am a people person. I crave and thrive with interaction. That can be a bit discouraging when you are a mom of young kids. So often the only interaction I get in a day is with the three and under crowd. I love it. Don't get me wrong. I really love being a mom. It is like a dream come true. I adore my children and I take the role very seriously, but I dream some days of doing different things.

I dream of speaking publicly. I dream of sharing my heart and my God with other women and moms. I dream of being able to use the life experiences I have had to help other people. I dream of standing beside other women and encouraging them.

Its hard to share my dreams. In all honesty, I am a bit afraid to share that. Afraid that maybe I will never do any of those things and I will look silly for admitting them. I am afraid that maybe I will do those things and fail miserably. But I dream of other things too.

I dream that one day we will adopt a son. I dream one day we will bring a baby into our home that needs a family and that our lives will be forever changed by him.

I dream that our family will live in real community with those around us. I dream that our church friends can become more like our church family and we will not feel so alone some times. That we will be and look like the early church that gave and shared and sacrificed for one another.

I dream that my children will grow to know and serve the living God. I dream that they would follow Him all of their days. I dream that when my children think about their mother they will think about a woman who led them to Jesus and loved them with grace and compassion.

I dream that I will be a woman who brings good to her husband all the days of his life. I dream that I will love him and give to him more than he does to me. I dream that I would think about his welfare above my own. I dream that our marriage would defy all odds and look so different from the cultural norm.

I dream that I would love God and pursue Him with every breath I take. I dream that at the end of my days he would say to me, "Well done. Good and faithful servant."

And I guess, if I am honest, even if all of my other dreams do not come true, if the last one does, nothing else matters.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What the future holds

I have been thinking about the things that I desire for my life. Lately my mind has been so occupied with the things that I forget to take in the moments. Many of the "things" are good, wonderful, excellent things, but when I turn my eyes upon those and focus on them instead of the Lord I am unhappy and discontent.
So today I want to say thank you to the Lord. Thank you for taking control of my life and comforting me even in the hard times. Thank you for leading me and directing my path.
From the first moments I can remember thinking about my future I always wanted to be a mom and wife. It was so strong and the desire was so real. I wondered if it would ever be. I worried that for some reason God would give me the exact opposite of every thing I desired. (I am not sure where that thought comes from). I thought I may never get married and therefore live my life as a single, christian spinster.
I remember when I was about 17 years old I was in a season of life where I was making tough decisions. (College, majors and etc.) I was really anxious and filled with so much doubt about what the future may hold. One day God spoke so clearly to me through the Bible. It was like he wrote this verse specifically for me. 1st John 4:16-18 And so we know and rely on the love that God has for us, God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgement, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love." (NIV) That verse brought so much peace to me. It reminded me that the God that I am trusting with the future loves me and cares for me.
That was almost 10 years ago. Over the past 10 years my dreams have come true. I was blessed to marry a wonderful man and we were blessed with two beautiful children. Every day of the past 10 years was not easy. Everything did not happen the way I hoped or wished. But I am so thankful that God did not do everything my way. And I think back to the fears and worries I held onto 10 years ago and I want to go back and tell that young woman to trust. I want to tell her to let go of her fears and rely on God. He will take care of you. No matter what the future holds.
I want to tell that young woman that and yet today I find that same young woman alive and well in me. I find myself worrying and struggling to control the future. I find myself full of fear and thinking that the worst will be what comes about. Why is it so easy for me to forget? Why do I think that the God who controlled and comforted me in the past will abandon me in the future?
I would like to tell you that I will stop. I would like to say that I am full of faith and hope for the future. Sometimes I am. Some days are good. But some days I am still so full of fear and doubt. I cling to those fears and worries like a life raft. It is easier if I live one moment at a time. So in this moment, I am thankful. I am content. I am trusting. I am hoping. I am believing. I am praising my creator and clinging to Him. And in those moments He reminds me that even while I cling to my false life savers he holds me and leads me. He is faithful even when I am not. I am relying on His love.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


In honor of fathers day, I want to share with you about my daddy. He is handsome, isn't he?
My daddy is my hero. He is a man who has always taken care of my brother and I. Growing up, dad always made sure we had everything we needed and most of what we wanted. He worked hard and long hours to provide for our family. And he took good care of us. He and my mom sacrificed so many of their plans and dreams to give us the things we needed.
My daddy is the one that I can call anytime of day and he will drop anything to be there if I need him. At times I have called him in a panic. One day, Claire locked herself in her bedroom and I could not open the door. I called Todd and he said he was coming straight home, but he was working about a half hour away. He suggested I call my dad. I did and in about 10 minutes my daddy was there and had my girl free. He drops everything to run when I need him. For that I am thankful. He is a busy man. He has about two hundred phone calls a day. So many people demand his time and attention. But whenever I need him, he comes no matter what.
My daddy has no formal business education and yet he built a thriving business from the ground up. He is super intelligent and is in high demand in his field.
I am so thankful that I was blessed with my daddy! I love you dad. Happy fathers day!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Blue Bowl

We have a blue plastic bowl in our house that we use for the kids baths. I am not really sure where it came from. I do not remember it pre-baby. But as far back to our first child and first days of bathing I remember the blue bowl. It has been incredibly useful. We use it to rinse out hair and entertain children. It can even be found to be used as a doggy water dish in the middle of the night. It sits in the bathroom with the kids bath toys. It is not treated well. It is washed periodically with other bath toys and rinsed out along with the bathwater. It is not noble. But it is extremely useful. It has, at times, come up missing. And I always miss it when bath time comes, if it is not accessible. This extremely un-special object is integral to our daily life.

I have been thinking lately about being like the blue bowl. You see in God's kingdom I often want to do something really noble and profound. We pray for God to use us in great things. We pray that we could have huge impacts. And then so often we feel the drudgery of the day to day. Nothing really grand happens. No big call to duty. And it is here, that I have been living. Today I heard the soft whisper of the holy spirit beckoning me to be like the blue bowl.
Romans 9:21 "Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?" (NIV)

It is here that I sit. I wake up change diapers, change clothes, brush hair, brush teeth, make breakfast, wipe counters, wipe faces, wipe butts, wipe noses, change clothes, make lunch, wipe counters, wipe faces, change diapers, put down for nap, do laundry, do dishes, change diapers, make dinner, wipe counters, wipe faces, put to bed. During all of this I referee 10,000 fights over some toy or some child who does not want to play some game that the other wishes to play. I hear 10,000 mommy I need this, mommy do this, mommy hold you. I feel pulled and torn and lonely. I feel like my life is not profound or noble or useful. But I am reminded that within the day to day, life happens. Minutes turn to hours, hours turn to days, days to weeks, weeks to months, months to years. I may feel like the minutes do not matter. But when my child asks me to hold them and I do, they are being loved. When I wipe noses and butts and counters without complaining my children see the fruits of the spirit. When I respond with patience, even in the midst of extreme circumstances, I am teaching them how to love.

It is humbling and the weight of that job is too much. Thankfully, I am told John 15:5 "I am the vine and you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." When I am daily and every moment abiding in my Lord, I can live this life. And even the ordinary things can become great.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


So my faith is restored, at least for the gentlemen. Yesterday, while I was walking into the mall with my double stroller a guy actually came from inside the store to the outside to hold the door for me. And then he even walked to the next set of doors and held those. And it was totally out of the goodness of his heart. He had a beautiful young woman by his side and I proceeded to tell him thank you and tell her that she had snagged a very good man! Nice job mall door holder man! You have redeemed your sex in the chivalry department.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


I have heard a million opinions on the BP oil spill. And to add to the mix I want to share my thoughts.

First of all it is a tragedy. The animals and wildlife that will be hurt or killed is devastating. The people who are losing their livelihood as a result of the spill is devastating. The fisherman who cannot fish and small town bait shops and such that cannot sell are truly heartbreaking. It is sad and awful. But it was an accident. I have no idea why or how it happened. I am sure when the smoke clears we will find out some very technical thing that went wrong that caused this tragic accident. It was most likely some sort of human error. But that is the human element. We are imperfect and make mistakes. Someone screwed up. And someone screwed up big time.

I do, however, think that in the wake of this tragedy BP has handled themselves well. I do not think they were perfect. The CEO clearly made some rough comments in the beginning. But they are committed to cleaning up this mess. They could have walked away. They could have broken the lease and walked away and said this was the government's mess. They did not. They chose to stay and devote man power to fixing it.

So as Christians, I think our response should be to pray for them. We should pray for the leak to be fixed quickly and for the people in charge to have wisdom to fix this mess. And I think we should buy BP gasoline. I have heard people call for a boycott on BP stations. I think it is riciculus
BP does not make the majority of their revenue from BP stations anyway. If you boycott your local BP station the only people that will suffer will be your local BP franchise holder. A local small business person. That is who will suffer. A small business owner who is trying to feed their family and pay their bills. Is it their fault? And in all honesty now is not the time for a boycott. I seem to get this sense from some people that simply because BP makes a lot of money they are evil. I do not think BP intentionally spilled tons of oil into the ocean. Can we seriously believe that? Does anyone really? Someone made a mistake and it was probably not the CEO. It was probably some midlevel employee working to feed his family and pay his mortgage. Someone certainly made a big mess.

We can choose to hate BP and not shop at BP stations. We can, but I really don't think it will hurt BPs bottom line. In the end we will only be hurting someone like ourselves. We can choose forgiveness and work towards a solution. That would be far better.

And also I think we still need to keep drilling. We are dependent on oil for our way of life. Do we need to find a better way? Absolutely. But in the mean time I do not like the idea of being completely dependant upon the Middle east for our very way of life. Aren't these the very people who have flown planes into our buildings and killed thousands of American citizens. Now I know not every person in the Middle East is a terrorist. But how do we know who we can trust? How do we know that some terrorist group will not infiltrate our oil supply? It seems to me that we have branded the wrong bad guys.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen

So I need to rant. When did we as a society lose the ability to be gracious? Here is what is bugging me....

When did it become appropriate for 16 year old girls to wear shorts that say "SEXY" on the rear end? When did wearing a shirt that covers your bra become optional? It is suddenly acceptable for bra straps, and or snaps to be showing. If you do not have a bra that cannot be seen under a certain shirt then I think the shirt is what needs to go, not your bra. When did a swimsuit become appropriate attire for the grocery store? Why in the world do people buy shorts that do not even cover the whole butt cheek? And when did these hideous t-shirts that say things like "It's all about me", or "I am so Hot" become acceptable attire? If we cannot act like ladies than men will not treat us like one. It makes a lot of sense. I see far too many women acting like men or even worse looking like hookers.

While walking into MCDS the other day an elderly man dressed in nice clothes completely dropped the door in my face and the face of another elderly woman. He saw us. He clearly saw we were behind him. Ok, so even if you do not feel like standing there and being the doorman and letting everyone go in front of you at least hold the door behind you. When did slamming the door in the face of women become a manly thing to do? And seriously, do you know how many times I have struggled with my double stroller to make it into some door when there was a young man right there who could have easily held the door for me? Maybe if I wear something that says "SEXY" on my rear they will notice and hold the door. I give up.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Has your heart ever been truly broken? My head has so much swirling around inside of it. But my heart is broken.

I weep for the millions of orphans who have no one to hold them and comfort their tears. For the children who cry but have no comfort. For the children who are cold and have no shelter. For the bellies that are hungry and have no nourishment.

I weep for the thousands of foster care teenagers who have never known a true family who will suddenly turn 18 and "age out" of the system. As if that magic number now makes them capable and prepared to face the world.

I weep for the children who live in homes where they are neglected. Homes where mom or dad are too stoned or drunk to notice them. Homes where they never know if they will wake up to a parent who cares or one who has passed out and cannot respond to their needs.

I weep for the children and I wish my tears could fill their need.

My tears cannot. But we can.

I pray for the children. I pray that the Church can do God's will.

James 1:27

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. (NIV)