Sunday, April 29, 2007

Preschool Politics

My son, quite the charming politician, has officially reworded a new pledge. Here's how it goes.... Ahem...

"I pledja leegance to the Christian flag
Of the United States of America.
And to the Savior for whose kingdom it stands.
One Savior, Crucified, risen, and coming again
With life and liverty
For all it stands."

Whadya say we just go ahead and put him in office now?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Ok.... It's Getting Funny Now!

Well, yesterday I woke up early feeling pain all over my body. I had a fever! UGH! So I took Tylenol and a hot shower, prayed for strength, took the kids to school, and went to the hospital to see if Matthew would be released. Good news, the doc said he could go home. Tylenol wore off and I drove us both home with pounding aches and fever, drug myself into the CVS pharmacy to pick up some necessities, got kids home from school and collapsed for the evening. Matthew and I both feeling awful, we sent the kids to watch tv. After a while, I hear Matthew calling my name in emergency mode. Levi had stuck a bead up his nose!

AAAAARGHH! Another trip to the ER??? Poor Levi was frightened and so were we. He hasn't yet mastered the idea of blowing OUT, so we decided to try tweezers. After a couple of unsuccessful attempts to grab the bead, and just as we were ready to surrender to another trip to the hospital, Levi sneezed and the bead flew out! We laughed and cried with relief.

Who knows what's up with all the craziness in our lives lately? Here's what I'm thankful for: Understanding friends, church family that brings dinner and will get my kids from school, powerful sneezes, a fridge with crushed ice, a dishwasher, phone calls to my mom, and grape flavored Propel.

Bring it on!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Element of Surprise

So I was on my Thursday night online chat (to which you are cordially invited, visit on Thursday nights at 8 CST, 9 EST) and my husband came home from his band rehearsal feeling ill. I signed off the chat and within an hour was calling 911. My sweet-love apparently has an ulcer that exposed an artery and was bleeding heavily. I'm pleased to say he's out of intensive care now and will hopefully come home in a couple of days.

So there I was, going about life business as usual, and suddenly business was not at all as usual. I can't help noticing that the element of surprise in my life provides the most opportunity for learning. It's funny how we can be moving along and suddenly everything falls apart. Or how we can be trudging along and suddenly a ray of sunshine peeks through the clouds and provides an unexpected pleasure. I must say, God has been keeping the tool of surprise handy as he works in my life. He has used it to give me the loveliest glimpses of His face...

Tonight I type through bleary eyes yet I couldn't let this thought pass unacknowledged. God may surprise me in fiery trial, or He may surprise me in rapturous pleasure. Truth is, He has the right and ability to work in me in any way He sees fit. Just as long as He works in me. I will learn to hold loosely to my plans, since in so doing I learn to hold more tightly to my Jesus. I will learn to embrace His element of surprise, loving the way He snaps me to attention and shows me something I couldn't see before.

God, don't let surprises deter me. Only let them fuel my fire of passion for You. I will willingly be swept away as long as it is You who has opened the floodgate.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Wandering update...

I'm settling back in at home after a WONDERFUL trip to Florida doing what I LOVE, which is speaking to women and talkin about Jesus. Over the next few days I'll post some of my thoughts from the trip. Here is what I recorded at the beginning of last weekend's adventures:

We had quite an eventful day today! After traveling so far yesterday, we rested well last night, even through quite a thunderstorm. We did a lunch meeting today at Smith & Thomas. It worked out surprisingly well. I had such a great time improvising with Kathy, though I’d never really tried that before. Did a podcast with Bill while I was there, and captured on recording some of that sage wisdom I so respect and love. Then we were off to Tampa for dinner with Sherry and Merry, two of the most intense and amazing women I know of. They are twins and were fascinating as always. We had deep spiritual discussion over dinner about the passions and challenges going on in our lives. I was so surprised that they too struggle with some of the same pressures and stresses I’ve felt. I suppose from my end they seem to have arrived, to have it all together. What a comfort to know I’m not alone! Then on to the radio show… We had such a great time on the air with Sherry and Mike, and met some other amazing people on the show tonight. Then on the way home, we swung by Christy’s house and were introduced to “Kiki’s Suds,” the INCREDIBLE line of spa skin care products that Christy is creating for the Spa Day Getaway event.

I feel like I’m already on spiritual and emotional overload and the retreat doesn’t even start till tomorrow! So many amazing things to process.

For now, I don’t want to lose this one: The other day I came across a verse that says “Righteousness and bliss kiss each other.” Today, such is true in my life. The righteousness of God has brought about in me the burning desire to pursue Him with passion, which has led me to my calling, which gave way to doing what I love for my work. I love being alive!! To have a family that loves God, and loves me! To be able to savor the sweetness of being home. To spend moments with a friend who has been a spiritual kindred to me for many years, moments of realization that God is again at work in our relationship. Christy’s peaceful, welcoming spirit permeates her Kiki products. Kiki means “home” in another language, I forget which. But the very idea that these products, hand made by someone who exudes “home” especially for the spa day in honor of women from a city that has no home. What a blessing, what a peace, what a GOD thing! To be working with Kathy, someone who God dropped in my lap and who is proving more and more to be a perfect fit for me.

His righteousness has brought about a true bliss for me tonight! The righteousness of God gives way to a bliss that is unimaginable and inexplicable!! I’m overwhelmed tonight by His goodness to me, and by the thought that His way has led to more happiness than I ever dreamed it could. How many times as a woman have I felt bliss, but held back, not wanting to lose myself in the feeling. Too afraid to abandon myself to overwhelming joy! No way. No more. The righteousness of God in me was made to kiss the bliss that I feel because of His presence, His work, His amazing gifts in my life. I will let go and thoroughly enjoy this bliss. It’s mine for the taking because of Jesus! I love being alive!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

He Is Risen

He is risen indeed! Alleluia!
I love that traditional Easter greeting! My mom used to wake us up on Easter morning with a shout of "He is risen!," and we quickly learned to rub our eyes and shout back, simultaneously jumping out of bed in quest of chocolate, "He is risen indeed!" Where I come from, the resurrection of Jesus is something to be celebrated - and loudly!
I've been in lots of different churches, even different brands of churches. Some of them stoically read the story of the resurrection from their bulletin (where good secretaries such as myself have printed it for ease of use), some of them have worship teams that plan elaborate shows of celebration with banners and dancers and the most modern worship choruses, and a few of them have that lone holy roller. You know the one? He runs down the aisle, Easter or not, and shouts something while he waves his hands in the air. Everyone just smiles and laughs a bit. He gets to the front and falls on his face before the altar, overcome with emotion at the gift of salvation that he has received.
The thing is, he's the Lone Holy Roller. I am always uncomfortable with that. If I really believe that Jesus Christ was God's only son - sent to live in fleshly form with the purpose of dying so that I might be saved, and then being resurrected, defeating sin and death - if I believe it...why am I not jumping up and down in celebration of the resurrection? Especially on Easter morning?!?! Why isn't everybody in the building doing that?
So I pull out the old Keith Green Easter song every year, the one every church has used in their Easter production as long as I can remember, and crank it up on Resurrection Sunday. I run into my kids' rooms and shout, "He is risen!" My husband thinks I'm a little nuts. But my kids, now that they are older, are starting to answer back, "He is risen indeed!" and it moves me to tears just thinking of it. Because I, for one, really believe it. How can I help myself, then?
We're visiting the Lutheran church where my uncle pastored for decades tomorrow morning (our church will be meeting in the evening). I will be greeted with the Easter greeting many times and it will be written into the order of service. But when people wear nice dresses and hats and high heels, it's very hard for them to shout and rejoice, I guess. Sigh. Too bad. Bare feet and pajamas, some old Jesus hippie music and sleepy kids - that's where I will really celebrate.

<3 Christy

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Just plain fun

Christy, glad to see you made it back and in one piece! Happy B-day to Chris too, by the way!

I also have been absent from blogger land for a few days. I've been frantically writing in order to meet a deadline for my publisher. Finished the work earlier today and on to the festivities of Easter weekend. No rest for the weary. This along with sickness I've been fighting for a couple of weeks and my brain is pretty much a useless mass contained within my skull. I've got that kind of exhaustion that makes the bones ache and makes the tears come easily and makes stress eating habits increase to near lethal proportions.

My joy tonight is the two sweet faces of the babies I bore. My daugher is the sweetest soul I know. She may not say much, but her actions speak loudly. Her patience with a precocious brother and an exhausted mother is amazing. She's just plain comforting to be around. My son, ever the life of the party, just likes to have a good time. He's full of happy songs, silly dances, and sometimes practical information, such as his latest tidbit, shared after he slipped one of those fun bodily sounds boys enjoy so much: Tooting (for those of you who are wondering, he's not talking about playing a musical instrument) is just plain fun, plus you don't even have to cover your mouth.

And on that note, I'm off to try to get some rest.


Traveling Thoughts

Well, I think that I have recovered enough to remember that I just went on a trip. My husband's brother finally got married and all of us, well, except for me, were in the wedding. But that's okay. When I got there, I found out that I was the wedding coordinator. It said so in the bulletin.
I really enjoyed my flight up to Indiana. I don't think I could ever grow tired of seeing the clouds from the top! They are so much fluffier! Then again, looking at the everyday from a different perspective is kind of my hobby.
I don't like airports and crowds and delays and almost missing flights, all of which happened to me on this one trip. But really, I love flying.
I was wondering at that bit of trivia when it occurred to me that I also don't like wedding rehearsals and tense family members and picky brides - any of the general trappings of weddings, really. I worked in the wedding business for a few years, and I have many times since declared that I hate weddings. This is probably surprising to those of you who know what a romantic soul I am. But I guess, really, it isn't the whole thing that I hate - it's just the trappings and fluff that distract everybody from what really goes on. The wedding ceremony? Love it. No matter what happens during the planning stages and even during the five minutes preceding the ceremony, it always melts away when the groom sees his bride coming down the aisle. Always.
My faith is the same way. I really don't like the trappings and culture of Christianity. I don't like the stress levels and the politics involved in keeping a church afloat, and thus keeping up the public face of a religion. That is stating it pretty mildly, really. But my faith? It's beautiful. When you strip away the little clubs that have catchy acronym titles and the special, must-read books, the mediocre music, well...all of that stuff, what's left is something of which I will never tire.

DAILY BLISS: My hubby's birthday and homemade cake!

<3 Christy