Sunday, March 29, 2009

On Being Pantyhose...

God has been working in me this week. He has been very busy planting seeds of truth in my heart. Some of these "plantings" have happened under quite unusual circumstances... Ones that I never would have expected. It seems that I'm being stretched once again (or is that STILL?).

A couple of years ago, we had some conflict that took place between our family and another family up here where we live. I won't go into details, because the details aren't important. What IS important is that for two years I haven't been able to handle running into these people at the grocery store (we live in a small town) and THIS week I was praying for the father of this family, as well as asking others to pray for him. He had some unexpected medical problems that gave his family quite a scare. I prayed earnestly for this man. I asked God for healing, peace and comfort. I asked Him for these things in the same way that I would have asked for them for my OWN family. God stretched me.

A couple of weeks ago, I received a phone call that made me sad. It was relational, and again, I won't go into details, but the sadness gave way to anger. The anger took over my heart THIS week, and once again, I was called to pray about it. I asked God to direct the anger to where it needed to be. I prayed that God would show me how to use this anger in a positive way. I prayed that God would give me someone I could talk to about it that would understand at least PART of what I was feeling. A few minutes later... the phone rang. It was a good friend who needed a ride to get her car that had been repaired at the shop. The boys were taken care of, and I was off to have a few minutes alone with a friend. This time had been completely orchestrated by God. After talking, I knew what God was calling me to do. God IS stretching me in this situation.

Lately, I've just felt like a pair of pantyhose.... being stretched to their maximum... You know, like trying to fit into a size A when you're really a size B? Okay, so for you male readers, you won't get that. Sorry. I fight the size difference. I want to remain comfortable right where I've always been. I don't WANT to be asked to do new things... go new places where I've never been before. Does God want that for me though? Of course not. He sees me as his infant.. entering into toddler-hood. As his teen... entering into woman-hood. It's ALWAYS about growing. I should never be content in my spirituality. There is continuously more to be had. There are always new ways in which to be stretched.

I'm not going to say that I love this feeling. I'm not going to say that I'm not often confused by it. I WILL say that I love my Jesus though. I trust Him. I DO love what He is doing with and in my life. I get glimpses sometimes of the person that He desires me to be and how He will ultimately take me there. That, friends, DOES feel good.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Puppies and Lint

It's been a busy couple of weeks... Spring has sprung!

Baseball is in full "swing" with our first game being last night. We won our first game 10-2... Yeaaaa!! We've been busy studying for our end of the year testing, but not without many interuptions from the newest member of the family. Copper came home the middle of the month. He is such a good pup... but a puppy he is! His greatest goal at the moment is to chew up any and ALL of my furniture. Lucas has been wonderful with him, but he is starting to show signs of "post-partum". Can you even experience that with a puppy?? Watching my son go through these days of exasperation... my answer to that is YES!

Several weeks ago the boys and I were discussing Lent and it's importance. We were talking about what we could each give up during Lent that would be a significant sacrifice. They, of course thought I should give up coffee. I told them that for their own safety... I didn't think that was a good idea. We aren't candy freaks, but we do like to enjoy an occasional treat around here. I usually have a candy dish filled with seasonal candy on top of my piano in the living room. I treat them (and myself) to a piece here and there throughout the day for good behavior, great studying, just because... you get the point. So we decided that we would give up candy for Lent. Colby made sure to ask exactly when Lent ended since he knows Easter basket time is almost here. The first couple of days, maybe even a week... we did okay. No HUGE withdrawals, but definitely noticing a significant sacrifice.

Last week I noticed something as I was walking past my piano. Next to the candy dish were little wooden blocks spelling out


Apparently, Caleb was noticing the pangs a little more than the rest of us, and he thought it would be helpful to remind himself why he shouldn't dip into the stash! I loved that fact that he spelled LINT instead of LENT.

So cute....

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

What Am I?

Late last night I was traveling home from a meeting and grocery shopping. I was driving home on an absolutely GORGEOUS night. The night sky was completely illuminated by a moon that shone brightly through the darkness. The tall pines and oaks that lined the road and mountainsides were shadowed and they looked amazingly majestic. I enjoyed my drive home and was literally brought to tears as I listened to this song by Shawn McDonald. It is called 'Beautiful'. I experienced God's presence with me in a very real way last night.

I am but a grain of sand here on this earth. My little 5 foot self is soooo tiny in the scheme of all that HE has created. Yet... He views me and my life as being as big as those tall majestic pines that have been living for a hundred years (or more). He has created me from the inside out with the same hands that created the beauty that surrounds me. He holds me within the same hands that hold the stars.

He is my King... He is my Savior. He is beautiful.

The beauty that my God has created is all around me. It is on the faces of my children. It is in the spirit of my husband. The beauty is evident in the very place in which I live... the trees, the mountains, and the moon which casts such a spectacular glow.

I am so small. I am His little girl though. The one He loves dearly and the one whose innermost being is intimately known by Him.

I am His.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

He Wants To Be A Hot Dog Man!

Sometimes my favorite part of posting is coming up with the title. What can I put there that will make everyone want to read on? So... how am I doing on this one???

A few weeks ago, the kids and I went into Sacramento to have lunch with Dad. We do that every now and then, and it always proves to be GREAT fun! Jason has a way of picking places that are quaint, cozy and a blast for the boys. During this visit we ate at a little place called Capital Dawg. It's a hot dog joint... very small... very cute... and AWESOME service!! The owner actually pretty much sat down with us and had lunch. There were baseball prints on the walls as well as autographed prints of movie stars and band members. The kids scarfed down their dogs while checking out all the "art". I highly recommend it to my local readers... FUN PLACE!

Later that day, when Jason came home from work, he handed over some books that he had checked out at the library for the boys. He LOVES to do this for them! He surprises them with all kinds of different reading material. One of the titles that he picked up for Caleb was 'Stan The Hot Dog Man'. It's about a 65 year old man who retires from his job, but he still has too much "spunk" to sit around all day, so he starts his own hot dog business. He has a truck (much like an ice cream truck) that he has stocked up with hot dogs and ALL of their fixin's (don't read this one if you're REALLY hungry) to take on the road. Before you know it... he's got a booming business and Stan's favorite part is the fact that he gets to leave for work late and he gets home to his wife early. It's a cute book written and illustrated by a husband and wife team.

Anywhoo... back to the title.

Caleb announced yesterday that he wants to be a hot dog man when he grows up.

He made this announcement at the dinner table, and the reactions were quite remarkable. Jason almost choked on his corn bread, Colby rolled his eyes (remember... he's the one who wants to OWN a Porsche dealership someday) and Luke couldn't have been MORE excited! The announcement didn't stun me in the least. I've always known that Caleb will hold some kind of employment that requires him to be outside. He's NOT a desk man, and MOST definitely not a company man! Luke started strategizing all of the best ways to market his business. He even came up with the idea to have a jingle playing from his truck. You know... like the ice cream trucks do. It would play 'Take Me Out To The Ball Game'. Pretty good, huh? Maybe Luke will go into advertising.

This all made me think. One of the things I pray about the most for my boys is their ability to really capture what they enjoy doing in life and make a life doing it. There are few things sadder in life than seeing adults going through life dreading each day because they hate what they are doing. Now I know that life won't always be a bouquet of flowers for anybody. There are always things that frustrate you and get you down. I'm doing what I always set out to do, but there are days when I'd give anything to work on some assembly line in Mexico! BUT... the days end and I always go to bed feeling like the luckiest girl alive because I'm doing what I love. That's what I want for them.

If selling hot dogs makes Caleb happy, and he's able to provide for his family doing it... then POWER TO THE DOG MAN!

I'm sure that not too many parents out there dream of their son driving a hot dog truck. I'm not saying here that this is MY dream for him. What I AM saying is that if I'm on my knees, diligently praying specific things for my children... If I'm educating them on good character and most importantly, seeking the will of God, then their lives are covered. God hears me and he hears them. He knows their hearts and what delights them. He knows if driving a hot dog truck is what will bring ultimate happiness and satisfaction to Caleb.

I will never again judge someone who holds a job like this. What may look menial to me, may mean the WORLD to someone else.

Oh, and Dad... this may be your ticket "home". I believe this area has an un-tapped hot dog market. Luke can help you with the details. :0)