Monday, December 8, 2008

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thoughts on Christmas

I was pondering these lyrics this morning~

Where are you Christmas?Why can't I find you?Why have you gone away?Where is the laughter you used to bring me? Why can't I hear music play? (Lyrics by James Horner)

It used to bother me that some stores left the word Christmas out of their advertisements, but it really doesn’t anymore. In fact, in light of the trampling death of the Wal-Mart employee in New York, I’m not so sure that we should be so insistent on associating shopping with Christmas and in the process associating shopping with Christ. More and more I want to separate shopping and Christmas. I want to celebrate Christ’s birth by giving, yes, in that Christ’s birth represents God’s gift to humanity. I’m not so sure that giving “things” to people who already have everything they need, is the best way to celebrate God’s gift through giving. No, I’m convinced that God’s gift would be better celebrated through taking care of real needs in the lives of those less fortunate, and in loving acts to the lonely, the sick, the imprisoned, and the soldiers at war. You can leave the words Merry Christmas out of every sales flyer as far as I’m concerned; in fact, I think I would prefer it. Instead, call it what it is—Shopping Frenzy. I want Christmas to mean something else entirely.

As Dr. Seuss so aptly put it, “And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?"

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Same Kind of Different as Me

Here's a post I wrote in July and never posted.

If you have not yet read Same Kind of Different as Me, by Denver Moore and Ron Hall, I highly recommend that you do. In fact, this is an excellent book to listen to on CD, and hearing the story told is even better than reading it. My ten year old son and my twenty year old son both listened to it with me and they both loved it. It is a true story, with the feel of a really good novel. It really challenged me.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My hammock

I absolutely love the hammock in our backyard. I love to stretch out in the shade on a summer day, listening to the voices of children playing, feeling the gentle breeze, smelling the clean summer air, looking straight up into the tall hickory trees above, pondering the Creator and the Creation. Of course, I love it all the more if my hubby is in the hammock too and I am snuggled under his arm. It's a cozy place to just be together without words or to chat about life. I can see the hammock outside the window, beckoning me, but alas, the summer is gone.

Written using this writing prompt from the One Minute Writer.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Basket Weaving 101

I originally wrote this in January but never posted it.

My pastor's sermon last Sunday night was from Exodus about Moses' mom putting him in a basket and sending him down the Nile. I have been thinking about all the things he said ever since. What did it take for her to put her baby son in a basket and put that basket in a river with crocodiles? Of course, my first thought was fear, that maybe she was afraid of him being killed by the Egyptians if he was discovered.

But my pastor suggested that she had great faith. Faith that God loved that little boy even more than she did. How many times do we give our children to the Lord in prayer only to take them back again days, hours or even moments later? I'm thinking she did some serious praying as she lovingly wove that basket and coated it with tar and pitch to make it waterproof. But then she actually placed her precious son inside and then placed that little vessel in the Nile. And our pastor pointed out how completely God took care of Moses. He was nursed by his own mother, raised in the Pharoah's home as a son with the best of everything including an understanding of the Egyptian culture and an education that would both prove beneficial.

Could I do that?

Can I do that?

Will I do that?

I think I need to "weave a basket", "coat it with tar & pitch" and put my sons inside and then "let go" and "let that basket go down the Nile", trusting God that He loves them even more than I do, and that He holds their lives in His hands.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Life lessons.......the parade

I took my 10 yo son to a parade the other night. I was sitting on the curb with a friend, and my son was standing on the road in front of us, a gallon size Ziploc bag in his hand, hoping to fill it. To his left were some boys about his age, and to his right was a group of younger children. Whenever someone went by throwing candy, they tended to throw either it to the group on the left or the group on the right, but rarely to my son in the middle.

As if this weren't "bad" enough, the boys to the left were leaning towards my son quickly grabbing up any candy that came towards him before they grabbed the candy in front of them. My son kept looking at me with a distraught look, upset with the "injustice" of it all. Then one of the boys to the left shoved my son as he attempted to quickly grab candy that went between them. The whole senario reminded me of why I don't like this sort of thing in the first place. It just promotes greed. There was a part of me of course, that wanted to play the part of momma bear, but thankfully I behaved myself.

I summoned my son and looked him in the eyes and told him I wanted him to try something. I told him that from here on out, whatever candy he was able to get, I wanted him to offer some of it to the boy who shoved him. At first he looked at me like I was crazy, but he obeyed. The first time he gave that boy a sucker, the boy looked at it as if maybe it was broken or something, but noticed it was fine. He took it and shot his friend a puzzled look. My son continued to give him candy. And then the strangest thing happened: the boy and his friend started giving part of the candy they'd get to my son, and they were quite generous about it. The next thing I knew, they were talking together, sharing and exchanging favorite candies and introducing themselves.

Funny what happens when we love our enemies, when we turn the other cheek, when we just love people regardless of how they treat us.

I would love to end the story here so that you could leave my blog thinking nice thoughts about me. However, just then the last entry of the parade approached. This is the entry from the local candy factory that throws out full size candy bars. My friend and I stood up and went to the road with the children. The next few seconds are a blur but I think we might have knocked out a few children in our frenzy to nab a Heath bar.

My son just shook his head.

Friday, January 25, 2008

William Bronner Burgess

I just wanted to share a message that blessed and challenged me today. Saturday night, a precious two year old boy, Bronner Burgess, drowned in his family pool. His father, Rick, of the Rick & Bubba (radio) Show, spoke at his memorial service on Tuesday. Listen to what he shares. Let it move you. Let it light a fire in you. Be blessed, be a blessing.

Rick Burgess speaks at Bronner's service

Sunday, December 16, 2007

An Attitude of Gratitude

...and a little child will lead them. Isaiah 11:6d

I'm always learning from my kids. That's what homeschooling's all about isn't it? Oh wait, was I supposed to be the one teaching?!? That's just a myth.

My youngest, a boy of 9, is such a grateful child. Constantly, seemingly out of the blue, he will say, "thanks, mom". I often have to ponder what it is he is thanking me for. Sometimes, I even have to ask him why he is thanking me. He thanks me for having taken him to the library, or to kid's choir, or to lunch, for opening a door for him (he usually gets it for me), for reading him a story, for tucking him in, for making his favorite food, or just for cooking in general. He thanks me for going with him to the woods. He thanks me for all manner of actions and things. It is constant and continuous. And yes, he thanks me at the time, but that is a learned response, an exercise in manners. Later, he thanks me again, but this time out of the gratefulness of his heart as he is pondering. It is these thank yous that catch me off guard and these are the ones that are teaching me.

I wonder how often I take for granted all the many things that God is constantly doing for me. All the little things. I enjoy reading those who have posted the 1,000 gifts. My young son has never seen the 1,000 gifts list, and yet he teaches me to be grateful everyday, for every thing. And certainly my Father gives good gifts to me. If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! Matthew 7:11 Thanks God, for a little boy, for a warm home on this cold, snowy winter morning, for your Holy Spirit--my constant guide, for your Word, for your Son, for your people, for hot tea, for health, for a hard working, strong and handsome husband who treats me like a princess, for everything...............

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Martha Stewart will not be dining with us this Thanksgiving

*I wish I could take credit for writing this, but I can't. I also can't give credit to the author who remains unknown to me even after a Google search. Feel free to give me the author's name if you know. *

Martha Stewart will not be dining with us this Thanksgiving. I'm telling you in advance, so don't act surprised. Since Ms. Stewart won't be coming, I've made a few small changes:

Our sidewalk will not be lined with homemade, paper bag luminaries. After a trial run, it was decided that no matter how cleverly done, rows of flaming lunch sacks do not have the desired welcoming effect.

Once inside, our guests will note that the entry hall is not decorated with the swags of Indian corn and fall foliage I had planned to make. Instead, I've gotten the kids involved in the decorating by having them track in colorful autumn leaves from the front yard. The mud was their idea.

The dining table will not be covered with expensive linens, fancy china, or crystal goblets. If possible, we will using dishes that match and everyone will get a fork. Since this IS Thanksgiving, we will refrain from using the plastic Peter Rabbit plate and the Santa napkins from last Christmas.

Our centerpiece will not be the tower of fresh fruit and flowers that I promised. Instead we will be displaying a hedgehog-like decoration handcrafted from the finest construction paper. The artist assures me it is a turkey.

We will be dining fashionably late. The children will entertain you while you wait. I'm sure they will be happy to share every choice comment I have made regarding Thanksgiving, pilgrims, and the turkey hotline. Please remember that most of these comments were made at 5:00 a.m. upon discovering that the turkey was still hard enough to cut diamonds. As accompaniment to the children's recital, I will play a recording of tribal drumming. If the children should mention that I don't own a recording of tribal drumming, or that tribal drumming sounds suspiciously like a frozen turkey in a clothes dryer, ignore them. They are lying.

We toyed with the idea of ringing a dainty silver bell to announce the start of our feast. In the end, we chose to keep our traditional method. We've also decided against a formal seating arrangement. When the smoke alarm sounds, please gather around the table and sit where you like. In the spirit of harmony, we will ask the children to sit at a separate table. In a separate room. Next door.

Now, I know you have all seen pictures of one person carving a turkey in front of a crowd of appreciative onlookers. This will not be happening at our dinner. For safety reasons, the turkey will be carved in a private ceremony. I stress "private" meaning: Do not, under any circumstances, enter the kitchen to laugh at me. Do not send small, unsuspecting children to check on my progress. I have an electric knife. The turkey is unarmed. It stands to reason that I will eventually win. When I do, we will eat.

I would like to take this opportunity to remind my young diners that "passing the rolls" is not a football play. Nor is it a request to bean your brother in the head with warm tasty bread. Oh, and one reminder for the adults: For the duration of the meal, and especially while in the presence of young diners, we will refer to the giblet gravy by its lesser-known name: Cheese sauce. If a young diner questions you regarding the origins or type of Cheese Sauce, plead ignorance. Cheese Sauce stains.

Before I forget, there is one last change. Instead of offering a choice between 12 different scrumptious desserts, we will be serving the traditional pumpkin pie, garnished with whipped cream and small fingerprints. You will still have a choice; take it or leave it.

Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

What if God Intended Marriage to Make us Holy?

So many people nowadays have this expectation that marriage is to make them happy. Hence the high divorce rate. LOL! But really that isn't funny, in fact it is very sad.

I've been reading a very insightful book on the subject called Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas. He presents the question, What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy? A very good question indeed. And ironically how much happier we will be if we look at our marriage as a spiritual discipline...a chance to mature in our faith...a chance to die to self...a chance to model the relationship between Christ and the Church.

What an incredible opportunity to grow through a simple change in attitude.

I am thankful for the incredible husband that God has blessed me with and what wonderful opportunities He gives us each to grow as we offer our lives up to Him and live for His glory instead of our own gratification.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I'm "It"

Well, that's what we always said if we got tagged when we were growing up. :) Anyway, Delia at The Melody Within tagged me with this tag. And I would tell you that you'd better run before I tag you, but then you wouldn't stay and read my blog now would you? So, I'll be nice and just say that if you need something to fill your blog for the day, then consider yourself tagged, otherwise, you can take a deep breath and come out from your hiding place...I saw you anyway.

So, without further ado, here are eight random facts about me, I know you've been just dying to hear.

1. As a kid, I wished that I could live with the Walton's.

2. I don't like raw cheese. I like it melted, and I will even pick frozen mozzerella off the top of a pizza, but I just can't stomach the texture of raw cheese. Execeptions: cottage cheese and cheesecake.

3. I scream when I sneeze. At least this is what my family tells me. Now if I'm out in public, I sneeze this tiny little sneeze, but I think I pop every capillary in my nose as I try to hold it in.

4. I don't like peanut butter. People act as if this is a food that EVERYBODY likes, but I'm sorry, yuck. I do however like peanuts, Snicker's bars and peanut butter cookies. Go figure.

5. I studied dance (Ballet to be exact) for 10 years. I would've studied longer, but I discovered boys. I started thinking about getting married and having a baby and how that would ruin my dancing career, so why bother? I do still have my toe shoes, and you can still see blood stains inside the toes.

6. I have broken my collar bone four times. Not always the same one. Let's just say that I can never be a swimsuit model, not that I ever would have, but at least I have a good excuse. :)

7. I keep hidden stashes of chocolate all over my house. Hershey's Kisses with Almonds, mini Heath Bars, Junior Mints. We don't drink coffee, but there is a coffee canister on our counter right between the sugar canister and the tea canister. I had that canister filled with chocolate and undiscovered by my children for three years before I got caught.

8. I am scared to ride on my husband's Harley. I do sometimes, but that is when praying without ceasing really comes into play. Plus, I really figure one of us should stay alive to raise the children.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Where I'm From

I am from Dr. Seuss books read in bed at night and Kraft Macaroni & Cheese and antiques from Saturday yard sales refinished in our basement.

I am from the century old house on 10th Street with seven layers of wallpaper and ornate wood trim. From a screened-in front porch with a porch swing, visiting neighbors and a cool summer breeze.

I am from a Linden tree I watched my father plant in the front yard, and peonies in the back yard that drooped when it rained. From a big vegetable garden, from honeysuckle picked on family bicycle rides through campus, so sweet.

I am from waking up at five on Christmas morning to open gifts, and lily white skin, from Lula Mae and Mary, from the Hartman's and the McGreavy's who changed their name to Rea when they got to this country lest they be found out.

I am from the melancholy and the artsy and Southern hospitality.

From "I love you" and "You're special".

I am from a father studying to be a priest ('til he met my mom), a Unitarian church, no church, a Methodist church, from Granddad who forbade his children from going to church and slipped atheist literature into his grandchildren's birthday cards.

I am from Keesler AFB, Biloxi, Mississippi, and Scotland and Ireland, from hillbillies and Cherokee, from fried pork chops and asparagus with Hollandaise sauce.

From a great grandmother who taught Bonnie (of Bonnie & Clyde) how to shoot never dreaming how she'd use her skills, from a grandmother who ate a grasshopper in a banana on a dare, from a mother who was in drama club with Ryan O'Neal.

I am from photos in the bottom drawer of the cherry bookcase, and Mammo's sapphire in a pouch in Mimi’s purse, from vintage jewelry in an envelope taped under a dresser, from JFK half dollars tucked away in a metal lock box, from laughter and memories that I'll always treasure.

Use this template to write your own Where I'm From poem. Reminisce and enjoy!