Peace and Quiet at Walgreens

Our house is not that peaceful. Well, that’s not true – it’s peaceful… but quiet? That’s another story.

1 small home + zero carpet + 1 six-yr.old & 1 two- yr.old good insulation = l o u d , most of the time.

A few weeks ago i tried to nap my sickies away only to awake 10 minutes later to my son singing Daughtry like he was auditioning for AI, “and then I crashed into you, like a runaway train…“,  followed by angel pulling a heavy peice of decor down onto her shoulder and scream-crying. I’m just grabbing all pillows and covering my head with them. Oh, to get out of the house…by myself.  I love that! I need that.  Another day, I had the opp & I grabed it. Do you know what I did?  Drove to Walgreens, parked the car and… didn’t go in. I was sowalgreens exhausted from the day, that instead of shopping, it was more appealing to me to turn the car off, put the seat all the way down, grab angel’s soft little blankie from the backseat (& wrap it around my head and eyes like a turban), and go to sleep. I actually slept there, in the parking lot. Woke up feelin’ good too…good enough to trot on in to take advantage of some screaming make up deals. This is me with a thought bubble: “What are you starin’ at? Yeah, that was me in the white ScionXB; can’t a momma get some sleep!?!?”

It wasn’t a king size tempur pedic, but it was comfortable.

It wasn’t private, but it was dark.

It wasn’t home, but it was quiet…

…and some days, that’s all I need.

as certain as death and texas

with hurricane ike’s death toll reaching 51 as of this morning, this great state of texas has been pulling together to help those who’ve survived. my church, calvary austin, put a team together & traveled to calvary houston which along with most of houston, is on its 5th day without power. this is the most current article i’ve found, written about hurricane ike, if you’re more detail-oriented.

here in austin, 300 miles inland, we were safe and warm. disconnected. only felt a brief wind. and it’s back to normal now. normal, disconnected, apathetic, comfortable, enjoyable. yet there’s a lingering sorrow.

there are so many i’m sure, who’ve discovered that a relative or friend is now dead. they may be wondering where that person is now. if they’re in a ‘better place’…or a worse; if there is even a heaven or a hell.

but these are some of the most commonly asked questions about heaven & the afterlife:

  • do pets go to heaven?
  • should Christians be cremated?
  • will we be married or have sex in heaven?
  • should we try to contact the dead?
  • can a person who commits suicide go to heaven?
  • will we remember our lives when we’re in heaven?
  • can people in heaven see what’s happening on earth? and the most important question of all,
  • is there more than one way to get to heaven?

well, earlier this week, my husband & i watched a really great video by craig groeschel who’s studied them all in depth. he gives Biblical explanations, references, answers and opinions for each one of them. i hope this video brings clarity to anyone on their spiritual journey to truth.

but before you navigate away, if you’re a praying person, could you agree w/me in this short prayer?

God, forgive those of us who forget so quickly those in need. quicken our hearts to action, giving us the faith needed to step out & use our resources, whatever they may be. show yourself real and your love present in the lives of those who have lost people they care so much about. bring them peace, beyond understanding.

you are still our God, unchanging and trustworthy. and we love you.

(photo taken not in texas, but haiti where the death toll is over 300 after back-to-back storms. read this well-written article about haiti if you can)

hit refresh

sometimes even though i try & convince myself that i’m not nearly as busy as others, it still doesn’t take the stress away. when the house is a mess, the baby’s temp keeps pushing 102 probably due to an ear infection, when i have self-image issues because of my worse than usual skin (& weight), it can all just feel …heavy. but the bulk of it comes from feeling anxious about starting a new job sept. 2nd without much experience or training as well as packing & moving into a new place all next week.

i was just wishing i could ‘hit refresh’ somewhere on my brain so i can clear out all the junk & start over with a ‘i can do all things’ perspective, when i opened my gmail to find a note from my mom. she shared with me something her pastor spoke on last night ~ the image of the yoke. i’ll share this part with you:

Church was so good… I can’t believe what a gift Kip has of pointing out all the things we need to be reminded of!… the character of God, & how he wants to (& is able to) help us with every little thing we need.  I tend to stress over stuff, but he reminded me that God has a yoke, & if I just surrender the issues I’m worrying about to him, and get along-side of him in that yoke, it’s now resting on him!  He is carrying the weight of the load, & he is responsible for the direction to go in, since he knows where he wants me to go!”

thanks, mom. you were the mouthpiece of the Holy Spirit today. i just love you.

raising the bar, pt.3 “confrontation”

matthew 15:18

“Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. if he hears you, you have gained your brother.”

raise the bar:

i thought it was pretty noble to forgive those who come to me after they’ve offended me. even more so if they never asked for forgiveness out right. but this passage says essentially that if i’m offended by someone’s actions toward me, i don’t wait for him to come a-knockin’ Continue reading

night terror

what are they? a night terror (pavor nocturnus) is a parasomnia sleep disorder characterized by extreme terror and a temporary inability to regain full consciousness. the subject wakes abruptly from deep slow-wave sleep, gasping, moaning or screaming. after the episode, the subject normally settles back to sleep without waking. a night terror can rarely be recalled.

they’re not nightmares. they’re not recalled dreams. they’re a controlling combo of anxiety, tension & fear, (usually of insects or other attacking things) lasting as short as 1 minute… up to 20. the lack of a dream itself leaves those awakened in a state of disorientation much more severe than that caused by a normal nightmare. amnesia can follow, leaving one unable to recall their name or location for a short time.

what happens? my husband (who gives permission to write this) has suffered from this sleep disorder for years. his terrors are based around snakes or suffocation. Continue reading

fathers, sons, love & forgiveness

wait! this one’s a long post, but it’s a good thinker, hang with me here!!

But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir. – Gal 4:4-7 (NLT)

i love how God sent his Son to earth, spoke to him as his Son, & treated him as a Son should be treated. now we have the awesome privilege of making that comparison with our own children. we can see so much more clearly how to parent our own, and even more importantly, how to view ourselves as the precious, priceless children of God we are. when we hurt ourselves, are hit w/sickness or feel pain by another (in any way), he is immediately there to pick us up, squirt some bactine, give us a bandage & a hug if we will dare to reach for him. ok, not literally, but at least thru the body of Christ if you’re plugged in somewhere & absolutely thru His Word. but so often when a natural father disappoints, we attribute those failures and faults to our heavenly Father. why?!?! i guess doubt creeps in…squelching our faith in any kind of father figure. with every shattered hope, from sexual abuse to never receiving a hug; from an unfulfilled promise of a phone call to a no-show during the birth of your daughter, comes an opportunity to do one of two things. either

a.) build walls of protection to no longer “feel” hurt (which like denial, never really works) or

b.) dare to reach with faith as a child in a desperate state, for our Father in heaven.

hmmm…case in point ~ it’s 2:18am & my daughter, who’s fighting a fever & goopy droopy eyes just woke up crying. it was only natural for me to get up at the sound of her cry and go to her, give her medicine, pray & rock her in my arms. i wonder…how much more does our own Creator & Saviour long for that closeness every time we cry.

i’m learning (from books by john bevere & also nancy missler), that a danger in building protective walls is while they seem to keep hurt out, they also keep love in. in order to love as God does, unconditionally, we h a v e to make ourselves vulnerable. if we hold anything against them, we for our own growth need to say to our earthly father figures (if only in our minds), ‘you may have wounded me. it’s not okay, but i will still love you, because now that i am a child of God, i aim to love as he loves. completely opposite of natural love…it is this new agape love. the kind that is not selfish. expects nothing in return. gives until there is nothing left to give…& wants to then give more. nothing you can do can weaken…or strengthen it.’

it’s really hard for me to understand this love. the more i think about it, the more i want to crouch in a corner & hide. it seems like just about everything i do has some kind of ulterior, self-seeking motive. i used to hate the phrase ‘oh, get over it’, but it’s starting to become my friend these days. i so don’t want to be that easily offended person people talk about & tip toe around.

because we let the sins of an earthly father figure offend us to the point of resentment, trust seeps out the cracks & our love grows increasingly hard. as the Bible puts it: “and because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” (matt. 24:12 KJV) what an image this scripture conveys! like candle wax when the flame is snuffed out, the surrounding air within minutes begins to harden it. we are surrounded by iniquity like air. but this says to me that only when i choose to overlook an offense, will my love remain soft, vulnerable, and of God.

He is that burning light that feeds my love for others, every day. i wish i could love, serve, speak, parent more like him…but i’m so glad that he sees my progress thus far, and accepts me as i am.

praise you, God.

“Instinctively we try to be like our God, and if He is conceived to be stern and exacting, so will we ourselves be. The truth is that God is the most winsome of all beings and His service one of unspeakable pleasure.

The fellowship of God is delightful beyond all telling. He communes with His redeemed ones in an easy, uninhibited fellowship that is restful and healing to the soul.

He remembers our frame and knows that we are dust. He may sometimes chasten us, it is true, but even this He does with a smile, the proud, tender smile of a Father who is bursting with pleasure over an imperfect but promising son who is coming every day to look more and more like the One whose child he is.”

– A.W. Tozer (1897-1963) from The Root of the Righteous.