Thursday, May 26, 2011

Not a Confession

When my mom read this post about my birthday today, she laughed and said, "It sounds like you're saying you've been married twice!" She thought it was pretty funny that I said, "11 years of marriage with 2 opposite people making 1 whole family."

And I think she was wrong.

It's far worse than that! Really, it sounds like I'm married to two people at the same time. Which I'm not

(But that would be a fascinating blog, wouldn't it? I'd call this post: 


Seriously, I don't have a confession. I repeat: I'm married to one Preacher! The truth is, I've been married to the same Preacher man for almost eleven years now -- and we're pretty much opposites in all the minor details. 

He's always roasting, burning up in our house no matter the season. I'm always searching for my slippers, sweaters, and bathrobe.

He loves onion pizza, and I think raw onions were the Fallen Fruit (er, vegetable). Y'know, the one Eve ate? 

He's an outgoing, extraverted people person. I'm sometimes mistaken for a snob. (Yes, I said "mistaken"!) 

He likes hiking and camping and outdoorsy stuff. I like to sleep in beds and take showers and paint my nails. 

Right now, he's on the far western side of our state, while I'm on the far eastern side visiting family. 

It's true -- in all the daily details, we're total opposites. 

It's ok, though, because in the more important things, we're a perfect match. Like loving these two kidlets. Like enjoying time with family. Like faith. 

And like missing each other when we're apart, even after almost 11 years. 

Good night, Preacher!
Miss you,

*Image credit:Wedding Cake.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Counting on My Birthday

Today is my birthday, friends! By the time you read this, it really will have been my birthday yesterday. But that's just because I'm a late-night writer. (You don't mind, do you?)

Anyway, it was my birthday once upon a time. Er, today I mean.

And so far, I've accumulated lots of stuff, like

33 years' worth of breath, nearly
11 years of marriage, with
2 opposite people making
1 whole family. Also,
2 tiny people who own
6,553,902 toys between them, yet scatter those toys through 
3 bedrooms,
1 bathroom
1 living room,
1 back yard, and under
3 different beds. However, we own
0 dogs,
0 cats and
0 gerbils, hamsters, or guinea pigs. We also own
0 fish, because I'm neurotic like that. In
33 years, I've attended
3 colleges, studying
3 different majors, but earning only
1 actual degree (and prayerfully, hopefully, eventually
1 more degree within the next
2 years). I've been home with my kidlets for nearly
2 years already, and while it feels like it's only been
2 days, my kidlets are determined to grow up.

Before I know it, they'll be
18. But not today, on my birthday.

Today, they're
5 and almost
2, and I am blessed to be wife and mother and daughter with
2 lovely sisters,
2 sweet nieces,
5 tough nephews, and a whole perfect lot of in-laws and friends.

Clearly, all these things add up to
1 blessed woman -

Overwhelmingly undeserving, yet so intensely grateful.
The birthdays just get better and better, friends.

Trust me on that,

Photo credit:

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Confession: Sometimes the blank page and blinking cursor of my blog still intimidate me. And then I remember I already told you about this and that, so really, how much worse could it get?

Hello? *knock, knock* Are you still there?

Anyway, you'll be happy to know that random thought has absolutely, positively nothing to do with my post tonight. Here's the real deal:

I used to take pictures of my adorable Little Man all the time. What a cutie!

Cute son, about two years old
But lately, when it comes time to take pictures of my kidlets. . .

Batman, about four years old
All I can find. . .

Superman, five years old
Are these superhero guys. And really, that wouldn't be so bad, except that whatever has transformed my Little Man into a superhero. . .

Superman and SuperWhyBatGirl?
Seems to maybe be --


But y'know, this afternoon as we were perusing her baby pictures, Royal Princess casually broke out singing the ABC's. All of a sudden and without fanfare, she shocked her mama with alphabet knowledge.

And do you know who taught her those letters? That's right - the same boy who taught her how to wear a superhero mask. 

So I'm thankful for Little Man's influence on his baby sister. Even, I suppose, dressing her in costumes. (The shoes were her own idea!)

Someday I'll miss this madness. Until then, I'm just -

Catching the moments,

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Choice

Are you a thinker? Yeah, me too. Every night my poor brain needs a good solid stretch of sleep to clear out all the day's cobwebs.

As I watch my kids play, it's evident they're thinkers, too. Like me, they're trying to figure out how to live life better, how to do what's good and not squander time on anything less.

And like me, they're discovering the hard way that life isn't about controlling others; instead, the good life is about controlling yourself. They're teaching me, and I'm slowly learning. . .

Tonight in the nursery, Royal Princess dragged Baby Moses around by the hair. (For those who won't click the link, no worries; it's just a doll!) At first, Princess was optimistic about her parenting skills. Here, she's saying, "Baby, say 'Chee!'"

But her optimism soon turned to discouragement. Her sweet, precious Baby Moses wouldn't respond to the simple command, "Stan up!!" Have you ever tried making a plush doll stand up? It'll never work!

Figuring this out, Royal Princess walked her baby over to the "car," commanding, "Baby, wide in car!" And do you know, that Baby Moses must be a particularly strong-willed child. . .

Because she absolutely refused to "wide in car."

Frustrating, isn't it? When everything fails and nothing works, when you're losing control of your kids - er, baby doll - and you have no clue what to do? I've been there, Royal Princess. You know I've been there, 'cause I've been there with you! (Today, about 57 times.)

But I'm learning, with painful slowness, that I can no more control you and your brother than you could make that plush baby stand. I can disciple you, shape you, train you, pray for you, invest in you, and love you.

But control you? No, I can't do that.

And really, it's not so revolutionary, is it? Who wants to be a controlling parent, anyway?

I suppose we could tape Baby Moses to the car if we wanted to control her that badly. But is that the point? Am I trying to control my kids and steal their freedom?* Is my goal to snuff out their spirits, and deaden all their strong-willed dignity?

No, I don't think so.

Tonight, I learned a lesson from my little girl - one of a million my kids have taught me. And oh, do I have a long way to go! But here's the first milestone on this marathon:

Controlling others destroys their freedom; controlling myself fosters liberty - theirs and mine.

Still just a little nervous about free will,

*Um, and just to clarify - I would never tape my kids to anything. It was an analogy. An illustration. And that's all. But you already knew that, right? :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Not Easy

Tonight, I just wanted to say that in this neck of the woods, life is still just life.

And as far as I can tell, it doesn't really get easier as time goes on.

Like when "Batman" swings from the curtain rods and leaves a little...mark. That's not exactly what I would call easy.

But I wonder if maybe life's not really meant to be easy. After all, what fun would that be?

Easy things aren't satisfying. Remember busy-work in elementary school? Drilling addition facts in fifth grade? Reviewing spelling words in middle school?

We don't thrive on easy, don't grow from easy, don't treasure what came easy.

So no, life isn't easy.

It's better than that. . .

In a word -- it's good.

Trying to remember to remember this tomorrow,

Monday, May 16, 2011


Last week, my cleaning level was at the absolute minimum. As in, scrubbing two plates so my kids could eat lunch. And washing one load of laundry so I'd have something to wash those plates with.

It was a rough week, and way more chaotic than normal. Dishes in the sink, floors swept once, Little Man wearing my socks because he didn't have any clean.

(Lord have mercy! I cannot believe I just confessed that. Let's pretend I didn't ok?)

My kids were fed and clothed, but they heard a lot of, "After Mommy finishes this paper, kiddo," and, *crash* "Little Man, are you guys ok?"

Like kids do, my babies waited for me. They destroyed a few things in the meantime, but they waited nonetheless.

And it made me think.

As I was sweeping one afternoon, I asked Little Man to hold the dustpan. Did your mom ask you to hold the dustpan when you were too tiny to work a broom without hitting innocent bystanders? I have vivid memories of holding the dustpan for my mom, pulling it farther and farther back until the floor was spotless.

And now I'm the one holding the broom, my son bending impatiently to the dustpan.

But here's the thing: I'm just going about my daily life, doing what needs to be done. And they're watching.

I'm chatting with a friend about life's frustrations. And they're listening.

I'm modeling what it's like to be a grown-up -- one solitary person on this great spinning ball. And everywhere I go, everything I do. . . they're following.

They won't make the same choices I made (thank heaven). They won't turn out exactly like I did (again, mercy). They'll carry some of my good and some of my not-so-good, and I'll pray for grace on their whole lives.

But the simple, chilling, awesome truth is this: I'm leading them today. And you're leading yours. The question is. . .


Looking up the word intentional,

Raising Homemakers

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Worth the Wait

Well, friends, here we are again! Did you miss me? I'm sorry to have neglected you so heartlessly! It's just been one of those months. Y'know?

But now classes are finished (or moderately less insane) for a bit, and I'm back to my old tricks. Too bad for you!

Tonight, I have some crazy life moments to share. Maybe they're gifts. Or maybe I just live in the Twilight Zone. Either way, they made me laugh! And maybe they'll make you spit coffee all over your monitor or something.

(Send pictures.)

1) Several weeks ago, my kids' Pawp and Nauni came for a visit. For three days, Little Man and Her Royal Princessness did nothing but eat pizza, dress up in superhero costumes with cousin Tough Guy, and fight like the dickens.

It was awesome.  (No Princesses were injured in the making of this blog.)

The last morning of their visit, we met at Tudor's Biscuit World for breakfast. As we sat inside looking out at the drive-thru, we noticed a police car. Royal Princess said, "Powice!"

The end.

(As if you should be so lucky!)

While everyone else ate their biscuits and gravy, I daydreamed, staring out the window. And then I noticed...

The policeman -- y'know, the one stopping for a quick biscuit sandwich and a strong cup of coffee? -- he had someone in the back of his cruiser.

The way I see it, there are two possibilities here. Either the officer had a buddy riding along for kicks in the back seat (unlikely, but possible). Or some unsuspecting criminal was forced to stop at Tudor's on his way to the slammer.

All I know is this: The policeman only got one bag and one drink. (Yes, I was watching. What about it?) I'm thinkin' Mr. Guilty Party went to jail hungry.

2) Two weeks ago, some church friends and I went to a local Mexican restaurant for dinner. We had a fabulous time, and really there wouldn't be anything at all to tell, except that I went to the ladies' room. Where there was a baby changing station. No big deal, right?

Wrong: it just me, or does that picture bring all kinds of snarkiness to the front of your mind? A mama elephant? With her back turned, while her elephant baby does his business in the bushes? Wearing a diaper? Wow.

Why didn't I come up with that idea first?! Genius.

And since it's getting late, I'll leave you with one last story. The deepest of them all, and possibly the strangest. . .

3) I was in a hurry last week when I bought my son's toothpaste.

(At least I did ok in the toothbrush department.)

And that's just part of the story from these last few weeks. Was it worth the wait?

My mother taught me better than this,

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Ark

Rain is a funny thing, isn't it? Have you had gobs and piles of it lately?

Enough to last you 'til next spring, maybe?

We have. Last week, we drove halfway across the country for a few days, and the rain drove right along behind us.

I was reminded of an important life lesson on that trip: When you walk through the downpour. . .

You're going to get wet. So always carry an umbrella in April.

And that's your public service announcement for the day.


Just kidding.

Seriously, I know rain can be a real headache sometimes. It ruins picnics, turns bad hair days into worse hair days, and smears mascara everywhere.

It can even transform fields into lakes:

Drop on top of drop, all piled up together, water wields a power that's hard to explain.

What a mystery,  this mighty stuff that runs through our fingers, bathes our babies, fills our bellies. . .

Feeds our flowers, and washes away dirt and homes alike.

It's hard to know how to feel about rain, isn't it? Sometimes it's more than just a headache; sometimes it's a heartache.

So for our friends in the flood lands, about ready to build an Ark,

And our friends picking up the pieces after mile-wide, open-mouthed monsters,

We're praying that May flowers and ripe fields reappear for you soon. Praying --

And putting feet to those prayers,