Sunday, April 27, 2008

The one where Bruce is to blame

Well, while the Boss (Springsteen) and I were cleaning house yesterday, I caught a YouTube video for his song, "Glory Days".

I remember having that *cassette* back in the day (again, I am old) and loved it. The song (as catchy as it is) has always struck me as sad and rather pathetic, I guess because I really knew people sort of living that way.

You know, that "Napoleon Dynamite" character, Uncle Rico? He says things like, "Man, I coulda made state in '82", or "I want a time machine" and that sort of thing? That same type of person who would tell a graduating high school senior, "Boy, I hope you enjoyed high school, cuz those are the best days of your life"? Those people confound me.

I have always wanted to throttle people who tell children who are 18 years old and cannot make their own meals, make their own way in life, make a BED, for heaven's sakes!!!, that well, since high school is over, you might just as well go jump off a bridge, cuz it only gets worse from here on out. ugh.

I have always told my children, "Huh. If that's true, think about it....you've got a dang lotta years of just going downhill then, huh? I don't know how husband and I even get up in the morning, our lives are so pathetic, empty and sad".

Then, when I have their attention (from the over-exaggerated sarcasm), I tell them that it is good and fine and right to LOVE every minute of EVERY life stage they are in. It's alll good.

High school?

I loved high school. No complaints.

But I was ready for college to start.
Then I was ready (I thought) to be married.
Then, grad. school.
Then, career.
Europe.
House.
Babies.
(and then divorce, bankruptcy).
Then, Jesus!

I have ALWAYS looked forward to the next thing. I have ALWAYS been ready to move on, to be done where I was at.

Except now. This whole "no more children" thing bugs me every dang day. And I think it is more upsetting to me than I had imagined the typical angst for the empty nester mom to feel, mostly because of the way I tick.

This is not me. I am just so puzzled by my reaction(s).

For the first time in my life, I am not ready to let go, move on and embrace the next chapter.

That's the truth.

But I don't wanna be some sad caricature of a mom, living back in the '91, pining for the memory of those years and believing that no others will be worth living. Guh-ross!

But neither do I want to just put on a happy face, take some happy pills and pretend all is well. I think that women who get caught up in pretending (especially in the presence of or for the benefit of other women) are doing a dis-service to their gender.

Few things are more discouraging to me, than to look at other moms/wives/girlfriends, who are seemingly happy, successful and immune the things that are cr@pping up my life and then comparing their (false) reality to my own (usually negatively skewed) normal, raw and complex home life.

Because the truth as I know it, is that *everyone* struggles and everyone carries pain and unfulfilled dreams and dysfunctional patterns. Ev. ry. one. And it is easy to forget that.

This can even happen with your best girlfriends, but I think it is especially prone to happen with those women that we *think* we know, but if we are honest, we realize they aren't real, transparent, honest and gritty with us. Too much facade and not enough fact, I guess.

Anyway, all that to say that, this is new territory for me and instead of feeling like I'm on a wild and crazy (in a good way) road trip (which is one of my favorite things), I feel like I am stuck in traffic, on a dead-end street (and that road rage-y feeling is starting to bubble, as I look to the right and left, hoping for a detour.

Help? Wisdom? Suggestions? Speak up! I need some insight.

But, please...no PollyAnna, look on the bright-side thing, ok?

If that was enough to solve this problem, I'd have had this thing kicked a looong time ago.

almost completely as an aside, I was thiiiiisss close to purchasing my first Springsteen concert tickets yesterday--is it worth the price to go? remember, I shop at Goodwill, so the price was ab so lute ly shocking!

Friday, April 25, 2008

"Bring the Rain" blog

This one of the most amazing blogs I have ever read. I am awed and humbled by the beauty of this family's submission to God, under, what for many would be the most challenging circumstance; the loss of a child.

Please take the time to read the blog from the beginning. I believe that Angie (the author/wife/mom) has put a link to the beginning of their story, on the upper left of the blog's margin.

By reading their story, you give validation to the life of their little girl and by weeping with those who weep, we worship the Lord, together.

Thank you, Angie, for allowing God to use your life, your love, your grief and hope to bless and comfort others.

Even if you see it coming, it still hurts when you get smacked

Here is the latest and worst news from the US Department of State and the Embassy in Hanoi, regarding Vietnam adoption.

Devastating.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Wonder of Childhood

Highlighting the Truths

"...I suspect they simply grew into their true selves because they demanded in a thousand ways that I back off and let them be."

As my children are now 17 and 19 (and a half!), I can only say this statement is so true. Children come sort of hard-wired with characters and wills and talents and temperments; in my view this is God-breathed.

I remember thinking that my daughter would be like me. I laugh at that now, but I really did think I was getting a mini-me.

How I would have mourned if I had in any way quashed who God designed her to be, in a misguided effort to make her into something I know (me). What a loss that would have been; an injustice, really.

She and her brother are a source of delight to me, just the way they are; a constant surprise. Like unwrapping a gift, I have learned to stand back and let things open up and to gasp! with wonder.

"...The books said to be
relaxed and I was often tense, matter-of-fact and I was sometimes over the top."

I also used to say/believe that I had no regrets about the time I was raising these two God-given gifts, but maybe I can agree with the author that I was often tense, matter-of-fact and busy (hey, I was a single mom--who wouldn't be busy?).

But all in all, I am thankful for the time I had to fulfill a dream I had had since I was a little girl, which was to have children to name and love and raise and experience life's fresh "firsts" with, everyday.

Seriously, I was pretty aware at most points that everything I was doing with the children was their "first"--baths, feeding, daycare, preschool, trikes, finger painting, dyeing eggs, opening presents.

Toddlers digging into a cake, watching a classic Disney movie, feeding ducks, seeing elephants, riding a horse, eating popsicles, hiking a mountain, playing in the ocean.

Screaming on roller coasters, dressing up and pretending, trick or treating, dances, school conferences, reading and reading and reading, love notes, flowers, assemblies, getting bleacher-butt from hours spent watching and cheering.

Proms, formals, graduations and celebrations; what a ride.

In doing all these things for my children I know I was being blessed to do them for myself, too. Nothing compares to the wonder of children. Nothing here on Earth anyway. I suspect God knows this, since He designed a way for Himself to experience the same things. Or....maybe that's vice versa (::snort::). Ah, how often I must cause Him to laugh out loud!

He wants nothing more than to be with us, delighting in our firsts, caring for our struggles, guiding and loving us all of our days. He is such a PerfectParent.

And I will trust that the next chapter of my life, our lives, will be full of wonder, too.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Contemplation

This column sort of explains some of the mixed-up, churning, swirling emotions I am experiencing, as I come to the end of an era.

By Anna Quindlen, Newsweek Columinst &Author

All my babies are gone now. I say this not in sorrow but in disbelief. I take great satisfaction in what I have today: three almost-adults, two taller than I am, one closing in fast.

Three people who read the
same books I do and have learned not to be afraid of disagreeing with me in their opinion of them, who sometimes tell vulgar jokes that make me laugh until I choke and cry, who need razor blades and shower gel and privacy, who want to keep their doors closed more than I like.

Who, miraculously, go to the bathroom, zip up their jackets
and move food from plate to mouth all by themselves. Like the trick soap I bought for the bathroom with a rubber ducky at its center, the baby is buried deep within each, barely discernible except through the unreliable haze of the past.

Everything in all the books I once pored over is finished for me now. Penelope Leach., T. Berry Brazelton., Dr. Spock. The ones on sibling rivalry and sleeping through the night and early-childhood education, all grown obsolete. Along with Goodnight Moon and Where the Wild Things Are, they are battered, spotted, well used. But I suspect that if you flipped the pages dust would rise like memories.

What those books taught me, finally, and what the women on the

playground taught me, and the well-meaning relations -- what they taught me, was that they couldn't really teach me very much at all. Raising children is presented at first as a true-false test, then becomes multiple choice, until finally, far along, you realize that it is an endless essay.

No one knows anything. One child responds
well to positive reinforcement, another can be managed only with a stern voice and a timeout. One child is toilet trained at 3, his sibling at 2. When my first child was born, parents were told to put baby to bed on his belly so that he would not choke on his own spit-up.

By the time my last arrived, babies were put down on their backs

because of research on sudden infant death syndrome. To a new parent
this ever-shifting certainty is terrifying, and then soothing.

Eventually you must learn to trust yourself. Eventually the research
will follow. I remember 15 years ago poring over one of Dr. Brazelton's wonderful books on child development, in which he describes three different sorts of infants: average, quiet, and active. I was looking for a sub-quiet codicil for an 18-month old who did not walk.

Was there something wrong with his fat little legs?
Was there something wrong with his tiny little mind? Was he developmentally delayed, physically challenged? Was I insane? Last year he went to China. Next year he goes to college. He can talk just fine. He can walk, too.

Every part of raising children is humbling, too. Believe me, mistakes were made. They have all been enshrined in the 'Remember- When- Mom-Did ' Hall of Fame.

The outbursts, the temper tantrums, the
bad language, mine, not theirs. The times the baby fell off the bed. The times I arrived late for preschool pickup. The nightmare sleepover. The horrible summer camp. The day when the youngest came barreling out of the classroom with a 98 on her geography test, and I responded, 'What did you get wrong?'. (She insisted I include that.)

The time I ordered food at the McDonald's drive-through speaker and then drove away without picking it up from the window. (They all insisted I include that.) I did not allow them to watch the Simpsons for the first two seasons. What was I thinking?

But the biggest mistake I made is the one that most of us make while
doing this. I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly
clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs.
There is one picture of the three of them, sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages 6, 4 and 1. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night.

I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less. Even today I'm not sure what worked and what didn't, what was me and what was simply life.

When they were very small, I suppose I thought someday they would
become who they were because of what I'd done. Now I suspect they
simply grew into their true selves because they demanded in a thousand ways that I back off and let them be. The books said to be relaxed and I was often tense, matter-of-fact and I was sometimes over the top.

And look how it all turned out. I wound up with the three people I
like best in the world who have done more than anyone to excavate my
essential humanity. That's what the books never told me. I was bound
and determined to learn from the experts. It just took me a while to
figure out who the experts were.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

But I still love technology...


(lyrics from Kip and LaFawnduh's wedding scene in the movie, "Napoleon Dynamite").

I am marveling at the technology called the world wide web that allows me to "meet" and become "friends" with people I have never sat next to, shared a meal, enrolled in a class or been assigned to a committee with.

I have met the most fascinating people, with amazing life stories, the coolest skills and talents and admirable qualities.

And if you are one of those inspirational women I've come to know and care for, thank you for sharing and being honest and open and transparent with your words and emotions.

Really, I've always been a total people person. But technology has allowed me to know and love more people than I ever could have without it.

So there you have it. Lovin' for my techno-peeps. <3
(Here's the clip from the movie (in case you have never seen the movie)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

My Brother--Celebrated!

Teri, Russell and Alannah at Multnomah Falls.

Russell and Alannah in India. Alannah is getting a henna tatoo. Can you see the love for his niece in his face? I can.

Russell and Michelle--self-portrait on the trail in Portland.

Russell has the same photo hanging in his home.

What a great uncle! He was visiting us in Iowa. Look how little my children were!

Our trip to California for Russ and Michelle's wedding.



Today is my brother's birthday. He is 4* years old (and still gets carded when buying beer). If I didn't really love him, I might hafta hate him for that. lol I would like this post to be a loving tribute to the person my brother is. So I'm gonna tell things I love about him; things I remember that illustrate how exceptional he is.

My brother is wicked smart. He definitely got the smart genes (other male cousins are a Ph.D. chemical engineer, a professor at Clemson (aerospace engineer?) and an Air Force Academy graduate). He loves logic and math. To me, that is a great mystery. lol
Russell has a Ph.D. in philosophy. He has been a professor at University of *** and at the University of ***. He has started a second Ph.D. in statistics (shudder). He and his wife, Michelle, are teaching in India at an embassy school. Smart folk.

Russell is a vegetarian. He is an athlete. He loves to trail run, work out and drink beer (local specialty beers seem to be preferred). I am none of these things; he does not judge me.


Although he does not have children, he has been the most awesome uncle to my children. Thoughful gifts. Educational gifts. Scrabble. Some other smart game he taught my kids ("Set"?). The gift of his time and wisdom and love and guidance. Trips to Portland, LA, India and Florida. Priceless memories.


When I went through my divorce, my brother was my rock. He gave a listening ear and a strong shoulder. He offered wise counsel. He flew to Iowa to help me with legal matters and my children. He learned to change a diaper (Alannah's) and then learned to hire the 12 year old across the street to change his niece the rest of the week. ::snort::


He has met my attorney, our family counselor, our pastor. He has accompanied me to work, to see how I spend my time. I've visited him in his classroom, in Santa Barbara and in India.

Although he is not a Christian, he listens with respect to my world view. He visits our church with us, when he comes to town.


He gave me away, walking me down the aisle at my marriage to Mark. He has acted as my best friend, my brother, my father, my children's uncle, my husband's brother in law. He makes my friends, his friends; my extended family, his family.


I got to be deputized in California (sort of, along with Michelle's dad) in order to marry he and Michelle in a lovely service overlooking the ocean. We visited him in India, touring and experiencing the places he lives and shops and hangs out.


They don't come any better than my brother. Really. I am blessed, indeed.

The only sad thing is that we don't really remember each other before I was 30. The home we grew up in was pretty dysfunctional. We each just sort of managed to get by. I don't recall interacting much with my brother. I must have. There were only the two of us kids, but I still don't really remember hanging out with my brother. We are only two years apart, but we just don't remember connecting until adulthood. Sad, huh?

At the time we came together, we sorta realized what we a great friendship we had and decided, mutually, to never grow apart. And somehow, although we have not lived in the same state as one another since I was 20, we have managed to maintain our relationship.

Constant emails. Frequent Skype and cell calls. Visiting one another as often as we can.
We are looking forward to he and Michelle visiting us in Iowa in June. We cannot wait to see them! To hang out and breathe the same air, is my idea of a good time. So exciting to contemplate the fun...

I pray I have been half as wonderful to him, as he has been to me. He deserves a very good sister, friend and family member. I would defend him at any cost. I would travel to him in a heartbeat, if he needed me. I would do/be anything he needed.

Love you muchly, Bro!!! Can't wait to see you. :~)

Friday, April 18, 2008

Expelled

The movie is worth the money (and then some). We took two teens with us.

Science and religion are not incompatible.

Silencing honest questions is a dangerous thing.

Go, people.

Go.

Spring Cleaning

After my nap (heh heh), I have several projects bouncing around in my head---I want to make our sun porch useable (moving my office there from its current location in the kitchen) and I need to clean out my craft/scrapbooking area and "my" closet in the basement.

After my nap.

We'll see if I actually get anything done...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Hallelujah

As I walked down the hall at work today, I suddenly realized, "I'm not sick. I don't hurt. I have energy. I am BETTER!!!"

The angels were singing and I was happily joining in.

How wonderful it is to feel *un*sick.

I am thankful, ohsothankful.

So thankful, I even came home and did some cleaning!

Whoot!whoot!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Sick and Tired

of being sick and tired.

I have had it.

Had. it.

Monday, April 14, 2008

I Struggle with Forward Motion**

I have done the smallest of chores today...picked up the bedroom and bath that I have trashed over the last week of illness.

It has taken me allll day, not because there was so much to do, but because I needed frequent breaks.

Even now, the bathroom is not picked up, but I think I will manage ot have it done before I go to bed.

I may be able to go to work tomorrow. If you've been praying, thank you so much. I really am feeling them.



(**lyrics from Relient K. cd "Two Lefts Don't Make a Right, but Three Do")

Saturday, April 12, 2008

If I'm well by next weekend, I'm going...

This movie looks well worth my entertainment dollar. Certainly, I have spent more time and money on less worthy pastimes.

Here is a snippet from the movie website...


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WHO
Ben Stein, in the new film EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed
WHAT
His heroic and, at times, shocking journey confronting the world’s top scientists, educators and philosophers, regarding the persecution of the many by an elite few.
WHEN
Coming to a theater near you on April 18, 2008
WHERE
Ben travels the world on his quest, and learns an awe-inspiring truth…that bewilders him, then angers him…and then spurs him to action!
WHY
Ben realizes that he has been “Expelled,” and that educators and scientists are being ridiculed, denied tenure and even fired – for the “crime” of merely believing that there might be evidence of “design” in nature, and that perhaps life is not just the result of accidental, random chance.

To which Ben Says: "Enough!" And then gets busy. NOBODY messes with Ben.


Here is a preview trailer.

Here is a
theater locator.

Hey, maybe we'll see you there!


Friday, April 11, 2008

Tempest-Tossed


The Bible warns of this.

Here are the verses I think of...

Ephesisans 4:14

"...that we should no longer be children, tossed two and fro and carried about with every wind, in the cunning craftiness by which they lie in wait to deceive, but speaking the truth in love, may grow up all things, into Him who is the Head----Christ...".

and...

Isaiah 54:11-12

"...O you afflicted one, tossed with tempest and not comforted, behold I will lay your stones with colorful gems and lay your foundations with sapphires."

LifeList



How many ways can I (make myself) feel like crapola?

>>>>>Ugh. Why does all of that just seem like filler? Fluff? Yuck. It all seems like just diversionary tactics to fill my time till I die.<<<<<
(from my March 29th, 2008 blog entry entitled, "Somebody Stop Me")


Nope. For me, simply being home sick for three days is not enough. I have to make it worse.

Too much "A Baby Story", "10 Years Younger" and "HGTV" has done nothing for making me see things clearly; it's only made me feel barren and old and dis-satisfied and not in a holy way, either.


In a whiney, covetous, disgruntled way.


I am a wreck. I definitely think that the time you are feeling physically wretched is not the time to try plan the second half of your life. Not a great time for introspection. How stupid am I?


Yuck, yuck and doubletriple yuck.


Watching all this crap on TV leads one (me?) to believe that there is nothing a good makeover wouldn't fix. Some porcelain veneers, a little Botox and a new master bedroom suite--yeah, baby! That's what I need.

Then*, it will all be OK.

Which leads me to the initial quote above...is this all there is?

Really? Ugh.

PS Any of you out there who have been there/done that/bought the Tshirt can jump in with some clarity, wisdom or a good sound shaking till my teeth rattle.

(special acknowledgment to my friend, M. for the photo that perfectly describes how I feel). lol

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Last weekend...

Abby and Rachel with their Easter baket goodies from dad.

Abby's rings...Master's Commision and opal.
Abby and Tiffany at the airport with the Iowa souvenirs Mark bought them.

Great girls! Great dad! :~)

HappyGram

Today's happygam brought to you despite our mid-west storm warnings, a sick self and a sick daughter...because this is too sweet not to share.

Look at this man's face.
He is exactly where he is supposed to be, doing what he is called to do.

Amen.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Paradigm Shift

“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”---Alexander Graham Bell


Dang.  

Brilliant inventor.  

Champion of the deaf.  

And worth quoting!

Glimpses

Just want to record the first time that I have been able to begin, *really* begin to embrace the next chapter in my life, as not including an adoption.

The death of a dream is difficult. Makes me sad, on one hand.

Feels like progress, on the other.

Actually felt a flicker of interest in thinking of several things that I might be able to accomplish in the next chapters of my life.

These things do not feel more important or like better ways to spend my lifetime, just different.

And maybe, just maybe...I'll be OK with that.


Yeah.

Maybe.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Burn

Today's commute featured the Vineyard CD "Burn Service".

Been awhile since I listened to this, but I quickly remembered both that and why I loved this collection of songs.

Here's the one stuck in my head tonight. It's called, "Your Love Reaches Me".

You are the fountain of my life
In Your light I find my reason
Your love reaches to the stars
Even the great deep
Your love reaches to this heart
And it makes me sing

Your love reaches me
It's what I need
It's what I need
Your love reaches me
It's what I need
It's what I need

(Bridge)

Oh, Lord, how priceless
Is Your unending love
Both high and low find refuge
In Your shadow

Sometimes, I have heard people who were not raised with this style of worship music describe it as boring or lacking somehow. More specifically, I have heard reference to our songs being called 7-11 (seven choruses, eleven times or something like that). And I sort of get that.

Because I love the hymns, too. I didn't know any till I became a Christian, but I love the emotion, the poetry; they are truly beautiful.

But, unless you really know all verses and stanzas, you gotta have a hymnal and you gotta keep your eyes open--two things that do not lend themselves well to the way I enjoy worshiping.

Eyes closed, head thrown back, arms raised or flung wide---singing simple, but adoring songs, not just *about* God, but *to* God. Anyone else know what I mean?

At times, the experience is the most pure, uplifting thing I have even known. I soar. I fly. I dance. I twirl. I jump. I kneel. I bow. And I don't really care who sees me (although I do not intentionally draw attention to myself, either). Like I said, it's pretty pure. Just me and God. Doing our thing.

Admittedly, this is harder to do in the car. My children tell (grossly exaggerated) stories of me driving with my eyes closed, worshiping. :snort: The little buggers. They love to tease me. In my defense, I never closed both eyes, while taking both hands off the wheel. (jusssst kidding).

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Post Script


Here we are performing at some random county fair, circa 1976.  
That's me in the front.
Apologies for the poor quality of the photo.  
It was taken a looong time ago.
Note the large homemade star. 
Note the gloves (I forgot about the gloves!). :snicker:
Makes me wanna laugh and cry, all at the same time.
Sigh.  Chuckle.  Shake head.

Time to clean house...literally.

Jesus Christ Superstar

Yes, I am old.  Established fact.  Moving along...

When telling the story of my coming to Christ, I always relate how I was 30 years old when I accepted Jesus into my heart, by myself, on a couch, in my home, in a town of 800 people.   

A friend or two at work over the years had shared their Christian faith with me, but mostly, I was not impressed.   

My now-husband had planted some pretty fertile seeds into my very earnest seeking heart, mainly because he had a faith that encompassed his entire life--money, child rearing, marriage, service, schooling, etc.  

I always knew that if I ever embraced any faith (and I was sooooo hungry for that in my life--it was the only thing I lacked, at the time), I would do it all out.  That is just how I am.  

I remember when my babies were born and were not baptized, people around us were not pleased.  It seemed that babies are supposed to be dedicated or baptized, even if you attend church only at Christmas and Easter. Not for me.  Seemed false and silly to do that, when I did not even believe.

So, the pivotal moment in my life occurred, as described above.  And, as I've stated many times, I have never been the same.  The change was radical, immediate and completely beyond me.

So fast forward to the other day, I was cruising the local Goodwill (*love* that store--found a cute Fossil purse and also a Kate Spade backpack sort of bag among other treasures) and I found a CD in a bin;  a pristine copy of the soundtrack to "Jesus Christ Superstar".  Oh my.

Funny how things can jog your memory and you can be transported back in time allatonce.   And over the last several days as I have listened to the music, I am in 9th grade;  age 14.  1976.  Wow.  

Three girlfriends and I had choreographed a dance for the school variety show in 8th grade (to the theme from SWAT--with black lights and neon paint on our leotards and hands--::eye roll::) and we wanted to do tryout with another dance.  

We chose the soundtrack from "Jesus Christ Superstar";  the final song on the album.   We listened to all the tracks, over and over, but chose that one.  I remember spending all our free time, listening, choreographing and practicing.  

One of the moms made us one piece costumes of royal blue silkysatiny material--V-neck, halter-tied and ruffled with shiny silver trim.  Bare feet.  Huge homemade star made by covering cardboard with shiny tin foil ("Superstar"--get it?).  Oh dear.  
Anyhoo.  We were chosen to perform in the variety show.  We were so proud of that dance.  We even (so embarrassing) entered the dance into contests at the local county fairs.  We were after the Holy Grail of talent shows in Iowa---a chance to perform in Des Moines at the State Fair for Bill Riley's Talent Show.  

We must have performed that thing in half a dozen counties (trivia:  Iowa has 99 counties, the most of any state in the USA) before winning in one of them (we had placed many times, but you had to *win* to go to the State Fair),  Then we got to go to the State Fair in August and perform our dance on the famous outdoor amphitheater stage.  We were so cool.  :~)

We placed in the Talent Competition, but did not win (only shocking when you are in 9th grade--not shocking at all to me now).  lol

Wow.  This is getting loong.  All this to say that I now realize that seeds were planted in many more ways than I had ever realized or remembered. Even that time spent on a silly 9th grade modern dance routine.  

I listened to that music and I now believe that it played a part in developing a sense in me that desired, *passionately* desired to know the Truth.  Passion or nothing.  So, for many years, it was nothing.

I have been given a glimpse into the answer to that question all people ask, "Where are you, God?  If You are real, where in the heck were you when  ____________ happened to me?".  Now, I know where He was.  I have known in theory, in doctrine and even in my heart.  

But now, I have proof.  He has been with me my whole life, drawing me, beckoning me, inviting me, guiding me, protecting me and loving me personally. But I was unable to see His presence.  

Until on my couch, all alone, I met Jesus.  And the search for Truth was over.  And He pretty much is a rock opera, a Superstar.  

Thanks, Jesus for always being there.
 
Even to the end of the age...

Saturday, April 5, 2008

In the category of, "Never say Never"...





Can anyone spot what we did today?
Actually, I think it looks darling.
Are all the moms gonna hate me?

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Celebration

April is an important anniversary month for us.

Without going into detail, two years ago, we sort of began a new chapter in our marriage.

No. Wait. There is nothing "sort of" about it.

There is not a day that goes by that I don't marvel at what God has done.

Not a day that I am not thankful for my husband's leadership at a critical point in our lives.

Not a day that I am not reminded of the love and support of key family members and friends.

The slide show "For Tricia, Gary and Shari (NIM)" is for three special strangers who directly contributed in a holy, anointed way to our "happily ever after".

Part thank you, part remembrance of what could have been missed.

Life is good.

Life with God is better.

(click on the photo above to enlarge it, so you can read the caption. also notice they are holding hands. that cracks me up!)

For Tricia, Gary and Shari (NIM)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

And because I'm not shy about sharing my opinions on my own blog...

I watched "American Idol" tonight.

Don't know that I've watched an episode since the auditions (which are an embarrassingly guilty pleasure of mine).
But I tuned in tonight, by chance and stayed because I happen to like tonight's mentor, Dolly Parton (yes, I'm a bit defensive about this--fair warning). :Ahem:

Anyway. I really enjoyed hearing music that I like and contestants being mentored by a singer that I like. It was all quite pleasant for an evening of pop culture, in which I (more often than I'd care to acknowledge) feel too frickin' old to participate.


And because I am more grandma, than 'tween and I read that "grandmas" are voting for David Archuleta, I'll just add in that I think he's very cute and seems sincere and from what I can tell, I'd be happy if he won.


Not that I'm voting.


And I'm kinda too young to be a grandma.


I'm just saying.

Smacked Upside the Head with HOPE

My sweet daughter brought home a gift for me over the weekend. The thing about a daughter is she is not a son. lol

By that I mean, that she and I seem to "get" each other in the same way girlfriends "get" each other. And that's nice.

And mostly because I'm farther along in life, it is I who am able to give gifts to my daughter vs. the other way around. And I love that. Definitely one of the more wonderful things about getting older.

But this weekend, my daughter left me a gift on the dining room table. And when I opened it, I felt understood. And I felt like my daughter and I share dream (or at least that she supports me in my dream). And that is so sweet. Sort of like we've arrived at the place I've always hoped we would.

So without talking it to death, here are some photos of my daughter's meaningful, unsolicited, fully self-funded, surprise gift.

A nifty girl, she is.

Oh yeah. And I did literally smack myself upside the head with HOPE this morning as I got into the car. :snort: