Saturday, March 28, 2009

Happy Birthday to me...

I am 39 years old today. In fact almost to the minute as I type this.
Here are a few pictures of when I was young... younger.

I was almost 4 years old in that picture. I love the t.v. No flat screens back then. But at least, unlike my hubby, we had electricity. (JK honey!)

This second picture is possibly from kindergarten.
My hubby bought me a dozen red roses this morning... my sisters brought me a beautiful tote bag filled with fun things... including a Glinda from the Wizard of Oz magnet to remind me to be a GOOD witch! That makes me laugh. Then I just went out to put some frozen pizzas in our freezer and there is a birthday cake hiding there!
Well, I'm off to enjoy the rest of my birthday.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Connections in Charlotte

I just checked the internet for flights to Charlotte, NC. The cheapest one is just over $300.00. If I want a no-connections flight, it would be closer to $500.00. Suddenly there it was... the angle for my blog post for the She Speaks Conference scholarship entry. (Go to Lysa Tyerkurst's post for more information!) Connections! Of course I want connections. That's why I want to go to the She Speaks Conference in the first place!
Proverbs 31 Ministries' She Speaks Conference offers connections:
Connections with God and His calling in your life.
Connections with kind-hearted professionals with a desire to teach their trade.
Connections with other writers/speakers/leaders.
Connections with publishers.

My morning ritual involves opening three windows on my computer while waiting for the coffee to brew. My blog, FaceBook, and e-mail. My husband, in jest, accuses me of being addicted to the computer. He is only partly right. I am addicted to connections. As a stay at home mom, most of my connections (at least with grown ups) just happen to be found on the computer.
I love connecting with people. I love the fellowship with other Christians. I love meeting people who run in different circles than myself, learning about them and their beliefs, and showing them my connection to Jesus. I love connecting with God through prayer and reading His Word.
I also love to write. I used to say “I live to write.” It used to be that unless I wrote about something it was not real to me. I still have my notebook from my 9th grade Language Arts class where I sat across from a really cute boy. One day I kept accidentally making eye contact with him. Okay, I was staring at him and he was catching me at it! I could feel my face growing warmer and redder. I needed to vent. Having no friends in that class, I started a conversation within my notebook, “Eek! He just looked at me.” “Don't look at him!” “Whoa! He looked at me again!” This is an embarrassingly silly example, but that moment is still etched in my memory. Because I wrote about it.
I have a suitcase filled with letters I never mailed. My personality, my beliefs, my first boyfriends, my life was continually expressed through ink on paper. Then my life changed. I gave myself to Christ. I became a different person. I stopped writing.
There are several possible reasons why:
-My confidence took a nose dive.
-As a new Christian I felt I had little or nothing to offer.
-My freshest writing in the past was, well, fresh. And not like lilacs in the spring. More like the birds and the bees in the spring. Not explicit but not Christ-edifying, either.
-“The writer's life is a lonely life.” I am not sure if I am quoting my mother or my creative writing professor. Probably both.

I can no longer, however, resist the urge to write. I have been recognizing it as encouraging whispers from my Father in Heaven. I have started to re-find my voice through listening to His voice. The She Speaks Conference might just be what is needed for a “revival in my calling.”
Do you feel the same pull? Go to the She Speaks Conference website and find out that this conference could be just what YOU need!

Monday, March 23, 2009

A Rather Blustery Day

We had our first big wind of the season yesterday afternoon. I kept hoping Mary Poppins would drift into our yard. Unfortunately she was a no-show. Also unfortunate, my camera's batteries were not charged, but picture the little boy and girl in The Cat in the Hat when they were sitting at the window watching the drizzly day... only there were five children in our window and they were ecstatic! They kept giving us minute-by-minute updates.
"The chair is moving again!"

"The power lines are moving!"

"The gate flew open!"
Even our little 16 month old Princess sat wide-eyed in a big kid chair watching with the boys. Once they all paraded to the north side of the house because one of the kids spotted a trash sack in a tree... way high up in a tree. Then we were all drawn back to the kitchen window when our 6 year old frantically yelled, “The lawn chair is sliding into the alley!” So with all five of our children watching at the window, dh and I ventured out to rescue the chair and re-latch the gate.
As soon as we got outside I had a devious plan, “Wouldn't it be funny if we acted like we were blowing away in the wind?” Hubby went first. He pretty much blew straight to the gate, but then he held onto it as if for dear life. My performance involved more spinning and arm flailing. Then we blew into the alley and hid around the side of the neighbor's fence laughing... or catching our breath. The 7 year old had been talking to me through the open window when hubby started blowing toward the alley. But suddenly all inside were silent. Once we were out of sight, we could hear the 6 year old yell, “Bob and Jenny just blew away!” Our sensitive 5 year old started to squeak fearfully, so we came back in the yard to put their little minds at ease.
While we were still in the alley we noticed the 4 year old neighbor boy watching from his window. He was quickly joined by his big brother. We were quite proud to have gotten six kids with one stunt.
Some might call it mean. We call it revenge... sweet revenge...

When I Googled "Windy umbrella" I found this silly picture of my favorite President. I figured I'd post it since I've been quite missing him.

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Armor of God
10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

My boys were so excited after Awana the other night. They got to help teach the other kids in their class about putting on the "armor of God." My 6 year old was a little surprised that other children had not heard about the sword of the spirit or the breastplate of righteousness. I'm so proud of them!
On a somewhat related note, did you all know that you are apparently supposed to take your shoes off before going into Chic-Fil-A? I might be exaggerating a bit, but I was told by family members that it was a "holy place." No wonder they don't come with us on Tuesday nights! Oh brother! Do you ever feel like that family on the Simpsons? With the boys and their dad always singing, "I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart." That stupid show sure painted Christians in a bad light, didn't it? It's hard to be a witness for Christ when people think you're an intolerant fool. And apparently Chic-Fil-A is a meeting place for our cult or something! I'm a little miffed, can you tell?
A p.s. to said family members if you read this... Don't worry, I'll get over it. I love you! Even if you do think I'm a weirdo. :)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spring Renewal or Cleaning

One of the things I look forward to the most in Spring is Spring Cleaning. Not the sweep out the cobwebs, beat the rugs, wash the windows Spring Cleaning. The kind of Spring Cleaning I get excited about is when everyone in the city puts their garbage out into the street. Then little front-end-loaders and men with shovels fill large city dump trucks that make their way to the dump. My kids and I sit at the window or in the driveway and watch. A few years ago the mini front end loader split our old hand-me-down, stained, torn, couch in two pieces before lifting it into the dump truck. Six kids and I cheered from our "new" couch at the front window. Spring Cleaning is the cheapest and easiest way my family gets rid of a lot of strangling clutter.
Getting rid of the clutter from my brain often proves to be more difficult. The only solution I can think of, besides expensive therapy that probably wouldn't work anyway, is to replace the various, often contradicting, voices in my head with the Truth. My refreshing Spring habit will be simply to breathe... Inhale God's Word through reading the Bible, and exhale through prayer and journaling.
I also plan to read posts on Internet Cafe Devotions for more ideas on rejuvenation & renewal.
Happy Spring!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Our Song

At the end of Open Season 2 all the little animals start singing, "Why do birds suddenly appear every time you are near? Just like me, they long to be, close to you." Thanks to the Veggie Tales Junior's Bedtime Songs CD I received as a baby shower gift, I've been singing that song to my son for almost 6 years now. Tonight I crooned along with the critters as we finished watching the movie, quipping, "They're singing our song!" Daniel just loves when I do that. He also loves when I cry during movies. He was NOT very impressed, however, that I actually got up and danced during parts of Mama Mia. I'm learning the fine art of Embarrassing Your Offspring.
As we cuddled in bed after the movie, he made me sing, "the Open Season song" two times before he drifted off to sleep.