Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Most Spiritual Thing You Can Do--Sometimes

Unmotivated, lethargic and a little cranky, I realized I was tired. God's been waking me up early every morning. Unfortunately, the kids have been keeping me up late at night or during the night.

When women ask when my children started sleeping through the night, I tell them I'm still waiting. Ha!

But I digress.

A short "rest" quickly turned into a short nap. My motivation, energy level and attitude all took a turn for the better.

Upon confessing to a pastor that I kept falling asleep during my prayer time, he commented that sometimes the most spiritual thing we can do is take a nap.

Amen, brother.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Celebrating a Milestone

The green machine (our '94 Ford van) has reached a milestone. 200,000 miles! It rolled over in Texas.
It's been through a lot. Many, many repairs. An accident that totalled it. (I was driving, but it was the other guy's fault).

We have a pole in the middle where we used to mount a 13" television when we had long trips to Nebraska.

We wanted to buy a special antennae ball for it, or at least a bumper sticker that said "This van made it all the way up and down Pike's Peak!"

I've mentioned before how thankful I've been for it, even though people point and laugh.

This van has been prayed over and been given thanks for many times. Several times a day when the transmission is acting funny.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Who Shot JFK?

The smirk on my face is facetiously saying, "Hey kids, let's stand in front of the place our president was murdered and smile!" I think Rachel's is saying, "More pictures?"

I guess this stop in Dallas could be considered a loooong field trip, since we are studying U.S. history from the turn of the 20th century.

This layover reminded me of the funniest Saturday Night Live skit I saw many, many years ago. A man goes to Heaven and asks someone (St. Peter, I think) everything he always said he would ask once he got there.

One of his questions was who shot JFK. I don't remember the answer, but what I enjoyed most was all the answers. Hard to describe, but funny.

If my daughter produces a skit like it for this year's youth group's Academy Award, I'll try to post it here.

Does anyone remember it?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Third Time's A Charm Warning

A Warning that could be considered a charm if adhered to, noted my good friend.

How exciting that God was showing me where he wanted me to focus. How encouraging that He showed me enough times that I got it through my thick skull. How great that He's going to use this charge to help me with so many of the things about which I've been praying.

Then I read 2 Corinthians 13:1-2 "This is the third time I am coming to visit you. The Scriptures tell us that if two or three have seen a wrong, it must be punished. Well, this is my third warning, as I come now for this visit. I have already warned those who had been sinning when I was there last; now I warn them again, and all others, just as I did then, that this time I come ready to punish severely and I will not spare them."


In verse 10 "I am writing this to you now in the hope that I won't need to scold and punish when I come: for I want to use the Lord's authority which he has given me, not to punish you but to make you strong."

So I am doubly (triply?) determined to follow the Lord's commands immediately. The dishes are done. The kids and I have played cards. The planning for school is almost complete.

I'm listening.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Third Time's A Charm

On our quaint little porch (on vacation), I was attempting to catch up on my Bible study, "Experiencing God". This particular lesson was a reminder to pay attention to what happens immediately after we pray. Sometimes we pray for God's direction, then unusual things happen. We see them as distractions, when God may have intended them as answers.

As admonished, I prayed, "Help me understand what you are doing in my life."

I hadn't even formed all the words when dh Dan and son Chase joined me on the porch. Okay, I see the humor, didn't look at them as a distraction, but didn't want to read too much into it either. After all, I hadn't even gotten my entire thought out of my mouth!

I did some more of the study. Committed to reading God's Word and letting that be a confirmation of what He's trying to tell me.

Then again I asked, "What are you trying to show me?"

Immediately, some combination of family came out on the porch.

I put aside my study and joined them. Later I read my scripture and again the next day (yesterday). I was totally reminded of the things God has been telling me.

Take care of the small things. Obey immediately. Put aside my own selfish desires, and live to please Him.

I've been asking Him to help me be more disciplined, and He obviously is.

One more time, I sat down yesterday to finish that particular lesson. On the prayer portion I wrote "God, what are you doing in my life? Preparing me for something big in which I must learn to take care of the small details and Big -meaning my family-(at which point Rachel joined my solitude) giving myself to God alone, not pleasing myself but spending time pleasing God."

Three times God interrupted my prayer to show me my family. This isn't the "small things" after all.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Being Spontaneous

Spontaneity is not my strong suit. Neither is flexibility. But I try.

Last week dh Dan reminded me that he would be working in San Antonio this week. With our van newly fixed, our cat no longer an issue, and school not starting until Aug. 25, we were free to consider going with him. On a lark, I looked into the price of gas compared to the price of an airline ticket which would be reimbursed. It looks like the cost of driving would be only 50 or so dollars more.

Dan's base price of a hotel for only him would be reimbursed. He had one free night's stay certificate. So minimal cost as far as a place to stay.

I've been wanting to take the kids to Sea World ever since I went around four years ago. Motivation.

I held my breath and made the reservations, arrangements, and took the plunge into going.

That's where we are right now.

We are having so much fun. It was such the right decision. I wish I would be braver about "going for it" more.

Remembering this success may encourage me.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Remembering Emily

A newly single mom and two boys, one barely two, the other just turning five, broke. The home hadn't had much laughter and needed something new. Enter pet. Dog? Too much trouble. Fish? In my experience didn't live long. Cat? Okay. Yeah. Short hair, female, not a kitten but not too old, already spayed, declawed, indoor, FREE. That would work.

I borrowed a newspaper and found exactly that description, plus she was only one year old and black (childhood memories for me)!!

The previous owner also gave us cat food and a dish, cat litter and a litter box. Did I mention we were broke?
They had called her Ebony, but Brad renamed her Emily. She was his birthday present a few days late. She was a gift from God. A very tangible act of love that gave us many moments of joy. Eighteen years worth.

Thank you, God, for loving us so much. Thank you for all you've done for my children. And me.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Isn't That the Way it Goes?

We were all so sad yesterday walking around the house missing our cat Emily. Chase and I both thought we heard her meow. I suggested he spend some time with our outdoor cat Sassy.

He stepped into the garage to find Sassy "toying" with a couple of baby rabbits.

At least we didn't end the evening by watching "Old Yeller".

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Choose Life But Have Dominion: A Theology Lesson from a "Cat Lady"

Gift from God, 19 year old, Emily the cat had advanced kidney failure. She took a turn for the worse three days ago. At least 30 hours of being too weak to move beyond her head every now and then and her tail, and just as long refusing water, she began to look like she was suffering. She started to cry if we left her side. We've had her for over 18 years. In another post, I'll write what she has meant to me and my family. It's a lot. I was just so torn about what to do. We had prayed over her and for her. I knew we could take her to the vet for a quick and painless ending, but I kept thinking about how God has commanded us to choose life.

An argument could have been made when my grandmother "Mamarie" was in a lot of pain over Christmas to end her life. That argument could not be won in my family. Thank you, Lord.

Torn, I called my cousin Kim. Kim is the "cat lady". She has so many cats that I think it's probably illegal. She's had a ton of pets, and right now she is breeding Siamese kittens. She loves her animals so much. I knew that she would understand my struggle. I don't know what I was expecting exactly, but she surprised me.

She empathized with me totally of course, but ironically told me how "Mamarie" had warned her not to humanize her pets. That through the years she has realized that choose life is a mandate for us Humans. And as humans we have been given dominion over the animals of the earth. We have the responsibility to treat them well. We are not playing God in making a decision to ease their suffering, because they are NOT human. No matter how much we love them. Our emotions get in the way. But we've been charged with a responsibility.

Wow. I love my cousin. It's amazing to find how alike we think about so many things. It meant so much for me to hear these words from her, someone who has loved her animals so much!

So I gathered three of the kids around (though Jeff is 20 and just happened to be visiting), and I shared with them my knew found understanding. I hadn't thought they could handle it, but there they were, totally understanding. Ready to put Emily out of her misery.

We all huddled in the vet's office together.

Yuck. Sometimes making the tough decisions in life really stinks. But I still choose it.