Saturday, May 31, 2008

Oh Happy Day!

Did I mention my husband was being sued? ... Well he was.

A recap: He was laid off quite suddenly which left us pregnant / broke and uninsured ...

Then he opened his own practice, Advent Foot and Ankle, with every last cotton-pickin-penny we had.

Then his old jerky boss sued him to have all his offices shut down but he lost and we won and it was in the paper today!!!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Yes, I am That Crazy Neighbor Lady

Problem: Bar caddy corner to my house has never weed whacked
Solution: Post a new sign weekly to comment on the condition of their white trash, wrong side of the railroad tracks, nasty looking weeds. This week: "weeds. Weeds. WEEDS!!" Next week ...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Feels Like Life

Sometimes I wonder if I've stepped out of life. If, while I'm at home with my kids, it's going on out there -- somewhere very far away-- without me.

I especially wonder this on rainy mornings (such as today) as I watch my neighbor looking so nice in lipstick and heals pulling away with a travel mug of coffee. In a quiet car. The headlights streaming away. Off to busy places. Important appointments. A whole lot of living.

I watch her drive away and wonder if I've been left behind.

But then I hear singing.

It's a 3 year old's version of the Gloria. And that feels like life.

But still I wonder. Especially when my wallet's bone dry. I wonder if this choice I've made to mother full-time is completely necessary.

But then I hear crying.

It's an earache. A heartache. An ache only a mother can soothe. I respond with a touch that calms the world. And that feels like life.

Even then I wonder if the universe is happening out there while I'm in here, especially when I'm lonely or just plain bored.

But then I hear praying. A child's Our Father -- word for word are words I taught. I clasp his little hand in mine. And that feels like life.

In these moments I realize the living is here. On our play room floor. At the kitchen table. The action. The living. The raising of not merely young bodies but of eternal souls. In these moments, the rest of the world falls away and this child-proof fixer-upper becomes exactly where I want to be.

And that feels like life.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Hey Jude

Piper stole her daddy's guitar and she sounds pretty good. Check her out!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Brad & Angie / Tucker & Cherie (Not to be Confused)

These power couples are sick and tired of being confused. So let me see if I can clear things up:

1. Angie has body art. Cherie digs guys (or a guy) with body art.

2. Brad and Angie are in alot of People Magazines. Tucker and Cherie read alot of People Magazines.
3. Brad and Angie are pregnant with twins. Tucker and Cherie are pregnant with ... twins.
No wonder we're getting them confused! Perhaps I should suggest name tags ... Congratulations!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Cowboy's Crowning Glory

The Cowboy

The Cowboy Room

The New Cowboy Quilt! Handmade by Grandma Johnson for baby Simeon but borrowed by a very pleased big brother: "Simeon is just a little baby and he won't mind a bit -- not a bit!"

Sunday, May 11, 2008

One Heck of a Lady

Stephanie Melber is one heck of a lady. Let me tell you, this birthday girl is a friend no woman should be without -- especially me.

So let me take a moment to salute this can-do-kinda-gal who holds out laughter, friendship and kindness in a world that can be so indifferent and cold.

Steph, you are the flowers. You are the happy, breezy, kids on a trampoline kind of day. You bring lightness and laughter to my life and my family.

You're also strong. You handle trials large and small with steel magnolia resolve. I could gush. I really could. I could give anecdote upon anecdote about this time or that when you saved the day by babysitting one kid while I took the other to the ER or gave a listening ear and perfect advice on husband frustration or managing a house full of babies, but blog posts are meant to be short and I really wouldn't know where to begin.

So I'll let King Solomon's words sum me up:
"Strength and dignity are her clothing. She can laugh at the days to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. ... Charm is deceitful, and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." -- and you are, Steph. Happy birthday!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Only Sense I Can Make

Our old friend Yong Min Chon died yesterday after a two year fight with bone cancer.

Yong Min was 36, a loving husband and the father of 3 young children ages 7, 5 and 2.

As I struggle to accept that God saw it fit to take Yong Min in the prime of his life in such a painful way, the only sense I can make of it is heaven. I trust he is there and I trust he led so many to live in a way that they will go there too. Please visit the blog he kept during his battle, pray for his soul and know he prays perfectly for yours.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Surely Goodness and Mercy Will Follow Me All the Days of My Life

My friend Kate recently wrote me a note on the subject of suffering:

"It's pervasive, ever present and does not discriminate. It ebbs and flows from serious to slightly annoying, but is ALWAYS there. It seems there are only two options to this dilemma:
#1 God doesn't care about us and then you are an Agnostic.
#2. God has an amazing plan for all this suffering and it is the means to our salvation.
I would prefer #2 but can't understand it much."

I'd agree with Kate on the preference of #2. I know I'm coming to expect sorrows as long as I dwell in this valley of tears. It's a struggle though because I long for heaven, for Eden, for creature comfort but am constantly confronted by briars.

And whether the thorn is small: waking through the night with a baby. Or big: chronic illness, barn fire, cyclone, ... they all do the same thing. They make my unpraying heart scream, "Help me, God. God, help me. Help me, please, dear God. Help."

Sometimes that's all the praying I do. But it's genuine and it works. I'm met with a strength beyond my own and am made stronger in the process.

I even end up valuing the trial (once it's over), knowing it was the press that turned my grapes into wine.
Knowing all this, I wish I could welcome the trials. Unafraid. I wish they'd stop shocking me like bolts of lightening. I wish I could view them head on with King David's confidence:
"Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
Thou art with me. Thy rod and thy staff comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
Thou anoints my head with oil. My cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Amen."