A Photo-Op For My Bathroom

OBS_WEEK3_LST_PHOTOHOP_Missindeedy

It sounds glamorous, doesn’t it? A photo-op for a bathroom?

One of the ways I’ve learned to soak in the truths from the Bible is to stick them in the places where I am able to do the most soaking.

And, I don’t know about you, but the bathroom might be about the only place where I can gain enough milliseconds to drench myself in the beautiful promises and encouragements that the Bible provides.

Some days, just being able to see it there on the mirror while I go about my routine, is enough to get my day going in the right direction.

And other days, glimpsing the peace-filled truth as I’m about to blow my top, is enough to simmer me down.

Needless to say, each time I approach the throne, I’m focusing on the God who bids me come closer to the only one that matters.

Where Grace and Mercy flow.

Either way, I’m sharing the verse that I’ve been digging into this week through my study of Living So That by Wendy Blight.  Our Online Bible Study over at Proverbs 31 Ministries is doing our one and only blog hop during this study – today! Feel free to click on the button below to see what others wrote about. Or, the many other creative photos were shared.

OBSBlogHop

When There Are Weeds

Gardening isn’t something that I’ve ever enjoyed.  I blame Sundays.

Growing up, I could count on the following four things happening every. single. Sunday.

First, church.  Next, change into swimsuits as soon as you get home and head outside to begin an hour or two of grueling yard work in the sizzling balmy South Florida sun. Thirdly, end the agony by jumping into the swimming pool; and finally, follow it all up with soup and sandwiches on the patio.

Every Sunday.

Like clockwork.

Only, yard-work.

As you can imagine, I learned a few lessons.

The first one left scars.

If we didn’t get out there and start all the weeding and what-not before the scorching Florida sunshine was fully ablaze, we’d find ourselves turning into crispy critters.  And I did – on far too many occasions. As my handful of burnt off pre-melanomas proclaim. Putting sunscreen on, before heading out, always seemed like such a waste of time.

I’ll tell you what was wasted – my youth!  Ol’ Georgie Bernard Shaw had it right.

I also learned that Sandwiches taste better after hard work. That was an easy one.

But, the lesson that has really grown a life of its own, has to do with weeds.

If you’ve ever pulled weeds, you can probably agree that weeding is not for the weak.  There are some that require more than a short quick yank, to remove. Some weeds require a full-on excavation! They’ve got to be worked over with a spade, cajoled and wiggled,  and maybe even wrung out with an extra pair of hands.

Sometimes, though, when time is tight and hands are scarce, those weeds start growing like crazy cakes. I say things like, “Oh, I’ll get to them next week,” and “Two weeks off isn’t gonna hurt much.” As long as those weeds aren’t eye-level and I can tamp them down with each footfall toward what I’d rather be doing, it’s no problem. Excuses pile up and before I know it, the weeds take over.

There are weeds in my life that have grown far too tall for me not to notice anymore.  And some of them have become downright thorny!

weeds_missindeedy

Self-discipline may indeed be a Spirit that we’re promised to be given, but I was starting to wonder if a little less was sprinkled on me.  Maybe the Self-discipline dispensary was near to empty?  I don’t know.

What I do know, is that sometimes, I really have to dig deep to force myself to do things that I know I should be doing. And it’s becoming increasingly clear that I need to call on that self-discipline that I’ve been promised.

Exercise. Wiggle, cajole.

Ordering the egg-white wrap instead of the donut. Extra pair of lips to talk me down.

Spending daily time, quietly meditating on God’s Word – or even just thinking on all that I have to be thankful for! Get that spade – I need to dig!

Looking back, I think Ahab had it exactly right. Put God first, family time next (even if it was in the form of torture yard work), and play to follow.  I’m even thinking that the eating had its proper place right there at the end, too.

So, if you’ll excuse me, there is some weeding that must be done around here.

But first, please pass the sunscreen?

My One True Love

Sun_Rise

God’s not dead. His Son is alive!

On this, I can rely.

Upon the solid Rock I stand,

as storms continue by.

 

God’s not dead. His Son is alive!

I want for you to know.

His grace assures me I can stand

before Him, white as snow.

 

God’s not dead. His Son is alive!

He can withstand the questions.

the sneers and jeers and pokes and jabs

only served to highlight Perfection.

 

God’s not dead. His Son is alive!

Of this, I am quite sure.

He woos me back, time and again;

As my Eternal Cure.

 

God’s not dead. His Son is alive!

He rose from darkness to Light.

My One True Love, rose for me.

For your heart, too, He will fight.

 

Surrender it all to Jesus, my Christ.

Rest in His sure protection.

God’s not dead. His Son is alive!

Let’s celebrate His resurrection!

 

 

Dentists Are Dead to Me

It’s official: Dentists are dead to me.

I was pretty sure that we were coming to this when I had that fateful dentist appointment a couple of years ago.

But this?  This takes the cake.

And frosts it with cavities.

Poor Sweetgirl.  We have just returned from her semi-annual dentist check up.  She’s had a stellar report each time that we’ve gone. We brush. We swish. We don’t floss. But, hey, we don’t live on candy around here, either. Neither child drinks the usual suspects for cavity inducing liquids.

So, we expected a great report again.

Sweetboy had just gotten a great report again, moments before.

And, Sweetgirl has the cutest little pearly whites I think I’ve ever seen! And I’m only mostly biased.

Seriously? What's not to love about that smile?!

Seriously? What’s not to love about that smile?!

Apparently though, she did not get my healthy toother genes.

Dang.

She bravely marched into the x-ray chair for the very first time this morning, all smiles and cute little pearly teeth. She opened wide and allowed the hygienist to arrange the spacer thingy in her mouth for the optimal viewing of her tiny teeth.  She held still.

SHE HELD STILL!

It was for five seconds, but PEOPLE! She did it!

We returned to our room and she hopped up into the pink (coral) chair to pick out her prize from the revered Prize Box.

Not so fast there, missy.

“Oh, Sweetgirl, you have some boo-boos on your teeth,” the Dentist said in his adorable Argentinian accent.  (I may give him a few extra points for delivering such devastating news in such a pleasant way. MAY.)

I immediately jumped out of my seat. “What kind of boo-boos?”

“She haas seeex cavities on her lowers teeth,” he calmly said.

Sweetboy said, “OH NO!”

I said “HOW MUCH?”

Sweetgirl said, “But, is the medicine to fix them PINK?”

I kid you not.

In that order.

He then gently explained that this will require two separate visits, laughing gas, Novocaine, and a viewing of Frozen.

I asked him if he could pass some of that laughing gas to me.

He was not amused.

Or, surprised.

So, clearly, I am going to have to pray about my stinky attitude toward all Dentists who are not from Argentina.

I’ll do that while I’m at the drugstore trying to find children’s dental floss. That’s pink.

Yes indeedy.

 

The Kids’ Top 5 Places to Visit

Just for kicks and giggles, I asked those darling children of mine a question last weekend: If they could go anyplace, what would their top five be?

They each delivered answers fairly predictably, with just one or two surprises.

Sweetboy’s top five, in a very particular order, are:

1. Go to Disney World. (Shocker!)

2. Go to Hawaii. (Apparently, Disney has a resort there? So… shocker!)

3. Go to California.  (Disneyland. We have a theme going here, don’t we?  And, because, “I’ve always wanted to go to L.A. – it seems cool!”  What’s that now?!)

4. Go to the Florida Keys.  (I wasn’t expecting that one. Ahab and Nana – that’s on you!)

5. Go and visit Wales. (This is not a surprise. After all, I did once use an accent for love.)

And, Sweetgirl’s top five were:

1. Disney World. (Shocker, again!)

2. Legoland in Florida. (Thank you Lego Movie!)

3. Denmark. (She has a sweet little school friend from there.  This is not surprising.)

4. Go to Hawaii because “It’s so warm in there!” (And, as soon as brother reported that there was a Disney Resort there, too, she wanted to move it up to #1. I told her that all decisions were final. No returns or exchanges.)

5. Go see Rio2 at the movies. (Now that was totally random, as we didn’t really dig the first one. Well played Rio2 P.R. People! Also, I didn’t have the heart to tell her that Rio 2 is not a place. She’s six. Whatever.)

There you have it.  Thrilling, I know.

But wait!

There is something thrilling that I’m working very hard to keep from sharing with them.

As far as the Sweetkids know, we are having our Mouse Reunion in December. They’ve been pining to go back since stepping foot off of Disney property this time, last year. We’ve been talking it up with them for the last 3 months. We’ve even been involving them in choosing a hotel, mapping out new restaurants to try, and which rides to make sure to hit.

What they don’t know is that we’re actually going to be sporting our Mickey Mouse ears really soon!

And, since it’s #1 on both of their lists, I have the feeling that we will have two highly happy children on our hands come the morning we stroll downstairs and announce that we’re going.

Oh, yes indeedy!

I can not tell you how happy this place makes my family. I had my doubts about how “magical” it all really was – until we actually went for the first time a few years ago.  All doubts were eradicated! Each visit to Disney World has been special for this quirky family of mine in so many ways.  Sweetman and I can’t wait!

In the meantime, I’d appreciate prayers for strength to keep my big mouth shut.  I’m ’bout ready to burst! I keep telling myself that I’ve made it this last couple of months – I can make it another couple of weeks, right?

RIGHT!?!

Missindeedy_Mouse_Secret

In Just Two Weeks

inRL_Conference_InviteThere is a longing in the hearts of so many women that I meet. My own, included.  It’s that deep desire to meet others whom you can ultimately call Your People.  To connect with others, even just a precious one or two, who get who you are at your core.

And when you do, it’s joy unbounded!

The (in)courage community provides that, in spades!

Community is vital to our thriving, as women. From college campuses to nursing home halls, we are wired to seek out others. We often hold broken things inside and pray for other flesh-and-blood friends to come alongside and hold the pieces gently with us. This world that we live in doesn’t always make that easy, does it?

You will find that at (in)courage!

You will find that at the (in)courage in Real Life Conference!

My relationships with this community began online.  I found my head nodding as I read blog posts as women shared deeply of what it means to actually do life, praying that you are being salt and light as you go along. These relationships developed further as I bravely joined a small group community of other Special Needs Mamas – again, through (in)courage.

In April of last year, I bravely stepped out, holding loosely to expectations, and hosted one of these conference meetups at my home.

And it was incredible!Hugging necks and looking into the eyes of so many people I’d only been able to interact with on the other side of the screen? Life fortifying!  You can read all about last year’s meetup here.

Do you long for these sorts of connections in your own life?

In just two weeks, I’ll get to meet a whole new slew of women through (in)courage’s inRL Conference. Each woman who joins a meetup is bravely venturing out into community for deeper conversations and connections.  I. Can’t. Wait!

If you’ve gotten to this point and feel a stirring in your own heart, click here.  You can join an (in)courage meetup in hundreds of different locations around the world! It’s free! It’s local! It’s community!

Do it. I want to see you be brave!

Always More Grace

Raise your hand if you knew what you wanted to do when you headed into college.

(Admit it.  Some of you started to raise your hand.)

I wasn’t among you lucky ducks that had it all figured out.  In fact, I wasn’t sure I wanted to figure it out, at all.  I just knew that there were parties to attend “in college” where there was no curfew, and no one would be waiting for you to get home to make sure you hadn’t broken any rules.

I never did, of course.

Except that one time.

And I never looked at wine coolers the same way again.

Ahab had a way of exacting discipline that involved no hands and no harsh words at all.  Just a lesson.

And you learned it!

Oh, yes you did.

In fact, the wine cooler lesson was a doozy.  At a ripe age, below the legal drinking one, I decided to imbibe.  It was a Friday night and I always followed the rules.  But, not this time! Oh no! I was gonna cut loose and live it up.

Except, I forgot that Ahab and I had planned a special father-daugher reef dive for that following Saturday morning.

And, if you’ve ever read any Ahab stories, you already know that means we were to be up and attem’ at an ungodly early hour.

Also, that you stick to a plan, come hell or high water.  And sometimes, it was only the high water that kept us from keeping it.

So, as I unlocked the door an hour later than curfew, clearly smelling of rule-breaking-behavior, he had only one question.

“Is your alarm set?”

I’m fairly certain that his eyes had a twinkle in them as he asked.

“I’m not sure I’ll be up for getting up at 5:30 tomorrow morning, Dad,” I warned him.

“Oh, you’ll be up,” he promised.

And that’s how it rolled.

As well as my stomach.

Every foot of boat chop that we pounded across that morning, on the way out to our dive spot, my stomach railed at me for the previous night’s activity. And he knew it.

I survived.

Barely.

But I can assure you – the lesson sank in.

Parenting is not for the faint of heart.  I remember hearing that once or a thousand times.

And God parents me much the same way that Ahab did.  He loves me despite.  He disciplines me even when it’s going to hurt him to see me in pain far more than it will hurt me to be disciplined.

And He gives.

Knowing that I can never give back as much. And that sometimes, I won’t even remember to give thanks.

Today, though, I find myself grateful.

Grateful for the grace galore that He heaps on me.

Grateful for another day to get up and breathe deeply and commit my way to Him.

And grateful for the opportunity to love my children the way He loves me.

Knowing, of course, that when I fail – because, I will – there will always be more grace waiting for me.

 Creationswap_Matt_Gruber_Grace_Abounds