For the love.

I have a friend who said she wanted to see a blog about what I really thought about this election season.   I told her that might not be a good idea because it may make people mad.   She said to go for it anyway.     So here it is but in the interest of maintaining love in my family and friend group I have two paragraphs of disclaimers first.

This is a note to my family.  You know how when you talk to your family that you have inside jokes and just an eyebrow lift can speak volumes?  How talking to your sister can sound a bit pushy to outsiders but she knows you have her back so she let’s you get away with it?   That’s what this post is about.   It’s a note to my Christian brothers and sisters.  My family.   And in that note remember that I adore you.  The message I’m passing on today is one that I am preaching to myself!

Therefore, my dear friends who I love but who don’t happen to be part of my family please read along but don’t be mad or angry or offended.  Just don’t.  This isn’t a message for you.  It’s for my sisters and brothers who frankly need a bit of a thump on the head.   And then a hug.   And for my friends who don’t claim Jesus – if you see something in this note that makes you want to be a part of my family,  give me a call – I’ll take you out to lunch and we can chat.   If I say something that bothers you  just remember I’m talking to my crazy family and in that context I have some leeway to push.   It’s not about you.

OK – All the let’s not offend bases covered.   Listen up my family who claims Christ.

I have something I need to say to you.    This message to those of you who claim to be conservatives and to those who claim to be liberals.  It’s to those of you who think that Bernie Sanders could save us all and those of you secretly rooting for Donald Trump.   This message is to those of you who are upset (or cheering) about bathrooms.   This is also for those of you who claim you have no interest in politics.    It’s for all of you.

Here’s my message.   For the love.   Quit with the fuss already.  Trust Jesus.

Don’t misunderstand.  I’m not saying not to be involved.  I’m not saying to be silent.  I have worked on campaigns and I’ve marched in parades.  I’ve signed petitions and I’ve called my congress people .   And I plan on continuing that.    But my confession is that I’ve had enough of myself.   I’ve spent enough time being mad or scared or worried.  My guess is that you are tired of being fearful as well.

Andy Stanley posted a message that I think we should listen to.

 

See there?    You’re scaring the children.   And when we are panicky and worried and yelling and angry we aren’t preaching the truth.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

2 Timothy 1:7

And so whether you are a Christian brother that is concerned about losing freedoms or raising taxes or you are a Christian sister who leans liberal I would love to invite you all to take a deep breath in this election season and remember that God is not worried or shaken or scared.   And my bet is that He’s not real impressed when we the Church of Jesus turn to anger and hate against our family who don’t agree politically.

So go march. and vote. and donate.  and persuade.    But do it with a heart of peace and words of grace.  Because who is King of your heart matters enormously more than who is on your election ballot.    For the love.

 

 

 

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Epic. Again. 

One of my most viewed blogs ever is Epic.  I can understand this. It was nasty and hilarious which is a go to win on the Internet.  Sad commentary but as I will throw myself (or anyone in close proximity) to the wolves for views I figured this next story deserved some attention.

As you may know, the don’t eat diet was successful.   And as a result my sweet spouse needed a new wardrobe.   Which led to months of friendly reminders (some people call it nagging) from me to the resident chef.  And eventually we ended up at a local store…which shall remain nameless….but is a large box type store where you can buy men’s suits.

My three year old was being especially cuddly.  Nice.   I need to learn to run far away when this happens.   My then nine year old was behaving and I was hopeful we would we purchase said suit without incident.   Shopping with kids is not for the faint hearted.

Anyway, to cut to the chase-  the three year old cuddled in and threw up.  Down my shirt. In my hair. In her hair.  All over the floor of the nice men’s suit store.    The poor good looking twenty something sales guy gagged.   My husband grimaced.  My nine year old shrieked and hid.   I laughed.

I left carrying the three year old and her puke and dragging the humiliated tween with me.   My husband dealt with the store guy.   Clearly we were now committed to purchasing a suit.  Can’t very well walk away after we desecrated their store.

I hauled my children and myself up the escalator and into the public bathrooms to try and wash off before putting anyone in my car.   My eldest refused to go in the bathroom with us.  She hid outside in the photo booth.   I didn’t blame her.  There is only so much that a nine-year-old ego can handle.

The little one and I went in the bathroom.  Stripped off outer layers of nasty clothing.  Soaped up liberally.   Put hands and under the water faucet.

Could not get it to turn on.

Insult to injury.   I am one of those digitally challenged people.  Siri doesn’t understand things I say.   My car blue tooth never hears me correctly.  I can’t get automatic hand dryers to do anything.  And apparently the sinks at the mall are beyond my ability to control.

And so I wiped soap and puke all over my jeans.   Took off my kiddo’s clothing and wrapped her up in my coat and hauled all of us to the car.

It was Epic.   Again.

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Cleaning up.

My daughter and I share quite a few personality traits.  One is that we both are creative busy and industrious people.  My husband calls this messy.   Could be.    Doesn’t bother me.

I had a meeting a few days ago.  Walked into the person’s space and was shocked by the clutter.   Piles of paper, old coffee cups, bins tipped over.    I looked around the room and wondered how said person accomplished anything.  Goodness.   I thought about the people who were guests in her space and wondered if she knew what kind of first impression this gave off.

And then God flicked my upside the head.

Matthew 7:3-5New International Version (NIV)

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

I’m sure you’ve heard it before.   But hearing it in a nice Sunday School class is quite different than an in the moment flick from your heavenly father.

Fact is, I moved offices awhile ago.   Swapped spaces with a few employees.   Never finished.  Sigh.  I’m a jerk.   These hard working people are dealing with my mess.    And the fact that my messes bother my spouse and I don’t care is not cute.  It’s petty and mean.

What God was saying was  “For the love Mindy.  Quit looking at other people and clean up your own mess”.      And so Monday morning – here I am at work typing out a thought and ignoring my mess.   Again.   But its on my goal list.   And I’m working on it.

How about you?   Got any messes you judge in other people’s lives?   Want to join me this week in tackling one of your own instead?

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Teeter Totter

Lazy day at a playground all by ourselves. Birds chirping, soft sunshine, nothing on the agenda, too many Oreos kind of day.   

The littles are alternating sliding with digging in the sand. They will be tired later.  And hungry. 

The biggest one is practicing her long jump for track at school.  This lanky 10 year old tenaciously chasing down a goal reminds me that her days of childhood are numbered.   So I love the simple moments at the playground. 

 Sisters.  Cousins.  Laughs and giggles. Bonked heads and skinned knees.    
 
This is an old school playground. Not many rules. The slides are tall and fast.   Go for it kids. Live big and loud.   

We did when we were little.     

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Snoozing

Last week I went through an online class all about goal setting.   I love setting goals. I like lists and surveys and motivational posters.  And so I happily made goals and set deadlines and geared up.   And promptly hit a wall.   I do not like mornings.    I like my snooze button.   This is a problem.

I did some official important research today on my lunch time.   Okay.  I looked up the word snooze button on Pinterest.    But I was reminded of the many reasons that my snooze button is sabotaging my life.    Interrupting REM Sleep Cycles and setting me up for droopiness all day long.   Really the experts on the internet (probably some random college drop out in Wisconsin) claim that the snooze button is the devil.

Comedian Jim Gaffigan summed it up nicely “Nothing like starting off the day with a little procrastination.   As my first decision of the day….I will go back to sleep”.

I found an app that I can install that charges me $1.00 each time I hit the snooze button on my phone.    I don’t think $1 would do it.   Its worth $1 for ten more minutes of sleep.

Tomorrow I’m going to try putting the phone/alarm in the bathroom and turning the volume up loudly.  In theory this will catapult me out of bed and across the room and I will be awake enough by the time I hit the cold tile in the bathroom to remind myself that I have goals and dreams and then I can win the battle over myself.    My husband is going to love the blaring alarm in the bathroom in the morning.   Maybe that’ll motivate me to get out of bed.   Of course, he probably isn’t impressed with the repeated alarm either.

Really – whole post here is to ask if anyone out there has conquered the snooze button and if so how?

My mother used to quote this bible verse to me.  Maybe I’ll post this in the bathroom by the alarm.    I’ll let you know how it goes

Proverbs 6:9

How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep?

Sigh.

 

 

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Ten for Ten

Happy Birthday to my non child little girl. Ten things I love about you.

10.    You make me be a better person.

IMG_4278

I love that you asked for a birthday blog.  I haven’t blogged for a long time but since you asked I’m going to try.   Its the sort of thing that happens all the time parenting you.   You push me to grow and learn and pray and stretch.   Sometimes I fail.  I yell or am tired or let you down.   But I also know that who I am today is largely because God put you in my arms ten years ago.

9.     You make your Dad proud.

aaron and dylan2

I have been married to your dad for 17 years.   And I know him pretty well.   And I know that when you smile or dance or work hard that your dad is happier than pretty much any other time.  Nicely done girl.

8.     You make your sister feel safe.

dylan and meg2

Big sister is an important role.   You do it well.     You have the ability to make the little ones in your life laugh and grin and think creatively.   They are watching and I’m happy to see you lead well.

7.     You are a determined, strong and brave soul.

dylan ocean

I love that even when things are hard you do not flinch or give up.  I love that you face adversity and sadness with faith and steadfastness.  I love that your answer to do you want to try….. is almost always Yes!

6.    Your compassion is contagious.

Dylan 4th Grade School Picture

My dear when you care for others you sparkle.    I love to watch you make tea for people.  I love that your first thought when you hear of a problem is how you can help.

5.    I love your colorful flair and creativity.

Boring is not a word that comes in mind when I describe you.   I love to watch you fold Star Wars Oragami or paint or write or create.  It’s fun to be in your world.

4 .   I love you don’t think dumb is cute.

dylan art

Art, sushi, Star Wars, Bow The Knee, how to build a circuit, reading history, learning card tricks or generally playing in mud all are equally entertaining to you.    Really you are an interesting person.

3.   I love to watch you love Jesus.

dylan and grandpa2

One of the proudest moments of my life was watching you be baptized this last year.   Love you dear one. Follow Him and your path will always be straight.

2.    I love how you talk.

Big and brave and funny and truthful.   Wowsa world.  Watch out for this one.  She may be small but she’s fierce.

1.   Freckles.

No really.   I love your grin and your big blue eyes and your freckles.  I love that when I wake up and when I go to sleep its as one who is called Mama.  You babe.  I love you.

Happy 10th Birthday.

 

 

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Ten

My daughter turned ten today.   Goodness.   This is a year of milestones for us.  I turned 40.  My dad turned 70.  And now today my daughter informed me that she was no longer a child.  She said she’s a tween.

My children are 6 1/2 years apart.  This means that we will have teenage girls in our house for twelve straight years.    It means we will have blocks and dress up clothes and crayons at the same time we will have makeup and boy band posters and giggling sleepovers.    It means the joy stretches over MUCH of our life.   I’m excited.  And a little scared.

I haven’t blogged again in a long time.  I have a litany of excuses but primarily its because I was sad. My mother in law passed away. The hospitals and doctors appointments and bedside conversations, while precious, were not stories that I felt like glibly throwing out to the masses.    But this morning my daughter told me that for her birthday she wanted a blog list of my ten favorite things about her.   And so watch this feed.    For my daughter is ten.

 

 

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