Tag Archives: grateful

A formidable combination

DSC_0707My mother turned 65 yesterday. We threw her a big surprise party. Family and friends from all over came into town. Aunts and uncles, cousins, small group members, new friends and old.

We ate wedge salad with blue cheese and bacon, steak and pork and oddly colored ravioli. We had cake; chocolate, cream cheese carrot, red velvet and tuxedo. I honestly don’t know what was in the tuxedo cake but it was pretty so we bought it. My mom likes pretty things. We all like cake.DSC_0713

We talked about my mom. She’s incredible. She’s funny and charming and silly and fierce. She is tenacious and intelligent and mischievous and profound. She is a good friend. My dad smiled when he talked about her. My daughter said she loved her grandma really a lot. My sister cried. I quoted Nelson Mandela and said that “a good mind and a good heart are a formidable combination”.

DSC_0755My mom likes to tell me on my birthdays to double my age and think about how much life I have left. I think its supposed to spur me on to appreciate each day and redeem my moments for things that matter. Yesterday I mentally doubled her age and my heart hurt. You see, my mom is 65. She’s not going to double her age. And then I remembered Proverbs 31. Not that bit about a good wife who can cook and keep a house organized (although my mother’s pork chops are lovely and her napkins are always ironed). Not the bit about how her industry makes sure her family is not hungry (although as her business partner I can attest to her talent). I remembered this bit:

She is clothed in strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future. Proverbs 31:25 That’s my mama.DSC_0749

My heart is full of lessons from my mom; Wink. Watch your grammar. Take dinner to sick friends. Put butter on your popcorn. Improve your vocabulary. Dance in your kitchen. Read lots of books. Don’t give up on the Seahawks. Say yes more than no. Travel. Use your good crystal often. Read The Hiding Place whenever you have a bad attitude. Take very hot baths. Buy comfy shoes. Invest in people. Stand up against injustice. Laugh often. Hold hands. Date your spouse. Hold your faith.

DSC_0743-2When my mom stood up at her party last night she thanked her friends and family for coming. She thanked them for their love. And she reminded them that her life is for Christ. We all hope and trust that she has bright years ahead to travel and read and serve and laugh. But beyond that, she has eternity. So her tomorrows are all secure. Corrie Ten Boom said it best “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”

Happy Birthday Mom.

 

 

 

 

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Baby dedication

Yesterday was an important day.   We dedicated our baby girl to the Lord.    A baby dedication is like a baptism or christening.   Dedications are a ceremony at church where you dress your finest, invite the whole family, listen to the pastor’s instruction, promise to do your best to raise a Godly and loving child and then listen while the pastor prays a blessing on the baby.   During all this you hold your breath and hope baby (and hyper hormonal mom) don’t cry while everyone is staring. 

Here I am in one of the two dresses that actually fit in my post baby body.   The first one I wore the day before to a wedding.   My six-year-old is wearing her flower girl dress.   My husband is wearing a very cool shirt he got off Ebay.   Baby is wearing the dedication gown that her big sister wore six years ago.   It was made by my aunt from a pattern that matched her daughter’s.   I cried when I opened it.   The bonnet is my favorite.   

I’m  not sure if big sister thought baby was going to fall out, if she was worried the dress was too long so she was hiding it or if she just wanted to hold on.   I know I want to hold onto my baby sister and my daughters most of the time.  Letting go is hard.    Part of a dedication is remembering that we don’t own our children.  They belong to God.  We just get the amazing privilege to care and guide them for a little while.

This photo makes me happy.   Our family stretches all the way across the front of the church.   I love that people came from near and far to attend.   I love that this family includes people who are grafted in by years of friendship.   I love all the cousins, they were perfect.   I love that all our parents were present and that they invest in my girls.   I miss my grandmothers. 

I love that Jesus told his disciples not to send the children away.   I love that my daughters were both dedicated in the church I grew up in and where my spouse and I were married.  I love that my pastor loves babies.  I love that my eldest is impish enough to be grinning into the camara in the middle of this prayer.    

I think she gets the spunk from me and she has my grin.   I love that my tall strong husband is gently guiding the little one off the stage.    He’s a good man.  I’m grateful to share the job of raising these two with him.

 

It was a good day.  I’m grateful.

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I win I win!

Very exciting news this morning.   I couldn’t wait to spread the word.  I just found out that I’m going to be incredibly wealthy!    And I didn’t have to do anything at all to win.

I had an email this morning that said “Your Email Address Has Won You 4.6 Million from UK Lotto”.    How fun.  I’ve never been to Britain but apparently my email address is working a night shift.  There is also a Prince in Dubai who wants to marry me so I can have his inheritance and help him flee the country.    I wonder if my spouse will mind.      And luck of all luck, an unknown cousin in Paris died and left me a million dollars!     I had to weed through emails promising to enhance various parts of my anatomy and quite a few random sales ads but there is the proof.  I’m headed to easy street.

When I was a little girl, my grandmother was convinced she was going to win the Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstakes and a couple other off brand contests.    In between canning home-made grape juice, playing endless card games with us kids and running around after my grandfather, she’d spend time filling out entry forms and moving sparkly stickers form one page to another sure that this time she’d win.

Invariably, on Christmas we’d each get a present that we’d have asked for (Grandma was one who believed in asking and delivering) but we’d also count on opening at least one bizarre present.   Each of the girls would get diamonette jewelry with sparkle dust.  Each of the guys would get books on healing yourself through herbal remedies.   We’d smile.  Grandma would laugh and explain she had to buy them to qualify for the next level of the contest.

I believe in hard work and saving and building a future.  So did Grandma.  Somewhere along the line though all us kids also caught on to the “maybe we’ll win’  bug.

I recognize that statistically its more likely that I’ll contract TB than win the lottery.    Oh wait.  I already have dormant TB.  And I don’t buy lottery tickets.    We spent a year doing financial counseling at a homeless shelter.  I will never forget the family who had a $400 dollar a month discrepancy in their budget.  When pressed, they said, well we do have our bingo money, but that can’t go to bills.   Sad.

When we were engaged, my husband and I had to fill out a budget during pre-marital counseling.    Since my parents and I  had a start up business which paid next to nothing at the time and my husband was a preschool teacher, the income side of the budget was extremely flat compared to the expenses side.   Not a good way to start a marriage.

So one day, about two months before the wedding, I was at Bi-Mart.  They were giving out free lottery tickets.     It was a game where if you won you got $1000 a week for the rest of your life.   It was called lucky for life.   I was convinced I was going to win.   I told my fiance and my parents that God surely had provided and we would be fine.    They both looked worried for my mental health.

We didn’t win.   I was shocked.

My mother, however, was not shocked.  She found a great place for us to housesit and we had the first eight months of our marriage with no rent or house payments.    Bought our first house with a borrowed down payment in October of 1999.    Dug in and worked like crazy.  Paid the borrowed down payment off.     Have not bought a lottery ticket since.  I think this is probably good considering my clearly irrational thoughts during the lucky to life game.

In reality, I deleted this mornings emails and I’ve moved to an email with a filter.   It did make me think though.  I’m so very grateful that at Christmas I know the truth.    The very best Christmas present was the very first Christmas present given.  A baby.   A promise.   I win.    And so can you.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.    Luke 2:11

 

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Wondering, Loving and Praying

5:00 Wednesday PM:   Headed home.  Grateful for 4 day weekend.   Praying for friends and family.  Wondering if the traffic could go any slower.

6:00 Wednesday PM:   Putting together chairs.  Grateful for new furniture.   Wondering if anyone will notice if they wobble.   Hubby notices.  Hanging upside down trying to balance chairs.  Huh…made in China.  Praying for the persecuted church in China.

8:00 Wednesday PM:   Still putting together chairs.  Wondering if anyone will notice my hands have permanently cramped into the shape of an Alen wrench.   Grateful for my father who has worked with his hands his whole life.   Praying the doctor can help him with the new treatment for his curled fingers.

10:00 Wednesday PM:   Tucking in my daughter.  Loving her eyelashes, loving her goodnight prayers.   Wondering if she’ll ever have a sibling.   Praying for Christine in Rwanda.  Praying this other daughter will have a good night.

11:30 Wednesday PM:   Making cranberry sauce.   Loving the smells of cloves and cinnanmon.   Loving the sound the cranberries make when they swell and pop.   Making cinnamon rolls.  Grateful for 16 years of cinnamon rolls with this man standing beside me.   Praying for the marriages of friends and family.

8:00 am Thursday AM:    Running a mile.  Cold.  Wondering if a mile constitutes actual excersize enough to work off the meal headed my way.  Grateful for sidewalks, friendly neighbors and a track at the local school.   Wonder if the school tuition in Rwanda is caught up.

9:00 am Thursday AM:     Getting ready.  Blowdryer.   Its pink. Praying for a friend facing tests for cancer.  Loving my daughter’s little toes and big smile.  Grateful for warm clean water.   Praying for the 18 people headed to our house.

10:00 am Thursday AM:    Breakfast with family.    Loving the cream cheese frosting on warm cinnamon rolls.   Loving Greek yogurt, bagels, fresh fruit.   Hoping next year sausage and cheddar are back in my diet.   Praying for family not present at the table.

11:00 Thursday AM:     Cleaning out a turkey with my mama.   Loving 35 years with this woman.   Wondering if the marketing departments know I’m aware that they leave the fat chunks for extra weight.   Praying I get to clean many more turkeys.  Praying for friends who no longer have their mamas.  Missing my grandma, first thanksgiving without her.

2:00 Thursday PM:    Cleaning out the garbage disposal.   Wondering why its only me that clogs it up.   Grateful the only time I cook is at holidays.    Praying for patience.

4:00 Thursday PM:   Nineteen people in our house.   Grinning at the pile of coats and shoes and scarves.    Praying.   Eating.   Loving the full plates and full tables.   Grateful for a place to include everyone.  Wondering where the pepper went.  Praying that these guests feel welcome and loved.  Praying that they know how very much God loves them.

10:00 Thursday PM:   Hugs.  Lots of hugs.   Putting away piles of games.   Wondering whose crystal dish I found.  Grateful for a country where prayer and thanksgiving are free.   Praying for our leaders.

4:00 Friday AM:   Turning off the alarm.  Why was I getting up?   Oh yes, its about the socks.   Wondering if it might not be worth paying normal price.   Grateful for friends who are as crazy as me.    Praying for safety.

1:00 Friday PM:   Tired now.   Wondering why the bank didn’t tell me I had a daily spending limit.   How annoying.   Grateful for a sister who has a debit card too.   Praying friends and family will enjoy the gifts.   Grateful for the first and ultimate Christmas gift.

5:00 Friday PM:    Eating pizza.   Loving pineapple and mozarella.   Grateful for old friends.  Praying for their teen group and ours.  Praying for wisdom for parents.

10:00 Saturday AM:   Running three miles.   Did I already mention the cold?   Grateful for coaches.   Praying I’ll be in charge of my body, not it in charge of me.

11:00 Saturday AM:   Eating a cinnamon role.    I think I already mentioned the cinnamon roles.   Really they are that good.   Wondering when I last blogged.   Praying for my niece and nephews.   Grateful for time to sit.

2:00 Saturday PM:   Craft bazaar.   Wondering where all the hats came from.   Wondering if its right to feel guilty for not buying a pot holder from the little Grandma.   Grinning with my kiddo at the tiny Christmas tree for her doll house.   Grateful for fun days.

5:00 Saturday PM:   Sitting by the fire.   Wondering if I can finish all my shopping this weekend.   Probably not.   Praying that in our house, that the miracle of Jesus doesn’t get lost in the ribbons and bows.   So very grateful for Emmanuel.  God with us.

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