Monday, November 25, 2013

Charlie the (almost) 6 year old

Charlie turns 6 on Thursday which happens to also be Thanksgiving this year. I'm hosting at my house for the second time in my whole life so I thought ahead this year and planned an early party with her little friends. I'm shocking myself lately with thinking through things like this. Thank you ADD diagnosis/meds!

Charlie said that what she wants more than anything for her birthday is a daddy. Combining that with lots of internal struggling has thrown me into a level of sadness that God can only help me get through. And He surely will :)

Last night a friend sat down with me and just let me cry. Then she told me the Truth about how bitterness and pain can eat away at us and it's happened and happening in my heart now. Y'all please pray that I can forgive and embrace grace like I never have before. It's hard to work through but necessary. Thanks y'all!

Monday, November 11, 2013

When will I be done?

I'm always working on projects.
Picking up old stuff and making it new. Start to finish can take anywhere between an hour and 8 months. It depends on my mood and if something is going on internally that I'm wrestling with. I'm glad I don't have many deadlines related to painting.
Yes I work on things for other people and I'm guilty of calling friends sometimes to say, "Please-anything, give me something to change or redo. For the love I'm out of stuff in my own house and I'm desperate." Usually they are happy to share.
A long time ago, (long, long,) I told the Lord "yes" when He told me He wanted me. I could easily believe that He wanted and needed me. I mean, I was so lovable. So full of perfection and excitement for Him. So full of life and joy and ideas for showing off I mean showing Him off. I was a heap of pride and I was proud of it. He could've told me to go save countries and I'd have been on board because I saw my great potential.
It's bad enough to think any of that but why tell you, show you where my heart really was? Why not shoot straight-I've got little patience with lots of things y'all know that. Telling you how great I was, (actually how great I thought I was,) shows you a weakness that I'm willing to expose. It's a downfall of mine and I've hated it for a long time. I'm tired of struggling with grace and feeling like I can decide who deserves it.
The methods and struggles God has used and allowed, (in that order,) to show me grace are numerous. He had to get real with me because I didn't pick up on subtle lessons. Strip me of what I was always most proud of, that's what He had to do.
Know what that was? What I was most proud of?
I'm grossing myself out and I know where I'm headed with this y'all. I can only imagine what you must be thinking.
I was a good girl. Never broke rules, (except that one time I wrote my geometry teacher a mean note telling him I wouldn't have cheated on the test if he'd been a better teacher and I wouldn't have HAD TO CHEAT.) Shout out Coach Forrester! He sent that letter back to me a few years ago. Bless his heart. So there's that. Well and the actual cheating I guess. I'm sure I did more than that and if I grew up with you feel free to comment and spill it. Go ahead.
I dare you. Ha!
Ok so I was a good girl. Didn't drink, didn't sneak out, didn't date anyone my parents didn't like, didn't disappoint my parents, and dedicated my life to Christ immediately following high school graduation at summer camp. I was the poster child goody-two-shoes. I wanted approval and everyone to like me, not even just approve. I wanted attention and glory. Boy I was a finely knit masterpiece just waiting to unravel.
So He did what He had to do.
He started allowing some unravelling.
First it was through relationships. Loss, confusion, anger, pain. Ouch.
Then it was my future. Where it once looked secure it was suddenly a mystery. Ministry seemed so cut and dry. I'd lead by example and win people to Christ based on my solid reputation for being perfect. But I wasn't good at it.
Then it was my family. My perfect family. Not perfect. Restored by the grace of God and nothing else I'm very proud to say. (See I can be proud of what God does there's nothing wrong with that. He deserves all glory for restoration. He always did.) I'm getting ahead of myself though..
So after relationships, future, and family came lots of other stuff. College dang near killed me. It was so hard for me to care about school. It was hard to make good grades because I couldn't focus. Shocker. I loved meeting people and going country dancing. In some ways college was the best camp ever complete with dorm room fun. But the school part dampened my college experience. I called home after two weeks and told Mom, "This is the best place ever but I'd like it a lot more if I didn't have to go to class." I was there to win souls y'all! Win souls and two-step! Not go to class!
I wasn't as smart as my siblings which is no news to those of you we grew up with. They are both brilliant. Book smart, great study habits, great discipline. Then, well, there's me. I like to talk and have fun. I never felt smart and kind of hid behind the fact that I had more friends than Graham and Emmy had. I played that up so I wouldn't feel so bad about my grades. First semester of college we threw a party after calling in to get my grades. I passed. That was the party. I passed! Yippeeeee!! My brother? All A's. In finance classes at A & M. He probably took 16 hours and made all A's. 99's and 100's sometimes. Emmy was in grad school then and made all A's too. Every time. After a quick "What the heck," reaction from them they joined in the celebration though. MARY PASSED!! SHE'S GONNA GET TO STAY!! AND DANCE AND MEET PEOPLE!!
So that was that. I volunteered at Breakaway, the big on-campus Bible study there. I loved it. I especially loved being on the discipleship team that got to sit down front so everybody could see them. Bleh. (I know, I know I'm a sick person. I agree.) You know what I didn't like? When they transferred me to the "support" ministry. I worked in the office and messed lots of stuff up. Calls, messages, faxes, CD's, I messed it all up. I was a joke, in more ways than I even realized at the time. I was terrible at behind the scenes ministry. I wanted to be up front! Not in an office showing my inability to do anything administrative! Come on God get with the program!
He didn't care about my program.
You getting it? He cared about my ugly prideful heart. That's ALL He cared about.
I'm running out of time today to tell you more about the ins and outs of how He's shown me and is currently showing me grace but there's one more thing to say.
I'm ready for Him to be done so I can just go home with Him. This stuff is painful. Maybe I'm so hard-hearted that He will leave me here learning a whole lot longer and for my kids' sake I hope I am here. In my heart, though, I just want Him. I want Him all the time and I need Him all the time. All I've learned these past 34 years is that I screw it up and I am not gonna figure it out on my own. Even the goody two shoes I was couldn't win souls and show people what He's really about. It's me screwing it all up, dealing with pain and watching people suffer that shows me--us--that we need Him, that gives Him glory. So rather than deal with disappointment and ugliness and shame and greed forever I'd prefer to be home with Him but maybe that's the biggest thing He's been needing from me. Dependence on Him for air, for healing. Dependence on Him for love. For grace. For trust and patience.
Just a little something I wanted to admit today.
I don't get it Lord. When will I be done learning? When will You be done with me, your ADD goody two shoes wounded and confused follower? Will You finish me, your project, soon so I can just sit back and relax? Lord we both know You won't. Just give me You today, Lord. Give me You to help me deal with this crud. I can't do this without You. I'm sorry for ever trying to and for the pride I so often use against You. Heal me as only You can. I love You and will never understand what You see in me to keep fighting for me. Show me, Lord how to show grace. Show me where to comfort. Show me and teach me how to lift people up today. Amen.

Monday, November 4, 2013

I'm a smoker

Y'all totally bought it didn't you?

If you could hear me talk you'd put money on me smoking a few packs a day right now. In truth I have no idea why I sound like this.

Allergies? A cold? Exhaustion? Y'all pick one and please somebody being me meds for it!

On another note, we went to the zoo yesterday. The zoo at the zoo.

The tour guide. Shocker.


Hello there


Yep eyes closed. Just noticed. You're welcome.

My kids are brave souls

The monorail is still their favorite part

Joy's thumb is her favorite part actually. I've even started threatening the metal contraption the dentist will put in her mouth to make her stop and you know what she does?

Cries. Sobs. Puts her thumb in her mouth. Stops crying. The cycle continues.


I'm a really good parent as you know.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

When they ask for my phone

I usually let them have it if it's to take a picture of something. Sometimes it's nothing spectacular.

Sometimes it is.

This poor cat. She's been busy catching snakes (in the house--live ones) see

mice, rats, and grasshoppers so she relaxes at the end of a long day and look what happens to her.

My life is not normal.