Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Wish I could stuff it...

Ever said something you wish you hadn't?

Well guess what? I have. The most recent event was this past Sunday when we had several couples from church over for lunch...officer candidates, no less.

Now, I'm not going to get into the dynamics of what I said or how I said it - what I was just plain wrong. Michael did a children's sermon recently where he asked one of the kids to squeeze all the toothpaste she could out of the tube and onto a paper plate. Then, after telling her she did a great job with that, he asked her to put all the toothpaste back into the tube. The point's the same with the words we say. Once they are out there, you can't put them back. No matter how much I try to go behind myself and "clean up shop". No can do.

So, answer me this. Why is it that sometimes I feel like I physically HAVE to get those words out of me? I've thought about it and thought about it, and it all comes down to the same thing every other sin comes down to...unbelief. If I was really believing that I was a beloved daughter of my heavenly Father, I wouldn't need to make questionable remarks. I wouldn't need to be sure I got my opinion out there because I am accepted, no matter what others think of me.

Will I ever learn? While you ponder on that answer, I'll be down in front listening to the children's sermon.

Bless ya'!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Lessons from the Library

Last Saturday, as I was ripping through Mason's room, I came across 2 shamefully late library books.

I believe these books were checked out sometime in July. Unfortunately, the discovery of these forgotten books came AFTER I had already sworn, on principle, never to check out another book from our local library again. Why, you ask? I'll tell you.

The last few times I have checked things out (which we do quite a bit in the summer), when I would go to the check out desk, they would tell me that the books I returned 2 weeks ago were still out and that I had fines to pay. Now, I'm not always on time with my returns, but I do TRY to be, and if I KNOW I have returned a book, I am going to say so. I will say that we live in a small town, with a smallish library. They do the best they can with what they have, and I'm just thankful we have one. Anyway, the last time I went in there to return books the lady at the desk told me I had 2 books still out...a "Hardy Boys" and a "Choose your own Adventure".

I vehemently denied being in possession of these two books. I demanded they be removed from my record and I vowed silently then and there to never cross the threshold of the library again.

So, when I found "Hardy Boys" and "Choose your own Adventure" at the bottom of the toy box, to say I was dismayed would be an understatement.

I sat the books on the kitchen counter and just watched them for a few days. I considered my options. My first thought was that I would try and sneak the books into the book return without anyone knowing and then just never go in there to pay the fine. Or, maybe I could just go by and place the books outside the door once they had closed (we don't have an after-hours depository). I even considered just keeping the books and never saying a word about it...but if you think that could be done, you haven't met my husband. No...I was going to have to face this one head on.

It was errand day. I had my pile of stuff to drop off and do, and on top of the pile were those two library books. Laughing at me. Michael came home for lunch and I sweetly asked him if he would consider returning the books for me, but he told me no..."I think God wants YOU to do this".

SO, after praying up...with checkbook in hand and Ethan on hip, I made my way into the library ready to pay my $.25/day late fee per book (nope, that's not a typo...I figured by now my late fees for these two books would be somewhere around $15-$25. I placed the books gingerly upon the counter and made my confession. I was prepared for them to tell me I had 8 more books missing. I was prepared for them to tell me I owed $100. I was prepared for them to bar me from the library for life. I think I was prepared for almost anything, except for what actually happened...

"Ma'am, there are no outstanding books on your card...we really appreciate your bringing these books back to us...there's no fine..."

Now, isn't God funny? And trust me...I know this story is no big deal in the whole grand scheme of life, but I laugh when God surprises me. In a way, He's sort of like the library, but different. He doesn't forget about my debt on accident, there's no computer glitch or erasure because I make a fuss...he purposefully pays what I owe. And when I think about that sacrifice...His love...His grace towards me...THAT makes me want to be a better patron. That makes me want to obey him. And like God forgives my debt, so did the sweet librarian, and that makes me want to be a better book borrower.

So, maybe I jumped the gun. Maybe my library, as small as it is, isn't so bad. So they have computer issues and don't always check my books back in when I return them! Maybe I WILL go back in there after all.

And just so you know...I wrote them a check for my late fee anyway. I figure they can put it into the "new computer system" fund...

Bless ya,

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Scene It?

This past Friday night Michael came home with a brand new board game for us to play. It’s called “Scene It Disney”. Basically, it’s like trivial pursuit but with a cd option and all Disney questions. The kids were so excited, I popped corn, and our evening of family fun began.

We quickly discovered that, even though we are self-proclaimed Disney aficionados, the questions are not always easy. Also, even though I do have tons of Disney movies, the sheer number of titles in existence is astounding. Some of the movies I had never even heard of.

Our air of “family fun” went downhill rather quickly. People started whining, accusing, not returning the card to the bottom of the pile. Then the kids even started in. It was utter chaos. Now, I am competitive. I don’t care if you’re 5…I will hunt you down. I will dominate. So, when mom got close to winning, I decided it was time to put on my big girl panties and give the kids an opportunity to step it up. Finally, all were within range of winning the game. Then something happened.

Molly is my time bomb. She will go, and go, and go, and go, until…she blows. I think the stress of wanting to win coupled with the hard fact that she just wasn’t the best at the game, began to catch up with her. She cried. She cried and cried. She cried so much that she couldn’t even watch the screen anymore. She finally just ended up in her room, facedown on the bed yelling, “I wanted to win!”.

That’s my girl.

It seems like my sweet children have all inherited my sin patterns. Honestly, I want to win. I want to be the best. God has recently been dealing with me in the area of pride…again. Can I tell you this? I REALLY want to be a humble person! I really want to put others before myself and consider them more than I consider myself. Somewhere inside me I want those things. But I’m prideful (and don’t worry…you are too – wink, wink). The truly humble people I know are the people that I love to be around. Tracy Whitner, Michelle Lawrence, Weezie Green. You women give me hope.

After Molly’s crying jag, I went into her room, read a book, rubbed her back, told her how much I love her, and how proud I was of her for trying a game she was really too little to play anyway. Later, I thought about how much I fail at so many things, but Jesus makes it better. I put myself out there (just like Molly did) to play and end up fouling it up with my words, or my attitude, or my crying “I want to win!”. Then when I’m done wallowing in the mess, I (hopefully) remember that Jesus loves me. He delights in me. He rejoices over me. And I am helped.

This morning, Molly asked, “Mommy, what did you do with that game we played last night?” I jokingly replied, “I threw it away.”

“Good!” she said.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

You "do" the math...

Me: Hi, Molly...whatcha doin'?

Molly: I just went to the bathroom. Guess what, mom...I had to go #3.

(at this point Michael and I steel a look at one another)

Me: Oh, baby, are you feeling bad?

Molly: No, mom...#3 is #1 AND #2.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


Ethan and me...
I was just noticing on my "user profile" that I have the option to select my occupation. So, I looked through the list.

Hmmm...accounting? Check. I input our family's finances into Microsoft Money every week, make out a detailed year-to-date budget, make bank runs, help with budget decisions. Yes. I am in accounting. I'll pick that.

But wait...

"Arts". Well, I am a pretty good colorer. I almost always stay in the lines (but don't worry I ALWAYS tell my kids that staying in the lines absolutely doesn't matter!!), keep a goodly stock of fresh paper on hand, markers that work, glue, stickers, you name it. Though, I hate play-doh. Can I say that on-line? Ok...I'll choose arts.

Oh! Construction! Yes, that's it! I can stack blocks at least 16 or 17 high. Of course, then Ethan just knocks them down. Well, when he gets old enough to have his own blog, he can choose "demolition" or something like that. Right now this is about me...

Consulting? Yes. Education? Definitely. Government? Uh-huh. Fashion? Umm, now that one I can safely disqualify myself from.

What about Human Resources? Law? Military (sometimes that feels right on)? Religion? Sports? I mean, how many soccer, basketball, t-ball games have I been to?

My point, and I do have one, is that there should be a wife/mom option on that list. I am a college educated stay-at-home mom. There should at least be and "all the above" option. Don't you think?

Soapbox away.

Last night as I was lying in bed I started thinking about something. Roaches. I live in South Alabama, and the roaches here are pretty amazing. They are big, they are quick, and they are tough. Oh, and they are everywhere. Last week I had a group of ladies here for a Bible study and we had to call Michael into the room to kill one - and I wasn't even embarrassed! Roaches are the most disgusting things there are, but you gotta give them this: they're tenacious. I mean, the little suckers never stop! Even though their relatives are being killed by the dozens in my living room, they still want in. Is there something I can learn from the humble roach? Maybe not...but as I lay there I couldn't help but think about how I'd like to be more tenacious. I'd like to be a woman who goes after what she wants without fear or anything inhibiting me.

Take this blog, for example. I still haven't put it out there for consumption. What am I afraid of? People will laugh at me (swat)? People won't think I'm witty (swat)? People will judge me for having time to write this blog, but not enough time to get my laundry done (swat, swat)? And there are countless other instances where I maybe "stay in the fireplace" (like some of the roaches in my house do), instead of going out into the room. Food for thought...if you're still hungry.

Love ya! And here are the kids on their first day of school!!