Saturday, February 14, 2009

Let's work on our parking, shall we?

I know. I'm encouraging demeaning stereotypes. But given that I've driven with a lot of my friends...yes, you...there's a reason these things become well known. Here's just a few examples of why it's important to me to teach my girls how to drive well.

Heads up

Sometimes I think of things that I wish I had known as a young mom. This is one of them, though it falls on the lighter side of parenting. And yes, I know that I mentioned it here before, but it bears repeating...

Be careful about doing things two times in a row for your kids, especially on holidays.

two times in a row.

Sometimes you'll mean to. You've got something that you're longing to impart to them so you start doing something special around Christmas or their birthday. I promise that if you do, it's stuck. It doesn't take much. But sometimes, you won't mean to. You won't even remember what you did last year. But they will.

That's why tonight the girls are getting helium balloons and chocolate for Valentine's Day. Not because there was some grand plan to teach them something profound about love...but because one night at about 11pm on the day before Valentine's, Wayne and I remember that we had NOTHING to give the girls the next morning. Thus a trip to Wal-Mart's decimated aisles where we got the only things left...balloons and chocolate. They loved it so much that we remembered the balloons the next year. And who doesn't do chocolate. But that was years ago. You'd think they'd clamor for something better now. But no. Last week I overheard them talking to each other.

Can't wait to get my balloon
, said Brennan.
And chocolate
, said Aisley.
Yeah and remember we get a gift card, too
, Brennan added.

A gift card? When did I throw that in? I ask.
Mom. Seriously. I hear back. You always get us a gift card.
Mom, the other adds, you know that. She's just being funny.

Well, no. I wasn't. But thinking back...sure enough...for the last couple of years we've gotten them various gift cards because frankly I'm tired of the junk that accumulates in my house and at least Chik-fil-a is consumable. Also, that's the only way they'd ever get Starbucks from me because there is something about paying $4 for a drink that rubs me wrong!

So there you have it. Balloons, chocolate and gift cards. Now the trick is to figure out some amazingly deep spiritual analogy that will make them think of Christ instead of consumerism and modern day romance. Any ideas, let me know. For now, I better start thinking about what we did for Easter the last couple of years...

Friday, February 13, 2009

Real Life Valentine

There's nothing we women love more than a good love story. Sly glances, soft touches, the right words at the right time that tell you that he alone sees you as you really are...and that what you really are is all he's ever wanted. With a household of girls, there's a lot of sighing when Mr. Darcy walks toward Lizzy in the morning mist and says that if she speaks his love will forever be silenced...sigh...

But at 40 I find myself growing less enamored with love at its beginnings than in love that endures. Almost everyone finds the first...fewer than ever, it seems, find that which lasts to the end. Love that has met and faced, fought and striven, lingered and overcome. Love that has wounded and healed, worked and failed, stroked and soothed.

In August of this year, Wayne and I will have been married 20 years so that explains a lot of it. As sizes expand and blood pressures gray hair increases and winkles appear...confidence of that which once attracted wanes, but what remains is invaluable to me. I was reminded of this today when I read a posting entitled Love in the Time of Prostate Cancer. It's written by a man who's undergoing treatment for prostate cancer. In it he writes of his discovery of this very thing. It really resonated with me. (Note, moms, that it contains things which I wouldn't have Aisley and Brennan read yet.)

And since this is the day before Valentine's, let me just say here how grateful I am to love Wayne. He has endured with me patiently. He has cared for me tenderly. He has argued with me lovingly. He has corrected me gently. He has seen me through sick months and played with me through sunny days. The gift of him to me softened my heart to love my Father more. I could never tell you why Wayne looked at me that night and asked me to dance. But I know why I held on so tight. The joy in my heart today is that I still love to be in his arms everyday.

I love you, honey. Happy Valentine's Day.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Okay, okay

I know that I really need to get better at posting while pondering. But I find I have almost nothing to say during those times. And I'm finally old enough to know that nothing said is far better than something said too soon. I'll try to get better at pointing you to where I am, so maybe I won't be alone in what I'm thinking...though when you read what it's like for me, you may take a pass!

I've had a busy week, but that's not really keeping me from computer time. Mostly I've been watching some amazing talks from last week's Desiring God Pastor's Conference. If you've not seen any of them, please don't miss the talks from Matt Chandler and Michael Oh. I love Mark Dever and am so grateful for his work during this conference, especially the first talk on the gospel itself. If I could get my Impact kids to see this before we begin next month's training, we'd be ready to hit the ground running. But Mark and Michael cut me to the bone...layed me out...then stitched me up again to send me on my way to healing. I'm so grateful.

I've also been working through When I Don't Desire God... Set-Apart Feminity... Valley of Vision...and studying hard on God's Sovereignty in all our lives through all of Scripture.

So, I'll post on how the surgery recovery is going when I can breathe again...and when the wedding cake is finished. Yes. A wedding cake. Have I ever made a wedding cake? No. Am I excited? Well...excited might be going a little far (right, Mom?). But I am grateful...truly. When the Lord gives you something to do, being happy about it can be a fight...but it's a fight that must be won. He's much more glorified when we look pleased with Him than when we look like this life in Christ is a begrudging, joyless trial that keeps us from doing what we really want to do. Pray for me to have this lived as truth.

On that note, let me leave you with this quote that I read today from the ladies at Titus 2 Talk. They are a group of Christian ladies out of the UK and while they don't post often, when they do, it's gems like this one. Join me in thanking God for Mrs. Spurgeon and her call out to us all...
When my soul is tossed on the rough waves of the troubled sea of this life, if I can but cast out the anchor of hope into the depths of God's blessed will, it holds fast at once and the winds and the waves are rebuked...

God's plans and purposes for me, and for you, dear reader, were all made and determined on from the beginning; and as they are worked out day by day in our lives, how wise should we be if, with joyful certainty, we accepted each unfolding of his will as a proof of his faithfulness and love! When once I, as a believer, can say from my heart, 'This is the will of God concerning me', it matters not what the 'this' is - whether it be a small domestic worry, or the severance of the dearest earthly ties - the fact that it is his most blessed will, takes all the fierce sting out of the trouble, and leaves it powerless to hurt or hinder the peace of my soul.
~ Susannah Spurgeon in Free Grace and Dying Love