Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
"Remember the word unto Thy servant, upon which Thou hast caused me to hope"
Posted by Pen the Tale at 12:05 PM
Friday, April 25, 2008
In that time:
-we sold our house, moved in with in-laws and built our current home
-Avery was a mere 16 months at the onset, she's now 4
-We got pregnant, then lost that child
-We got pregnant very quickly after that
-Asher arrived in June of 06
-Exchanged the quirky english SUV for the rockin' minivan
-Good friends moved back to the area
-Good friends left the area
-My sisters in law had babies
-My dad had bypass surgery
-My parents moved to Mckinney
-Shawn's parents got remarried
-We began our Neighborhood Life ministry and served for 3 years before it ended this past December
-I've connected with lots of old friends and new through the blog phenomenon
...and that just scratches the surface.
Posted by Pen the Tale at 3:01 PM
Thursday, April 24, 2008
It's been awhile since I've uploaded/erased the pictures on my camera. There were photos from the snow days, easter and random stuff. I thought I'd post some up here for the heck of it.
Avery and Asher like to pretend that they are puppies. I don't find the game all that cute b/c they want to lick me and scratch me and be as authentic as possible... There is a reason we don't have dogs right now! This day I embraced the doggie theme and helped her go the extra mile. Asher followed suit to some degree. He ripped his collar and wouldn't keep his ears on but he did like the mascara whiskers (I don't use eyeliner so that was the best I could do). If he sees me putting on make up (which I try not to do in front of either one - they want to share in the experience), he points to his cheeks.
Our Easter Lamb cake. It was fun to make but didn't get fully consumed. I think a cake covered in marshmallows is a bit overkill. Still, the making of it was the joy for both of us.
Posted by Pen the Tale at 9:54 AM
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
You need to take some time and read this letter. It has got to be one of the most beautiful things I have EVER read.
Posted by Pen the Tale at 4:57 PM
I have just today finished a book by Francine Rivers called "And the Shofar Blew". It felt a bit cheesy at first and I set it aside to read a Nelson DeMille novel. After finishing that book, I went back to the Rivers book. It's a good book...enjoyable and sad and moving and pretty much what you want a piece of fiction to be.
Anyway, it's Tuesday and so I have more time to be pensive. With Avery at school and Asher napping, I drink in the quiet and indulge in uninterrupted thought. Most of the time I fritter away these precious few hours. They could definitely be used in a better form. And it's funny because that's the last thing I want to do...most of the time.
A few minutes ago I was struck with how hard it is for me to "rest". I am by nature a lazy person, so it's quite ironic and comical to think about how I spend my days dashing about the house straightening up the endless messes. It's got to be an outward display of something going on inside, right? And it's so sad that I prefer to tidy up over playing with our kids.
I'm not even sure why I'm writing this. It's not going to make much sense.
I think I have a lot of idols in my life. I think I live in a distinct place called denial. I think I'm terribly self-centered and prideful. I think I've said this all before and that goes to show what a heel I am.
Whether I put all of my efforts into straightening a house, obsessing over diet and exercise or escaping in to a book, it's all the same. I'm running and I can't seem to sit still. It sucks but yet it's so a part of me that it is too painful (or maybe just too hard) to effect true change.
A lot of people are sick and dying. I know that life could stretch for many years before I die. But I also know that my parents are getting older and while they wrestle with their mortality, I briefly ponder mine. We all hear endless stories of sickness and death: cancer rearing its ugly head and killing in short order, senseless tragic accidents. It's out there and waiting for its appointed time.
And that made me think on my brief way home from Target the other day after speaking to a neighbor about his wife's sick brother who has been estranged for many years but now has reached out because he is wasting away from terminal cancer. I don't want to chase after the wind. I don't want to be remembered by my kids as "the mom who stayed home with us...but was always busy puttering around trying to clean up". I don't want to waste hours involving myself in the affairs of others that have no bearing on my life (read: celebrities). I've got enough before me that needs work in the way of relationships of the family kind.
Please pray for me. I am sincere in this request. I need help recognizing the idols in my life. And after that, the strength to crush them into fine powder so they are useless and irreparable. Pray that I would love out of obedience to Christ and that others would know that love. Pray that I would put blinders on when I start longing too much for the things of this world. Pray that I would be brought low when I am lifting myself up. Pray that my world would cease to exist only for me.
Posted by Pen the Tale at 12:26 PM
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Yesterday I laid myself out (literally) before the Lord and asked for Him to meet with me. I have been in such a numb place spiritually. A humanistic view point, really. I had "lost" my spiritual eyes and that makes for very superficial living. I am using the past tense as though it is over and I'm now in a deeply spiritual place. Not so. I'm just being proactive in seeking relationship with God.
I thank the Lord that He stands waiting to meet with us when we call. I called, He responded and that lit a flame of desire.
I pushed through the anxiety that comes so often when I've avoided prayer and stumbled through my jumbled thoughts just hoping the Spirit was interceding on my behalf. I really cling to that truth because more often than not I do not formulate prayers well. My cursed brain runs amok and really has quite the time settling down. Many times I find that writing them out is the only way I can coherently "voice" my prayers.
Anyway, the Lord sweetly brought to mind John 3:8: "Only God's Spirit gives new life. The Spirit is like the wind that blows wherever it wants to. You can hear the wind, but you don't know where it comes from or where it is going."
Ah! It struck a deep chord within me and I'm still meditating on that verse today.
I so often am trying to pluck pieces of God to pull into my world at my convenience and put them in their proper place. In trying to do that I am left frustrated and unsatisfied. Whether it's being interrupted by my kids during a particularly "holy" moment (laughable) or God not speaking to me when I've set aside my few minutes to be fed for the day, I am left angry, not refreshed. My best laid plans would crumble before I could even put them into action. And so a cycle would emerge. I'd try, something would inevitable screw it up so I'd retreat.
There's only so much retreating before the heart hardens and shrugs off things spiritual.
So when God brought me the truth and reminder that His Spirit is like the wind, my spirit leapt within me. Liberating! is the first word that came to mind. His Spirit is active; in me, in the world, in others. He cannot be "grabbed". He won't be plucked only to be put in a box. Neither home, nor kids, nor work will hinder Him. He will move about in complete freedom and we only need to embrace that reckless beauty and stand in the midst of it.
And that looks different, everyday, every moment and for every situation. Praise God for that freedom! We're off the hook to make it work, to conjure up spirituality.
"Christ has set us free! This means we are really free. Now hold on to your freedom and don't ever become slaves of the Law again." Galatians 5:1
Posted by Pen the Tale at 9:11 AM
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
If you happened to click on "daily sips" in the previous post, you were probably a bit confused. I have corrected the link so you should be taken to the right place.
Posted by Pen the Tale at 12:45 PM
Monday, April 07, 2008
This is gonna be quick:
I am in a dry, dry place...
I need a drink of water.
I know where to find the water, we all do.
I am going to force myself to take daily sips.
I pray this does not quench my thirst, but makes it thrive.
If you are thirsty, come drink with me.
Posted by Pen the Tale at 8:40 AM
Friday, April 04, 2008
So last Saturday Avery had a taste of the glamorous life. She was able to take part in a kid's fashion show at Nordstrom with her cousin Olivia and friend Rory. Big surprise - she loved it!!
Earlier in the week we headed down there and she was able to pick out her outfit. She kept calling this her "Belle" dress. Not sure what about it makes her think that but there you have it.
We got to Nordstrom at Northpark around 7:30 AM and were directed to the dressing room. After donning the chosen garb, we headed to the refreshments so Avery could eat powdered donuts (what???) and I could worry about her getting the dress we were not buying dirty. I also began obsessing about her scuffed up dress shoes and stringy hair. Guess what I realized...I'm not cut out to be a stage mom (and I'm incredibly petty). Yeah, that smacked me right between the eyes as I backed up, told myself to shut up and watched my cutie glow at the chance to be "fancy".
She did great. She smiled and made it down the runway and even gave daddy a big hug to a chorus of "ahhhh"'s. She's ready for the fall show.
Angie and I thought it would be great fun if the girls did this every year and we could capture the changes in pictures. It was a hoot to watch the older (10/11 yr olds) girls strike poses with their accessorized selves.
Posted by Pen the Tale at 10:02 PM