31 August 2008

Evacuate Update

We left home at 2 pm and headed to my MIL's house an hour north of us. To do something fun before the monotony sets in, we went to see Mamma Mia! (Awesome - more on that later.). I am lying on an air mattress waiting and hoping sleep will come. Under the Tuscan Sun is on which is a favorite movie - but it wouldn't matter - I would LOVE anything other than nerve-wracking hurricane updates. Isn't anything else going on in the world???

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PS - I do know how to spell hurricane - it was my QWERTY keyboard with the keys too close together that caused me to spell it hirricane!

A Specific Prayer Request

We still have not evacuated - but the good news is that the roads seem pretty clear - a lot better at any rate than they were yesterday. There is a tiny part of me trying to convince myself to stay at home with my husband. I hate the idea of him being here - and equally the thought of being an imposition on someone else. But I know the way the thunderstorms strike fear in my heart here - and I can't imagine how my poor nerves would survive the sounds of trees falling and things hitting the house.
The good news is that with all of the things going on with the weather, I've barely thought about all the medical things going on with me, except when they stand up and make me take notice.
But right now I have a serious medical issue on my mind. Kullen has not had much trouble with his asthma since starting a new maintenance medication. We have been so pleased with the results. But in the last couple of days I think he has missed a dose or two - keeping late hours and having a distracted mommy who hasn't followed behind him to make sure he's taken it. The results, wheezing. Yesterday, he went to use his inhaler and said words that struck fear into my heart, "It's empty." The pharmacies are closed. I think the obvious question is why don't we have a back-up - and the answer to that question is because it isn't allowed. I have repeatedly asked - and been told repeatedly that our insurance will not pay for more than one at a time. Travis hooked up an inverter in the back of the car to an accessory car battery that he charged up. I sure hope it will work to power the nebulizer, should we need it. Please pray for my boy to be safe and that we can calm his asthma before Gustav visits.

And yes, I am leaving around 2 pm central time. Taking the kids to see Mama Mia in my MIL's town, and then we'll settle in.

Gustav is Keeping Me Awake

Who is Gustav you ask?
He is not my sweetheart, preventing my slumber by whispering sweet nothings in my ear.
He is the horrific storm that is bearing down on us.
I want to get up and head out before the mandatory evacuees to the south clog up the roadways. The wee little town in which I live has seen two lane bumper to bumper traffic all day.
Last night, I was so irritated about how this hurricane preparation hijacked my last few days to hang out with Lizbeth, and punch drunk from lack of sleep, that I started ranting. In an angry.Russian.accent. (Apologies to my dear -Dinskys.)
*insert said accent here*
I will take Gustav and pinch off his nose and stick it in his ear!
I will kick Gustav behind the knees and say "Take that you filthy animal!"
I will bit Gustav on the ear and say, "How do you like that?"

Don't try to make sense of it. There is no end to the silliness. Yes, Lizbeth is gone and Gustav is on his way. Oh the insanity of it all.

30 August 2008

As Far As the Eye Can See

Here is what the northbound traffic is like near us. I haven't left yet. I keep hoping it gets better! Yikes! I really don't know what to do. Pray for clarity! This really makes me nervous!
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Can You Say E-vac-yew-ate

It's official - in light of Hurricane Gustav's direct path to our area, voluntary evacuations start tomorrow around noon. On the radio tonight it stated that if the course remains as it is, mandatory evacuations will follow. If I don't blog for a while - you'll know where I am - likely sitting on the highway somewhere between home and my mother-in-law's house.
We decided that Travis would stay home and watch our house. The people we have talked to about Hurricane Rita which devastated our area in 2005 (prior to our residence) said that most of the damage to their homes was from water that came in after the storm.
I am going for higher ground. Thunderstorms here can send me to my closet for shelter - so I'm trying to play it safe. Please pray for us - this is scary and surreal. The military has shown up on the local highways, and the President declared a state of emergency. Gas prices rose 10 cents per gallon in the course of the day today, and our local station ran out at one point. We were lucky enough to happen by when they were getting refilled. There are tankers delivering gas all up and down the highways. People are swiping the shelves clean of canned goods, including me. My husband gave me a mandate this morning, "Don't think healthy - just stock up!" I am sure there is a limit to the amount of ranch style beans and spam we can eat - but let's consider this our little contribution to science as we do the research to find out.
I think I prefer snow.
If you are a real life friend, my cell phone will be on - call anytime for an update.
Also continue to pray for the Drews family as they remain heavily on my heart. What a chaotic situation for them as they prepare for their baby's funeral. Jesus be their shelter.

27 August 2008

Bear It We Must

It is hard to be happy today when others are suffering. All I could think of this morning when I woke up was this line that Elisabeth Elliot opened her radio show with for years. You are loved with an everlasting love...and underneath are the everlasting arms. If anyone knew what it was to be held by everlasting arms, it was that amazing woman.
In the last week I have heard so many terrible things -
The loss of a child
The end of a marriage
A cancer diagnosis
It all seems to much to bear at times, and yet bear we must. Even when it is hard. Even when we feel we can't. We are witnesses and participants in pain. I have no answers.

Today is our 20th anniversary - Travis and I, which is nothing short of a miracle. It feels wrong to find anything worth rejoicing over when other are hurting so much.
Lord bear up under us with everlasting arms. Oh how we need You.

Tribute to Christian Drews

This tribute was just beautiful.

Heartwrenching Prayer Request

I almost don't want to blog about this - but on the chance that you might pray for them, I can't not do it. I got a prayer request last night for the Drews family. I have been online friends with Marsha for at least 3 years since I launched into the blogosphere. We have always kept in touch and commented each other. I love reading about her family, her precious boys, her marriage and her life. She has a terrific sense of humor.
Late last night they took her 3 year old son out of a pond behind their home. It is just heartwrenching. I went to bed last night just praying their name unable to know what more to pray for but that Papa would surround them overwhelmingly with His love.
Please pray for them. Even if you don't know what they need, I know He will.

26 August 2008

The Four Loves - Likings and Loves of the Sub-human

This past Sunday's book discussion felt a little less engaging than the previous. We read a more difficult chapter called "Likes and Loves of the Sub-human". Sadly, I never got the meaning of the title until one of the club members analyzed it for me! The conversation was enjoyable - even though the chapter was harder to trudge through. Our beloved author touched on non-human loves such as nature (naturalism) and country (patriotism).
One of the things that stood out for me was how quickly the love of anything can seem so right and good, and yet distorted can replace our love and devotion for the Creator in exchange for the created thing. Nature and all its glory in its truest form is meant to point us to and give us a revelation of God. Sometimes we get so enraptured with the thing itself, that we forget the source.
The other night, before the book club discussion, Lizbeth and I had the opportunity to be dazzled by a beautiful lightening storm on a long drive home. I even saw a double lightening bolt in the sky ahead at one point. Spectacular doesn't even begin to describe it. This inspired a conversation about God and his creative nature as our Creator. Lizbeth said how He could have made all of the world in a very utilitarian fashion. I would describe this as black and white and functional versus all of the colors, complexities, and intricate detail in the world around us. The beauty we are surrounded by speaks of love - that as God created the world, He wanted us to enjoy it, and decorated it merely for our pleasure.
How awesome is that?

25 August 2008

The "C" Word

So, I've been delightfully busy over the past few weeks. I have been enjoying Lizbeth's company to no end. Late night talks, movies, long lunches together, pedicures - all things one really misses when having a girlfriend as a constant companion. It is a condensed make-up for the time we've lost. She has needed me, and I have really needed her. I didn't realize just how much.
In the past week and a half I have had a sobering realization. In 1993 I had a round with cervical cancer. Thankfully it was caught very quickly and after a couple of minor procedures and a surgery, I had a clean bill of health for many of the years that followed. No biggie. However, as life has gotten away from me on so many levels, I have neglected to continue those routine visits with the doctor to keep a check on that situation. I haven't had an exam in three years. It is so easy to forget when things seem fine. Over the past couple of months the symptoms of the same problem have made themselves known, and in the past week they have been acute. In the ER today there was little they could do other than test for infection and refer me to a specialist. I will have to wait until I can get in with a doctor for a full check-up, and it looks like that will take a whole month. I dread it, and I really dread the waiting. I did manage to get a shot for pain and that seems to be helping this evening.
Lizbeth had me sit down and write out all of my symptoms, and I could've cried. None of them standing alone seem like a huge deal, but when you put them altogether, it is overwhelming. On top of feeling yuck, I feel stupid. I don't know how these things could've gotten past my attention collectively. Travis has been extra loving and the man who does not text sent me two "I love you" texts this morning before I was even awake.
Thank you Lord. I know that come what may, You are there, and You have surrounded me with so much love.

23 August 2008

The Comings and Goings

Last night we had a sushi party. As usual, Lizbeth did everything BIG. Huge is probably a better way to describe it. I love that about her. Life is always more fun with her around! Crazy. Loud. Irreverent. It will be so quiet when she leaves to go home. Trying not to think about that yet!
We went to Travis' grandma's 95th birthday party today and tpok the whole entourage, including Mason and Dylan with us. His Grandmother has started looking her age recently. I am glad so many family members showed up to wish her a happy birthday.
Now we are at the Lazer Tag place in Lufkin. I'm tired. No time to blog on the horizon so I thought I'd grab a few! Home and bed are my goals for tonight.
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22 August 2008

A Day of Bad News

It is actually the wee hours of Friday morning - but within the last 24 hours there has been quite a bit of bad news. I found out that my uncle, who is a diabetic had to undergo emergency surgery for his foot. It appears that he had a wound of some sort that went untreated until it was gangrene. He is in a cardiac unit for his heart. Please pray for my Uncle Gene. He is a tough old bird, but he lost part of his other foot previously and it hit him pretty hard. I also do not know what this has done to his heart.
I also heard that my second cousin, Mark collapsed in his home on Sunday and was rushed to the hospital. It appears he has a very serious brain tumor. They have done surgery and don't expect him to live until the end of the year. It is terribly sad as he is only in his 50s and will likely be outlived by his parents who are in their 80s. Some things just feel so terribly wrong.
Please pray for these two men in my family.

21 August 2008

The Power of Our Words

After the comments on my last post, I want to say for the record that what was said to me was not unkind or demeaning in any way - it really made me think. People who know me understand what I say, the words I use and how I say them, but others may not. It is for the sake of getting to know those people better that I want to be more cautious. Two and a half years of having predominately online friends has been rough. There is a lot that can be shared here, and I value these friendships immensely - but I can never sacrifice the opportunity of having real life relationships by needing to recklessly say whatever comes to my mind without thought of how it may effect or be perceived by others - especially those that it specifically involves. I didn't say anything wrong, but I was misunderstood. There was a conflicted understanding in terminology. The only option is to bridge the gap between what I said and someone's understanding of it - which I can only do from my end. If I am standing on one side of an expanse, I can't start from the other side, I can only start building from here.
I was thinking this morning about the verse in James where he tells us the tongue is such a small part and yet it has so much control to steer us where it will. Sometimes it is easy to forget that even though words are not being spoken, they are an overflow of the abundance of our hearts. I want my words to be a blessing, a gift, something to make people think and laugh and know that they aren't alone. These words, the gift of God to each of us have power to bless or curse, to heal or wound. It is not any less true of written words.

19 August 2008

Contemplating the Blog

Today I moved some posts to "draft" status. They are posts that I want to save for myself, but may have inadvertently invaded the privacy of others or seemed presumptuous in ways I never intended. This is the conundrum of "the blog". Actually it scared me a bit to think that I was being read wrong. This is the place where the rubber meets the road in the reality of our cyber lives. I blog because I enjoy writing. I blog because I want to maintain the day to day contact with my friends who live so far away. I blog because it is an outlet, cheaper than therapy, and a way to keep a record of our lives. The danger is that this has become a bit of a public spectacle, read by people who don't really know me leaving room to interpret or misinterpret what is said and get an often skewed impression of the kind of person that I am. I never intended for it to be that way. I certainly never wanted to step on any toes, push anyone beyond their comfort zone, or infringe on anyone's rights to privacy. I am not sure where this will lead. For now, I will tread cautiously, wanting better between myself and others than a one sided relationship. There is a lot more to me than what meets the blog.

My Dear Friend Jack

I find it interesting that a young C.S. Lewis insisted on being called Jack. When I was younger and had inconsistent male role models in my life, I would go and spend summers with my grandmother and step-grandfather. He was one of my most positive "father figures". He would take time to talk to me, we would go and get ice cream together, and I never ceased to be able to put a smile on his face. He called me "Jack". It is another connection with this spiritual mentor who died seven years before I was even born.
I was looking back through some of my archives and was surprised to find quite a few posts either quoting or about C.S. Lewis. Here are some blasts from the past:

Demons, Devils and Ghouls - Oh My!
On the Screwtape Letters and Superstition

Prince Caspian Book and Movie
War rhetoric aside, I love the Narnia stories for their literary excellence

The Power of Love
This quote from A Grief Observed may belong in our discussion on The Four Loves

18 August 2008

The Four Loves - Introduction

Our book discussion group had it's first official meeting last night. I enjoyed it so much. We are so blessed to have such a thoughtful and intelligent group. We tossed around questions such as:
  • is love just an emotion or something more?
  • was there sin before the fall?
  • do any humans love with purely selfless motives?
  • can unbelievers truly love?
I loved hearing different perspectives. I enjoyed some of the definitive answers and some that seemed more flexible. I loved the passion behind some of the responses and the debating banter that some of the questions provoked. In fact, the only thing I didn't love was that the discussion took off with such fervor a few times that several cross discussions were happening and I couldn't hear everyone. There was no lag in the discussion, and in that sense it was a tremendous success!
Kendra and I had the idea for this group, but there is no doubt that God is putting it together, building a group that can ignite deep thoughts and inspire passionate living. Years ago I belonged to a little group called Can of Worms - and even while in the middle of it I knew it was one of those "best things" in life that you remember forever. I have a similar feeling about this group. I am so excited about where it will lead us.

15 August 2008

Picking Scabs

My friend is here visiting - she actually came here to escape. It is so difficult to watch the hurt she is going through at the disintegration of her marriage. The pain she is experiencing is palpable. I wish I knew what to do to help her.
One thing that has been difficult on my end is that I went through a similar situation from the perspective of a child. My dad left and while it crippled me emotionally in ways that I still experience today, I am living proof that you can rise above. I have to be there for my friend, even if it hurts, and even if it means picking off scabs.
This whole thing has hit her as unexpectedly as a flying train. Earlier today she told me that she didn't feel like a Christian. I can testify to Papa's love. You either are a Christian or you aren't. It isn't based on how we feel. We aren't 72% Christian today and 28% non-Christian. This is one of the biggest lies. In our infirmities, in our failures, in our shortcomings, and yes, even being mad as hell - we are still His, written on the palm of His hands and no less so when we struggle with the rawest emotions. It does not make us any less so to be human and feel such things.
Tonight has been particularly hard for her. Tomorrow is a new day - and if necessary, I will pick the scab off of another wound to share in her suffering.

14 August 2008

To Clarify

Travis was only mad for about 2 minutes. Once he got over that horrific feeling that something happened to Kaitlyn he calmed down. He knew it was a prank gone wrong and too far. He forgave me instantly. I posted about it because I still felt bad. Just thought you'd like to know.

13 August 2008

I Did A Really Bad Thing

Tonight Lizbeth and I made a quick run to Walmart for some dog food (the rouse) and chocolate (the real reason for the outing). At the last minute, Kaitlyn wanted to go with us. Nobody noticed that she was gone. After about 45 minutes we were on our way home and Kendra instant messaged me on my phone asking if Kaitlyn was with us. I decided to tease Kendra - and said "no". It only got worse from there. What I didn't know was that it wasn't really Kendra looking for Kaitlyn - but her dad. After a few minutes of this Kullen calls me and tells me that Travis is upset and had just driven off to go find Kaitlyn. Uh oh.
We rounded the corner and saw his car round the other corner more or less on two wheels. It wasn't a pretty scene. Foul words and yelling. Bad scene. Very bad.
In honesty, it was a joke. He was just so scared. He said that next he was going door to door in our neighborhood and would hurt anyone that even looked wrong. I apologized and he knows that his reaction was because he was really upset. Over the years he has played a prank or two of this severity about our kids on me, but I doubt that either of us will ever do it again.
I'm so sorry.

12 August 2008

The Guys in My Life

I have been grieving in that quiet, I can't even cry about it way over the implosion of my relationship with my dad since February. It isn't a crippling grief, but always there just under the surface. I can't really even go there. Daily reminders include an unopened birthday card that sits on my desk. It may seem a bitter pill that I won't just open it and cash the check - but this bank no longer accepts payments to assuage the payee's guilt. A $20, $30, $50 check a year does not a relationship make. I love my dad dearly - but he refuses to be a part of my life, and therein lies the fracture.
But this was to be a happy post. I have been realizing that Papa is filling in the gaps - a little at a time to help that aching void not be so big and he is doing so with those of the male persuasion in my life.
Earlier today I was working here on my computer, and I thought of Travis. I was thinking how much I love him and was just about to text him and tell him so, when the phone rang. It was him. He was just calling to tell me he loves me. Eros.
Just a little while ago, Kullen came into my bathroom and said he had to ask me something. He said, "Mom, do you think you've done a good job raising me so far?" I was brushing my teeth and not able to really say much when he continued, "Cause I do. I love you mom. You do a great job with me." Wow. I told him I didn't think I had a whole lot to do with it and that I think he is a pretty terrific person all on his own.
Then there is Mason, Dylan, Jonathan, Daniel, David, Josh, Noah...... Yep - they have reminded me of a lot of the guys that I miss in WV. They are playful, intelligent, funny, creative, thoughtful, polite, irreverent and funny. I have had this huge hole in my life for Kameron, Justin, Dillon, Cody, Devan, Jamie. I love the girls too - but the guys are just different. I have missed my boys - who are slowly but surely turning into young men while we are all so far apart.
I am thankful for the constant care of a loving Father.

Back to School - or Not

This is the time of the year when young men return to football practice. (I fondly remember those hot sweaty afternoons in junior high when my friends and I would show up at the school just to sit for a few hours and watch the boys we liked slam themselves into one another and throw a pigskin around.)
School supplies are all at a premium discount. Clothing racks and sales fliers point the way to the latest fashions. I keep reading about this "back to school" stuff. My friends Kate and Tina both recently posted their thoughts on going back to school.
I love new beginnings, and back-to-school time is one of those "fresh start" seasons. In WV this is a part of "fall" that I miss the most. A few weeks after school starts, the air gets crisper and starts to smell of the coming winter and apple cider.
But I don't miss traditional school, school-at-home homeschooling, or coerced learning. I don't miss planning quarterly lessons only to have to revamp them the first week we try to use them. I don't miss being frustrated with my kids when they aren't "getting it". I don't miss the days of laboring to make something work that wasn't working. I don't miss reading books that nobody was interested in because we had to finish our curriculum. I don't miss spending money on things we never used. I don't miss being the drill sergeant, task master hovering over my kids and meting out punishment or consequences for unfinished tasks. I don't miss the endless hours of perusing curriculum, hoping to find the magic fix for all the things I couldn't seem to get to stick inside of my kids heads. I don't miss waking up in the morning with a knot in my throat because of all that the day would require, and my impotencies to mete it all out.
I love learning with the gentle rhythms of life. I love the breathe in, breathe out style of learning. I love seeing all the real opportunities that life affords for learning.
Soon the buses will be traversing up and down our road in a frenetic pace. I will sit back and drink my coffee, waving lovingly and saddened for childhoods wasting away in rooms with artificial light and canned air, institutionalized. I will wave goodbye to the gift of days and hours and minutes they can't get back.
No more school for me. I am a life long learner.
Oh yeah, my kids too.

11 August 2008


I couldn't sleep so I got up a bit and overheard this:
  • What if this is my world, and I can see you, but other people are watching me watch you?
  • What if you guys are just babbling and I'm deciding what you're saying in my own head?
  • How do I know that your green is the same as my green?
  • What if we never see Howl's Moving Castle again?
  • What if I'm not real?
Kaitlyn was the author of these scary thoughts.
I should've stayed in bed.

Sleep Deprived

Today I had a million ideas for blog posts, and most of them did not include whining. I find that late at night, when the noise of the day stills and the voices in my head of all the demands and expectations have hushed is when the creative me thrives. It is when I do my best writing, my best thinking, my best conversing. This is of course when I'm not cross-eyed sleepy - which I am tonight.
Due to this strange phenomenon, I have also raised three night owls. The afternoon can lag on during the day with people milling around aimlessly, unsure of what to invest themselves in. As the night closes in, paper and pen come out, keyboards begin to click with the a steady cadence of fingers trying to keep pace with thoughts, paint and brush meet canvas, and throughout the house varying forms of music are heard. The hardest part for all of us is trying to maintain things so that Travis' normal schedule can be respected and maintained, as he is the one working to support this creative lifestyle.
For now, tonight I am sleep deprived. Sometimes creativity usurps sleep, but after many, many nights of it and then getting up like normal folk, the candle burning at both ends has met it's match. Tonight I shall sleep. Tomorrow is another day, and night.

Feeling a Wee Bit Better

After I picked up the girls at work, we all clashed as my mother-in-law would say, "big-time". The ride home was pretty miserable. Within minutes of being home one of them was in tears over a demanding customer that told her she needed to get some communication skills. The other one had gone into her closet, put her head down and fallen fast asleep. Then it dawned on me - we are all utterly exhausted. We were in the city until after midnight last night, stopped at Walmart on our way home, and stayed up until almost 3 am once we got home. In the last week and a half there has not been much if any down time. I gathered the girls up and put them in my dark bedroom on my soft cozy bed, covered them up and got them both to sleep for an hour. I wish I had a chance to do the same, but for now things seem a little less short-circuited. I took some pictures of them in my bed - they looked so cute and sweet - just like when they were little. I would suffer a painfully gruesome death if I posted them here, so you'll just have to imagine it.


There has been a huge issue going on in our house lately and I am at a loss. I live with people who want to live here and reap all the benefits of doing so - a roof over their heads, air conditioning, internet access, clean towels for bathing, hot water, a soft place to lay their heads. It's no resort hotel, but it is very comfortable living. We pay the bills, maintain the environment, transport people to and fro, and bend over backwards to increase the enjoyment of their lives. Those same people are asked to do their part to share the load. As a work-at-home mom, I have a lot going on and feel often that I am pulled in many different directions. I have to have reinforcements, especially with extras in our home. I have asked for help. I have begged for help. I have tried punishing them - which really isn't my style of parenting. I want to live in a relationship of love and respect. I do my part, and I want to rest and know that they are doing theirs. What I get is some half-hearted, last-ditch, modicum effort so that they can say they tried to do what was asked of them - and then skate out the door on their merry way to whatever fun awaits them. It is running me personally into the ground, and I am going to crash and burn very soon. They won't be punished but I can assure you that they will not be going anywhere. This morning I took them to work and redid everything that they were supposed to do - or finished it. Travis says to ground them - take away the phone, computer, etc. but in essence what that does is punish all of us. I want to live free - I don't want to follow people around making sure they are doing things. It is so frustrating. I am furious. I am hurt. I feel taken advantage of in the worst way - my labor for their fun.
I don't expect any solutions, I just needed to vent.

I Storge You

There has been much more living than blogging lately, which means I have a surplus stored up of things to share. My friend Lizbeth has been here for a week now. We have had a great time together. It is a hard road that brings her here, but in between the really rough times are times of pee your pants laughter. I forget how much I miss the fun we have together. In some ways it is amazing - she makes me realize what a good life I have and can make here. It is strange - for the first time in two years I really feel like myself.
Tonight (actually last night, Sunday) we started a book discussion group at a coffee shop. It is something that Kendra and I have planned to do for a long time. We decided after this post and some pretty intense conversations about love to read The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis. I love reading C.S. Lewis - but I enjoyed it most profoundly reading Mere Christianity years ago with a little book discussion group called Can of Worms. I am pretty excited to get this going with the group we have, the majority of which are older teenagers. There were around 14 participants so I think we should end up with a nice sized group. The chapter on eros, the more romantic of the loves takes a pretty headlong dive into sexuality, but it is a pretty important aspect of the whole picture, so I don't intend to shy away from it.
Life has provided more living and less opportunities for blogging. Girls night out with the best sushi ever, lounging in the coffee shop with our Bible studies, etc. Life has been good. I have missed you my friends. I storge you my friends - but I am happy to resume my regularly scheduled life!

10 August 2008

On Boys and Dating

I got a comment this morning from "Tina" (I have so many of those in my life that it seems I've never met a Tina I didn't like!) who said she enjoyed observing the journey with my girls and their relationships. Of course it doesn't hurt that there are some really special guys involved, but this is what our fellowship and communion of hearts is all about. The journeys we make are intertwining one another both in real life and in the blogosphere. We learn from each other as we share the trials and laughter along the way. I have learned that the only things that stunt relationships with God and others are the things I hold back.
I have learned through the years with my kids to be the same way. It has not been an easy process. As I have said in previous posts, where we are was never where I expected to end up. I wanted my kids to experience the best that God has for them, and I was going to forcibly make it happen. The thing is that somewhere along the way, the grace of God has shown me that all of that intensity would potentially destroy not only our relationship but their image of God. In all that He is, He is a gentleman. He does not force His way or His will on us. As parents how can we consider it our duties to nurture our children to be at a higher level than our Creator takes with us?
One of the things that has become increasingly clear to me is that while I aim to live respectably with others, I no longer feel obligated to adjust my life accordingly. He put my children in my care, so He must've thought I could handle the job. The standard for living is set by God alone, and in relationship with Him is where I find what adjustments need to be made.
I have been frustrated with the attitude, even in Christian community that makes boys out to be deviants and perverts just waiting for an opportunity to behave badly. I do not believe this of my own son, or the sons of others. We are each imbued with good and bad. We each have choices to make, some which will be successful and others that will be failures. We will each make mistakes along the way. If God has allowed us the freedom to do so, how can we do any less for one another, and our children?
The other part of Tina's comment was this: What I love so much is that you are so peaceful about it and you don't treat the guys like the enemy. I am at peace. I can trust Papa to love my kids the way He loves me, and guide them through their lives as they mature and grow in their personal relationships with Him. What would come from treating the boys like enemies? I can trust Papa with them too. He's so good at what He does.

06 August 2008

The "L" Word

Having blogged here previously about dating, I have created a nice platform to segue into this post about the "L" word, love. The English language seems inadequate in its ability to articulate the full extent of the meaning of this word. Theologian C.S. Lewis describes the four loves based in part on the four Greek words for love in his book of the same name: The Four Loves.
storge - στοργη - fondness through familiarity, especially between family members of people who have otherwise found themselves together by chance

philia - φιλια - friendship or brotherly love - the city Philadelphia meaning "the city of brotherly love" has its origins in this word for love - it is called a strong bond between people who share a common interest or activity

eros - έρως - this word is connected with the sense of being in love - it is more romantically inclined and more sexual in nature - the love shared between a man and a woman

agape - αγαπη - this type of love is not dependent on reciprocation - it is unconditional and typically only fully expressed in the love of God

We say we love a philly cheesesteak and our best friend with the same word, and it has left us lacking something. A mother's heart grows faint and her knees go weak when she hears her child say that she loves - detecting the difference in the love that means affection and the sense of being "in love". She describes feelings she has never had before, and I know that this is either the start of something special or the path to a terrible heartbreak.
And I must let it happen. I am a spectator. This is her life. I want to jump right in the middle with both feet and warn him of the terrible fate that will befall him should the latter be the outcome. I don't anticipate anything of the sort, and it is really an empty threat. As a mother I want to say don't throw your heart around loosely, don't give your love away too freely - but knowing that I have always modeled loving with reckless abandon, how could I expect them to do anything less? I know that the workings of human interaction is a delicate thing. I know that this is all their story to write, and their joy to pursue. I get to have a front row seat, which is pretty awesome right now. Maybe they'll be the lucky ones who will be able to turn the "L" word will turn into the "F" word - forever.

05 August 2008

Hurricane's A-Comin' and Other Stormy Weather

Since Lizbeth got here there has been laughter and tears, ecstatic screaming, card games, movies, great food, and tons of fun. There is so much to tell and yet no time at all in which to tell it. She has recently been going through a very difficult trial - the end of her marriage. It is a painful thing. It is always with her - just under the surface. Even happy moments can bring it up again for her, but like someone who is sick to their stomach, it feels a slight bit better at least for the moment when you get it out. I hope that for the time she is here that I can carry it with her. The betrayal she has felt is palpable. She deserves good things.
For those of you who wondered, she brought another friend of mine, Betsy and her two kids with her for the ride, but Sunday afternoon Betsy went to meet an old friend and stay with her for the month of August. It was so good to see her too.
Oh yeah, and there is also a hurricane coming. It appears that Hurricane Edouard is headed our way - the headline on the local news/weather website says that it is "zeroing in" on our area. I am not sure what it will bring our way - but we would appreciate your prayers for our safety!
If I post less than usual, please understand, I am hearing real laughter instead of reading LOLs for the first time in a long while!

02 August 2008


Today my friends Lizbeth and Betsy and the four children they have between them arrive from wild, wonderful West Virginia. I am pretty excited. I have sheet changing and bread baking and all manner of things to get done before they get here. Why am I blogging? I have no idea. So, I'm off. I'll keep you "posted". Literally.

01 August 2008

Teenage Boys

A couple of days ago I got a message on myspace from Justin - one of those teenage boys I know who has my heart wrapped around his little finger. He was saying we needed to come for a visit soon so that he could "hold" Kullen before he was too big! I guess everybody is reacting to how much older he looks in his recent pictures.
Last night the girls had a "going away" party for the girls they know who were going away to college in just about a week. Kullen called and invited some boys he knew to go and see a movie with him. The boys his age couldn't make it, but some of the teenage boys wanted to go. So, I we made the rounds and picked up a carload of boys, and headed off to see Hellboy II (weird movie - and not about hell at all fyi).
There are several sets of brothers here and it is interesting that they are all friends and really get along well and like one another. I haven't seen any rivalry or any feuding. They were all going that night to spend the night together and have an all nighter of video gaming. The oldest boy of the group - a college student and the oldest of a set of 3 brothers called to ask Kullen if he wanted to stay the night too. Kullen acted pretty cool about it, but I know inside he was screaming for joy! Of course I let him go. The mom called me this morning and told me that he passed out around 8 am. I will pick him up this afternoon when we trek off to yet another party, if he's awake!
I am so happy that he had such a nice time and that there are so many awesome young men to be his role models. It was funny, when I asked them if they were sure they wanted him to come, they said, "Of course! Kullen's awesome!" I think so too - and love them all even more because of it!

HALF PRICE SALE - The Master Plan

Just in case any of you are lurking here in hopes that I will have a sale on the Master Plan, for the next couple of weeks, I am going to be offering it at half price! It is for sale everywhere at that special rate, and I thought I might as well offer it here for that price as well. Snag it up because this is only going to happen once a year!

To order this planner - please click the "buy now" button at the top of the right sidebar under the planner graphic.