Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I'm My Own Grandpa

It seems that this grand parenting thing has our kids a little confused. Today, Nathan asked me if he could start calling me "Grammy." uh, let me think about that- NO! I explained that his children will be welcomed to call me Grammy or whatever he chooses when the time comes but I see no reason to rush into things.

"But if my kids call you Grammy, what will I call you?"

"Well...there are lots of possibilities. We could go with Mrs. Sexton, Beautiful, Great and Wise One, or we could just stick with MAMA since that is who I will still be."


Between this and his period of mourning over my 34th birthday, I'm beginning to get a complex.

Off to take my Geritol...if I can just remember where I put it.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Going Back to Cali

Have you heard about the LA Test? NO!? If you live in the area, you are without excuse -it was ALL OVER the news last night. Still not ringing any bells?

You have heard the statement "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt." Right?

While flipping channels last week, we watched a few minutes of a certain reality show (a few minutes is all Tim can stand). You know how they do those individual interview clips? Well, it was a perfect example of what ol' Abe Lincoln was warning against when one of the girls said --"he's trying to make me look stupider than I am." Poor thing.

What does this have to do with the infamous LA Test? Well, let me qualify everything else by saying that my husband is not a fool! Not even close -this just wasn't one of his shining moments.

Severe thunderstorms are moving through the area last night (thank God for the rain) and so there are constant weather alert scripts scrolling along the bottom of the television screen. I was not paying much attention to them until Tim said, "What' the LA Test?" Shrug from me. He explained. "They just said something about information on the LA Test." As the warning strip started over, I began reading. Do you already see it? The exact words were:

"STAY TUNED FOR THE LATEST INFORMATION..." I cracked up. "Honey, it says latest, stay tuned for the latest information." When I finally stopped laughing, I said, "you do know that this will be on the blog tomorrow?" He smiled coyly and nodded with resignation. He's smart and a good sport!

Friday, April 25, 2008

You Got It

Come on, you know this one. Sing along with me...

"Anything you want -you got it!
Anything you need -you got it!
Anything at aaaaalllll -you got it!"

It all started yesterday when I pointed out a strange spot on my leg that I don't remember being there before and asked Tim if he thought it looked like skin cancer. He shrugged and said, "ask the doctor." Then this morning I asked if he thought I had diabetes. He wanted to know what my symptoms were.

"Um, I keep dreaming about sugar -coffee with tons of creamer, hot chocolate, fudge brownies, ice cream, you name it I've dreamed about it."

"Okay, what else?"

"That's all."

No answer. Only a look. Then this afternoon he walked by the computer as I was reading up on Parkinson's disease. He stopped and questioned me. "I just noticed that when I hold my coffee cup up to my mouth my arm shakes really bad."

He said, "Let me get this straight, since yesterday you have developed skin cancer, diabetes, and Parkinson's?"


You can do the same thing Tim did -shake your head and walk away.

btw, according to dreammoods.com dreaming of sugar indicates that I am "denying myself pleasures in life" and should "indulge without considering the consequences." However, dreaming of chocolate denotes that I am "indulging myself" and should "practice some restraint." Wow, that's helpful. I plan to take the best of both worlds and deny myself restraint while practicing indulgence. =)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Into Jesus

We recently started using days of the week magnets to organize our prayer cards on the fridge by region, relationship, etc. It has greatly helped us to be consistent in lifting our missionaries up by focusing on a few families/individuals each day. Maybe you are better about this than we are but we needed a plan.

Today (and every Monday) is Cory and Jena day. Jena is a wonderful friend of mine (what up, girl?!) who is serving in Uganda, Africa. And Cory is her wonderful, not-so baby brother serving as a Marine in Japan.

This was Isaiah's prayer for Cory today:

"God, please help Cory to get those boys involved in Jesus."

Involved in Jesus. The minute he said it I felt such conviction. (that's the last time I listen to my six year old pray -kidding) The phrased rolled over and over in my head. I thought Lord, we get involved in so many things. Wouldn't you agree? We get involved in church activities, and we get involved in Bible studies; we get our kids involved in sports, and we try to get ourselves and others involved in community and serving. And those things aren't bad. They aren't wrong. But my heart just sighed at the simplicity that seemed inherent in that statement. Simplicity and definitive purpose that I know my heart has been crying out for.

I want to be involved in Jesus.

Do I know exactly what that looks like? No, and I'm sure it's a little different for each of us. But at the very least I can figure out what Jesus was involved in which seemed to me to be love, truth, and people. More specifically, loving people into the truth and truthing people in love. (truth in it's verb form ;-))

Certainly that includes activity within the body of Christ and activity in community -not for mere busyness' sake but for the purpose of getting others involved in Jesus who get others involved in Jesus who get others...

What do you say? Wanna get involved?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

What a Feeling

Yesterday was our "Vibrant" Women' s Conference. You know, the speaking thing I've been pooping, er, I mean, preparing for the past couple of months.

It was really amazing. It's so cool to see how God uses ladies from completely different backgrounds, completely different experiences, and completely different personalities to bring glory to Himself. Amid all the variations, Jesus Christ was the unifying factor.

I hesitated to post about it here because I don't want it to appear to be a lame attempt at fishing for compliments. People are incredibly gracious and the affirmation is wonderful in so much as it shows how faithful God is to equip us for what He asks us to do. But it's really not necessary. The truth is, without God taking control of the situation, as I clearly felt Him doing, I would've hit the stage, burst into tears, and then run for the bathroom. Grace and grace alone prevented such a freak show.

On the other hand, if you were there and you hated it, feel free to comment. I'd be happy to see what I need to work on in the event of future opportunities.

Some have asked how the passage (Mark 5) and story (the woman with the issue of blood) directly relates to my life. There are some very specific circumstances that I considered sharing in the conference but through the Holy Spirit, wise leadership, and Godly counsel decided to save it for another time. I didn't want anything to compete with who Jesus is in this amazing story. And I still don't.

But in general terms the part of this woman's story that captures me again and again is the call of Jesus to just get real. To trust Him with my whole story -even the less than the ideal pastor's wife moments. To own it all and give it back to Him.

I think sometimes we stifle God's ability to comfort us like our true Abba- Daddy because we work so hard to be self-soothers. We learn the pat answers, memorize the appropriate scriptures, and walk around quoting our hyper-spiritual anecdotes while we are raging with hurts, fears, and anger on the inside. And in the mean time, Jesus is standing there saying, "who touched me?" Or better yet, "Why did you tug on My robe if you've got it all figured out?"

But truth is truth, right Amie? Yes. And praise God it is unchanging. But the truth is meant to bring freedom. And I am thankful that God saw fit to share this woman's story with us; to show us that we can come out of hiding and bring all of our baggage to His feet, rest our chins in His hands, and then go in peace.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


I will be 34 tomorrow whether the sun comes up or not. I was thinking earlier about all the great things a 34 year old can do that a 33 year old can't. Yeah, there are none. And all the great places a 34 year old can go that a 33 year old can't. Nope. None of those either. So, what exactly is the point of turning 34? Just to mark the passage of time and orbits around the sun? I guess so. But I'm okay with that.

As Nathan was heading to bed tonight he sweetly said, "One more day of 33, Mom." He climbed in my lap, melted in like he's so good at doing, and wrapped his arms around me. "I'll never see my 33 year old Mom again" he mused. Tim and I laughed. What a funny little brain he has to put it in those terms. As I was still chuckling, I looked down and realized that he was crying. It was such a sad, funny, sweet moment. I said, "Nathan, you know that I'm not going to wake up tomorrow and be different than I was today, right?" He agreed and dried up the tears.

On the one hand, he made me feel really old -like he thinks turning 34 clearly means death is eminent. But on the other hand, I felt incredibly loved by a little boy who likes his Mamma and doesn't want her to change too much from one year to the next.

Here's hoping I don't wake up with two noses on my face. That'll really mess the kid up.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Anything You Can Do

...I can do better.

We don't have a lot of boy versus girl power struggles in our house. There are several reasons.

First, because our kids are under the influence of a somewhat strong-willed, slightly opinionated, and teensy bit stubborn alpha female. Secondly, because our kids are also under the influence of a very godly alpha male who loves said female very much and the two have spent years learning their prospective biblical roles despite the aforementioned traits of said female. They see Daddy open the car door for Mommy but they also know Mommy can open a pickle jar if she needs to. :)
Thirdly, because Mamoune has Haitian breeding on her side. She is strong. Very strong.

But just today, the kids (plus one of our adopted neighborhood kiddos) were playing video games. The girls were up and I must say, even I was a bit embarrassed by their performance. Mamoune spent most of the race with the words "WRONG WAY" flashing on the screen while Jayla had to repeat the same jump over and over and over with the same fatal result. It was inevitable that the boys would seize this opportunity to establish themselves atop the proverbial totem pole.

"Girls stink at this game!" "You don't even know how to ride a motorbike." "Ya'll are the slowest drivers ever!"

I would have smugly pointed out that it is completely illogical to equate a game with actual skill as a motorist and that neither of these two boy creatures has nor ever will acquire a license based on their PlayStation skill level. That's what I would've done. Mamoune chose to go a different direction altogether.

"Well, too bad boys don't even know how to paint their fingernails."

I decided not to share that on Celebrity Apprentice one of the Backstreet Boys actually did paint his fingernails. I hated to poke holes through Mamoune's uh, rock solid and completely rational argument. Plus, the boys may have seen this as a challenge and I'd rather not go there.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

God Bless the USA

So, Tim and I watched a few minutes of the Miss USA pageant last night. I couldn't take it anymore when one of the ladies strutted across in her bathing suit and faux fur and racked up a disgraceful 7.64 in the compilation score that pops up in the corner of the screen. 7.64!!! Granted -you choose to submit yourself to the scrutiny of the judges and millions of audience/TV viewers when you go into the pageant system; but what bothered me was the thought that this girl is likely to watch video of the pageant and will see herself get the lowest swimsuit score (from what I saw) and then frantically start nipping, tucking, or sucking things to fix whatever blaring flaws the judges saw. Flaws that do not actually exist. SAD. Very sad -but not the point of the post. Just a side note -no charge! =)

This was the funny exchange I wanted to tell you about. Tim spent his first year of college in Anderson, Indiana. Last night when they introduced one of the contestants as Daisy Doodah from Anderson, Indiana I was like "hey Tim,did you hear that?" He said, "yeah, I don't know how I missed her up there." I started chuckling and responded with, "Uh, well, it could have been because she was only 12 when you were there." He was shaking his head and telling me to shut up before I could even get the whole sentence out. Oh, it still makes me giggle. Who knew getting old would be so much fun.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Don't Know Much

...thus the lack of consistent blogging. I'm sorry. Here are a couple of fun moments for you:

Yesterday, the kids and I were discussing random things and they asked what constitutes being a "toddler." I was trying to explain that it is usually the time when a child is walking but not always steadily, and getting into things -toddling around as it were. They were amazed to find out that they, too, had once gone through a toddler stage. And even more amazed to think that the adults in their life had shared this experience as well. They began filing through individuals and laughing at the mental image of them as toddlers. Then Nathan said, "Even Mrs. Teri was a toddler once."

For those who don't know, Teri is very close friend who stands at least a good head, maybe two, taller than...uh...Lucky the Leprechaun. Vertically challenged she is. So, I paused for a second and said, "I think Mrs. Teri's still in her toddler stage." The kids howled with laughter. Then Mamoune added quite sincerely, "You know Mom, she is always getting into things."

Teri -if you are reading; I'm sure she meant getting into things like the Word, and serving, and gardening. Good things like that. I'm sure that's what she meant. =)

Then the topic switched to the kids Wednesday night teacher. Nathan says that she is pregnant. Mamoune says "no way, her tummy's not even fat." Then Isaiah set us all straight. Is she pregnant?

Isaiah: NO! She is not! Her son plays baseball!!!

(looks of confusion passing between me and the other two children)

Me: What does Dalton playing baseball have to do with her being pregnant?

Isaiah: Because nobody would take a brand new baby to a baseball game. duh!

Well, there you go.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Sound of Silence

You've been listening to the sound of silence for several days. I'd like to tell you that I am now breaking that silence to bring you insightful pontifications and musings of the profound sort. I'd like to tell you that.

Instead, what I have for you are miscellaneous ramblings, silliness, and newsy updates. I can sense your excitement.

Rambling: Tim and I were standing in the doorway waving goodbye to Ben and Shelby McRoy (who do not read this blog- - not sure why we let them in our house). We were experiencing some mild thunderstorms and there was an occasional flash of lightning, during which I would lean backward into the house and out of the doorway. It was a sub-conscious reaction more than anything but I couldn't help laughing when Tim looked at me with a skeptical, raised eyebrow and said, "you don't really think that's going to keep you from being struck by lightning, do you?" If nothing else, I figure it left Tim sticking a good 12 inches farther out than me, creating the (perhaps slim) possibility of him being struck first. I'm not anticipating that this maneuver will be making into any weather safety manuals.

Silliness: Nathan and I had a snuggle session this morning and he took the opportunity to ask me some of his deepest and most thought provoking questions. For example: "Mom, does the hair on my head grow out of my brain?" (Clearly we have gaps in our homeschooling) I gave him a deeply scientific answer... "No son. On top of your brain is your skull and on top of that is fat and tissue, and then skin. And you have these things called follicles that are like millions of little seeds in your skin that grow hair." He started slapping himself in the head wildly and yelling, "I don't want seeds in my head!!" Here's how a professional mom handles panic like this:
"okay, dude, but no seeds -no hair. Just ask Daddy." Turns out hair seeds are not so bad after all.

Newsy update: I am spending much time preparing for an upcoming women's conference. I will be speaking and I have to tell you that it's a little disconcerting to see my name (via pamphlets) taped on the backs of the bathroom stall doors at church. (Especially without my phone number included. ;-)) I get very nervous. Just typing out my notes sends me to the toilet multiple times. By April 19th my colon should be clean as a whistle. Speaking opportunities are something that I love --about 30 minutes after they are over. Up to that point, I am a bundle of nerves and stomach cramps who is incapable of even standing up straight apart from God holding me up. I know He does this on purpose as part of my humility training. I accept it. He is God. I am not. It's the best arrangement. I covet your prayers.