Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Bringing Home the Bacon

My Awana Grand Prix contestants.

Emily's glitter pig car was surprisingly swift. It finished fourth place in speed. When her car finally got triple eliminated, I heard a fellow onlooker wryly say, "Piggy's going to market."

Even though piggy got the cleaver, it snouted out a respectable third place in design. And in celebration, tonight we ate pork chops and jalapeno poppers wrapped in bacon. It was a miracle meat day.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Wild Thing

The girls were doing tumbling in my room when they saw this out the window. That was around 3:30PM. The possum wandered off and showed up again for another drink 15 minutes later. That's when I finally found my lost camera with dying batteries. I took the batteries out and rubbed their ends and slipped them back in for that one last picture. Thinking the excitement might not be over I plunked those rechargeable batteries in the wall outlet. So glad I did.

Because at 6:45PM my camera caught this...

and then this...

and the prize photo...

Fearless Dr. B grabbed the live possum by the back and then did what any self-respecting trapper would do. He chased the kids and me around the yard with the possum dangling in his hand. There were some terrifying moments of circling the pool trying to get away from the wild man trying to tag us with the limp possum (who had enough sense to play dead). I won't quickly forget my man's deep chuckles as he teamed up with his big rodent friend.

I escaped out the back fence to get a box to put the possum in for transport. When I returned, the kids were all petting the possum and wanted a picture with it. Because it was dark outside, I couldn't see my view finder properly, and I cut out some of the posing pretties. They were all there and informed me that the possum had unusually soft fur.

Jane thought we might keep him as a pet. Dr. B being his usual self suggested we call him "Bitey." Fritz thought we should take him to the hospital and let him roam inside. Emily thought we should take him to the park and let him go down the slide. Alex thought the possum might be good for show and tell at school. After much brainstorming, possum took a trip in a FedEx box to his new home near a river.

However the real wild thing came back home and ate lasagna and salad with Caesar dressing as if nothing out of the ordinary had ever happened.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Gratitude Increasers

A nonfiction man living a fiction story. There is no doubt this German immigrant is highly intelligent, but he squanders his brains. He may have been only an accomplished moocher, but the author questions whether "Rockefeller" is also a murderer. My takeaway: I am grateful my husband is a truth teller with no pretense.

A Lebanese woman's life in fast forward. At times this FBI/CIA agent pats herself on the back a little too often, but I think it may be do to the horrendous years of her investigation and her hard upbringing. This book evokes injustice and the power of the federal government. My takeaway: I am grateful to live in a culture that honors women and that the streets of my neighborhood are not shell pocked.

Three generations of Chinese women. So little options for them, these women's lives were entwined in the environment and political culture of their days. It is a secular, yet exhaustive view into China. Very powerful and at times stomach sickening. Class warfare is a dangerous thing. China without the restraint of Christ's love is a suicidal hell. My takeaway: I am grateful to have been born in a time and place of peace.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

The Years of the Glass Tears

So many people wonder how I live my daily life with four kids and an overworked husband and not go stark mad. But the truth is, two years ago I was mad. My madness was irrational. I had "arrived" and I was angry at God for leading me there to abandon me. My faith was in crisis. I remember visiting many churches and feeling the people with smiles on their faces were so insincere. The songs they sang seemed like mockery and the services seemed like empty motions. Life was disappointing and I painted my surroundings with a wide brush. All creation ceased singing as my heart was weeping inside my chest.

I was self-focused and miserable. I was drowning in self-pity. I couldn't see God’s goodness in a world of pain and disappointment.

In the midst of my depression, one day I took my kids to the park. I was hanging my head, scuffing my toes and pondering if God cared about me despite my feelings of abandonment. I looked down in the gravel and found a clear glass stone, the type people use in floral arrangements. It was so out of place and I remember thinking it was a tear of God. Is he crying with me? At that moment I knew he was. God let me find another clear glass stone to confirm his message. I put those shiny stones in my pocket and brought them home. They now are on my kitchen counter where I can see them each day. They have become my own visual Ebenezer to remind me that Christ has brought me thus far and his character will take me the remainder of the distance.

Sometimes that distance seems too far and then I look at those glass tears. I am not alone. I will not buy into the devil's lies. I will not look at the horizon. I will look only one step in front of me. And with the Lord's help, I will take captive my attitudes and choose to rejoice even though my heart is a slow walker. Undoubtedly, the lessons I am learning can be learned faster by someone else. Oh to grasp, the depth and width of his unconditional love. God is not apathetic about me. He loves me with wild abandon. And He cries when I cry. The proof is on my countertop and being etched in my heart.