Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Take a Look

In the last two weeks MANY things have made me want to blog. I weird thing happened though. In each situation by the time I got to the computer with time to write it out I had lost my steam. Most of these things were irritants or surprises, so being out of steam about them made it seem pointless to try and steam them up again. So, last night as I went yet again from being incredibly irritated about something to seeing that it was seriously not a big deal and probably working out for the best anyway, it occurred to me that That is what I needed to post about!

Sunday night as part of Foree's lesson we looked at I John 1:1. What Foree pointed out was that seeing with eyes and looking at something aren't exactly the same thing. He tied this in with being slow to anger (another scripture we were reading). Most of us tend to see something with our eyes, react, and then LOOK at the situation more closely. This is NOT what God calls us to do!

Last night was a prime example of this lesson. In the time it took me to get from Tomball Ford (the place of irritation) to home, along with dinner and conversation with my Smooch, my thinking on the subject (which is really of no relevance here) went from anger to "oh, that really does make more sense for our family." Hello? If I would take the time to really LOOK at things before reacting in anger or frustration, can you even imagine how much energy I could save?

The bottom line is that God is in control of even those situations that frustrate us. Sometimes when we look closely we can see how it all fits together. Sometimes we can't. But even in those times that we can't make sense of it, we need to Trust that God has it covered and know that He will not harm us. In fact, He delights in blessing us.

I am grateful that over the last two week God allowed me to "make sense" of some of the frustrating things in my life. I'm grateful that He used Foree to make a lesson more clear. I'm grateful that He kept me from blogging my frustrations and instead led me to blog a lesson learned (or at least one that I needed reminding on!). More than anything right now I am just grateful that He is my God and that "He's got my back!"

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Blogging Manners

I found myself sucked into some somewhat hostile banter while commenting on a friends blog over the last week. It got me to thinking about how vulnerable we make ourselves by putting our ideas and thoughts out for public consumption. I realize that we live in America and we all have the freedom to think our own thoughts and give them voice. What I was surprised at was that it seems there are some whose comments seem to not have much point on there own. They simply serve to beat down the poster or others that have commented. It was terribly easy to get sucked into some of the "debate," but I found myself having to fight the childish side of me. I really had the urge to stoop right down there and name call just like they had. I refrined, but it got me to thinking.

So, what do we do when our opinions come under hostile, unsolicited attack? Turn the other cheek. We must be Christ-like in ALL we do. It is so human to wanted to argue back, but that exaclty what Satan wants. He loves starting arguments amongst believers over things that have nothing to do with our salvation. Seeing us line up against one another give him such joy!

It is up to us then to prevent that from happening. We need to pray for discernment that we know when to fight for a belief and when to acknowledge that though we may differ in opinion, ultimately we are brothers and sisters in Christ and that no amount of arguing politics or so many of the other trivial things we waste our time with will change that. So, I press on and will apply the Thumper rule to my own commenting. I hope you will all do the same. "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."

Thursday, August 18, 2005

God is a Kid

I took the kids, along with my mom, to see my Nana last week. While we were there Paris was her usual self. She filled us in on all sorts of tidbits about how she views the world. I think the most interesting thing she said is that "God is a Kid." She was in conversation with my mom. I think they were talking about things God created or something. Regardless, her theory that God is a kid stuck in my head and has been bouncing around for a week.

So, is God a kid? Well, he's certainly amused at the little things in life. He though bunnies should have fuzzy tails and frogs should have crazy long tongues. These are things only the mind of a child could come up with. I imaging He sometime must belly laugh while watching His creations play. Have you ever watched squirrels play? It's really funny.

Of course, He also orchestrates, generates, oversees, and carries us through some of the most complicated circumstances imaginable. His wisdom exceeds human understanding. He couldn't possibly be a kid.

Ah, but wait. He is everything everyone needs. For my 3 year old daughter, that is a God that is a kid. For me it sometimes a friend, daddy, disciplinarian, or just a big hug. I am so grateful that my heavenly Father can be everything I need. So, I guess Paris is right again. God is a kid for her, He is everything I need, and he's probably even a baby for Tripp. His love transforms into just what we need in every moment of our life. Wow.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Freestone Drive

Well, we put a contract on a lot last week. It's an acre lot. Don't ask me what I'll do with all that space....I'm thinking a "Papa" garden (that would be my grandpa) and eventually a pool? The development is called Peach Crossing. It's just south of the Speedway in College Station. It will take an hour off of Easy's time in the car everyday. And....I LOVE IT!!!!!!

1665 Freestone Drive.....it sounds nice doesn't it? It flows well. Not only did God bless us with a lot in my most favorite development that's still in the CSISD, the very lot I've been dreaming about for the last 6 months was available....and it was the cheapest one left! God is good!

So, now the fun begins. We've begun the process of securing financing to build the house. Our dear friends the Haynies have begun the same process to buy our current home. Our house plans are at the architect being finalized. We've already pick most of the colors and materials.....to me it just feels like all that's left is building it.

So I have a simple request of my friends and family that read this little posting of mine....pray. I am so crazy excited about this project and so crazy scared at the same time. All the what-ifs run through my head on a daily basis. So please pray that the financing process goes smoothly for both us and our friends (if we don't sell our house this project won't happen). They want so badly to buy this place, and I can't think of anyone I'd rather sell it to. Pray also that once that's all settled that the building process is efficient and that Easy and I don't argue too much. Many have told me that building a house with your spouse is one of the hardest things you'll ever do. Easy and I have fairly similar tastes....his is just a bit more brown than mine.

Anyway, I'm not feeling witty or anything today, I'm just coveting your prayers over this process.

Oh, and I got Tripp's first haircut today! He did great though I don't understand how it's physically possible for a wiggling 9 month old to get a haircut that is even....but somehow it happened! He's such a cute little man. If I have time I'll post a picture later tonight.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Growing Up Cleaver

My friend Lesa suggested writing down a brief biography...I'm taking her challenge so sit back and see my story for what it is. Life growing up in one of the most "normal" families that exists in today's society. My friends always flocked to my house because we were so normal and healthy. I think you'll see that even the Cleavers have a few dysfunctions........

Most of my life was spent on good ol' Apache Trail in Baytown, TX. I was born in the old San Jacinto hospital and lived in Baytown until I left for college. The basics of my family are as follows:

Skip & Nell - parents
My Matt - older bro
Papa & Bebe - Skip's parents
Daddy Bill & Nana - Nell's parents

I went to Noah's Ark nursery school. I have only one vivid memory from there. I was put in time out essentially for associating with the wrong person. Apparently the friend I was playing with had NOT finished her craft project and I had. Regardless, we both got in trouble. It's quite possible that my little brain twisted the facts on this one, but that's how I remember it.

Elementary school was at Harlem Elementary. Harlem is no longer standing. I believe it was condemned and torn down. I had almost all great teachers there. I can only think of one exception. I won't name names, but in 1st/2nd grade math I learned how to yawn through my ears. I did not, however learn my math tables. Grades 3-5 were awesome. I was put in the GATE (gifted and talented - whatever that means) program. I had lots of friends....mostly boys. I didn't seem to fit in well with or be comfortable with the girls much. Essentially, I went to school and church and played whenever possible. Summers were full of big adventures in the "big ditch and woods" in the back of our neighborhood. At night I remember frequent bedtime Bible stories and on Saturday mornings Dad cooked. I understand now that this was to give Mom a break. Back then I just thought it was fun. Most important in this stage was accepting Christ as my savior in the 4th grade - baptized on Christmas Eve with my whole family there.

Jr. High was at Cedar Bayou. I believe all of the buildings I had classes in have been condemned and torn down. I continued in the GATE program here and added some extracurricular stuff like orchestra (violin), track, and basketball. This is when the youth group fun started at church. We had a group of parents called YAC (youth advisory committee) that planned our activities. Basically Jr. High had pleasant enough experiences, but over all it stunk. People are just mean in Jr. High, and in the words of one of my high school teachers I was an "ugly duckling." The swan days didn't hit until AFTER Jr. High. I did meet a boy right before Jr. High started that became a recurring person in my life. We'll call him B. What do I remember most, I got inducted into the National Jr. Honor Society and my dad wasn't there because he had a volleyball game. Sorry Dad, no slam intended...it's just sticks out in my brain.

High school was at Robert E. Lee. I'm happy to say it has NOT been torn down (yet). High school was terribly fun. I discovered boys and they discovered me (the swan phase finally hit). I was in good classes and had some great teachers. We got a youth minister at church. Mark & Kathi Waltenbaugh will FOREVER be cherished by me. They truly helped shape who I am today. I dated a boy for about a year and a half in the middle of high school. Mark & Kathi, along with my Daddy Bill were instrumental in helping me realize that I needed a Christian boy in my life. B, by the way went to MoSt so he qualified. My senior year I began dating him. I fell hard. So did he. We would do the on again off again dance for years. Graduation came, now I'm a "grown up." B and I are not together, but want to be. He's going to be gone most of the summer so we don't do anything about it. When he gets back I'm dating his best friend. Oops.

Freshman and Sophomore year of college were at good old Harvard on the Hill (Lee College). I worked there as well. It was fun and I got the basics out of the way. I am glad that when you transfer, you just move the hours, not the grades. Due to pure laziness I received 18 hours of D in Mr. Britt's American Studies program. (yes, as in John Britt) It was a fantastic class, I was just lazy. Summer between these years B and I hook up again. This time for keeps I think. I was blissfully happy. Then my dad got fired in the fall. (unjustly) My Papa's heath started to crater. I decided that I would not go to A&M - partly to save $ given Dad's situation and mostly because of B. My parents threw a fit. There were tears. I sent my application in. I got my acceptance a few days before my Papa died. A few weeks later B broke up with me.

I moved to College Station in August. I still thought B and I would find our way to each other again. We wrote and talked on the phone. Meanwhile I date a geek in the band so I could get good seats at the football games. In November I started a part-time job and met a boy named Sanford. You all know him as Easy. Since I was dating the band geek we did not start seeing each other, but I new that there was something special about him and I wanted to be around him as much as possible. Over Christmas my dad got his job back, geek and I split up, and B and I had our final time together. I knew it was really the end and was oddly not upset at all. Of course, I had already met Easy.

The rest of the story goes fairly quickly. Easy and I started dating in January of 1997. My Daddy Bill died in November that year. Easy proposed two weeks later. By March I was diagnosed by my doctor as suffering from depression. Somehow I thought simply knowing what I was battling would make it go away. Easy and I got married at MoSt in December 1998. The first year of our marriage was rough - it was the most awful stage of my depression. During our second year married my mother took me to a Women of Faith conference. There I heard Sheila Walsh speak. I FINALLY began to realize that I had been ignoring God for a long time. I started the long journey home. The healing process for me is pure God. He took me from thinking of driving off bridges to happy, healthy, and full of life...His life. It took several years for all that to happen. In January of 2001 my Bebe passed away. She was overjoyed to be going to live with Jesus. I was scared the big D would take over again in my grief, but God carried my through. I got pregnant in September that year and we had Paris on June 24, 2002. In the summer of 2003 I went through Weigh Down Workshop and my relationship with my Lord really began to change. We placed membership at A&M Church of Christ and began making Christian friends. By the summer of 2004 I was finally able to say with confidence that I had been healed of my depression. Tripp arrived on October 27th.

So, here I am. 29 years old, I have an AMAZING husband, and two wonderful children. We are getting ready to build a new house. I have two degrees (BS in psychology and MA in Counseling) that I'm not getting paid to use but use daily. I have an ever growing relationship with Jesus Christ and my Heavenly Father. I have Christian friends to help me along in the journey and I have a fantastic relationship with my extended family. My husband and I have a joint vision of what we want for our family and the future is exciting.

Oh, and as for the Cleaver dysfunction....it might have been easy to miss if you weren't reading between the lines.....in a nut shell, we don't always agree on what's important in life, we don't always share the same opinions in politics, religion, or what car to drive, we don't grieve as a family when we loose one of our own (we tend to pull away from each other), we battle depression and anxiety.........I could add things to the list, but you get the picture...we're just like everyone else! Above all, however, in all of our dysfunction we cling to the fact that God is the head of our family and that His plan is best and He is in control of all the things we are faced with while on this little spinning ball of life. I will forever be grateful to my Daddy Bill & Nana, Papa & Bebe, and Mom & Dad for teaching me to trust in the Lord and to accept the peace He has to offer.

I just realized that I didn't talk about my Matt. I guess he'll have to do his biography for you to know him....suffice to say that he is the BEST BIG BROTHER IN THE WHOLE WORLD!!!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Boys, Baths, & Snot

Where to start....I gave my children their first joint bath last week. It went very well. Paris didn't spaz out at all so I think it was an overall success. I know I should be thankful that it took until 9 months for the following to happen, but I am none the less wishing it hadn't. Not long after putting Tripp in his little circular bath seat he discovers that he is indeed a boy. He found and would not let go of his "boy parts." Now, before I get comments about how important it is to teach my children the actually names of said parts.....save it. Even after taking Dr. Johnson's Sexual Dysfunction class in grad school (yes folks, the professor that taught the sex class was a short balding man named Jimmy Johnson - you can't make up that stuff!) and becoming completely desensitized to all things regarding sex and the bodily functions and parts involved in that I still can not stomach hearing the "appropriate terms" flying out of my 3-year old's mouth. So....save it. In my house we have boy parts and lady parts. Deal with it. Ay any rate, Tripp made his discovery which entertained him the duration of the bath and seems to have forgotten all about it. Perhaps I will be fortunate enough that he won't find them again for a few months?

Speaking of baths, I personally will have the pleasure of taking a few over the next month. I am normally a shower person all the way. Unfortunately I have an injury to my left foot that will require weekly visits to the doctor for taping. Of course I am not to get the tape wet so it looks like I'll be doing the bathe with one foot sticking out of the tub deal. Obviously there is some humor in this somewhere, I just haven't found it yet. Fortunately I will get to remove the tape every five days and have a proper shower before going back in for more tape. I'm not sure how Paris will react to "Mo" (her nickname for me) using her tub. She is quite territorial.

And that brings us to snot. There has been a lot of snot at my house the last few weeks. So much that I actually began trying to think of some fabulous lesson I could learn from it. Here's what I came up with. Snot is like sin. Sometimes we have an overabundance of it. It gets nasty and it can become very obvious to others that we are having some sort of issue. When we wipe it away our nose gets all red and gives us away. If we just try to swallow it down we get nauseous. My favorite feature and parallel is this....even when we wake up breathing great and showing no outward signs of snot....it's still there, ready at any moment to react to the slightest thing (a smelly flower, too much pepper, a nice cry) to once again make it's appearnce to the outside world. I started to take this analogy further, but ultimately that made Christ a Heavenly Kleenex of sorts and that just seems disrespectful so I'll just leave it alone.

That's it for now. I'll be in Baytown over the weekend. It will be interesting to see how Paris and Willie the growly dog interact after our last trip down there. A prayer or two for a peaceful trip would be appreciated.