Monday, June 30, 2008

Flow with me here...

Have you ever driven down the same street repeatedly, noticing your favorite houses, buildings, or landmarks each time, and then one day, you see something new? The fact is, the thing you see is not new, you know that full well, but somehow, day after day or year after year, you missed something that someone else, on their daily drive saw each time. And somehow, on their way down the street one day, they are finally aware of the landmark that has caught your eye for years. How could they have missed it, you think...

This scenario reminds me of many things, but especially God's word. There are many passages of scripture that I have read again and again, becoming almost casually familiar with them...simply expecting the same meaning out of any one particular passage each time I read it. And then it happens, one day I read a passage of scripture and God allows me to see something new or applicable for that season of my life. The thing is, if I hadn't been reading God's word, I wouldn't have noticed it at all...

My point is this: There have been seasons in my life when I read God's word almost robotically. Other times it's been something I could not read enough. There have been times when I really didn't feel like reading the Bible or studying it, but as a discipline, I did read it. As 'boring' as that may sound to some, it's what happened on those daily 'drives' that laid the foundation for me to recognize new 'landmarks' on the road, so to speak.

So, if this encourages anyone else, keep reading. You may not understand why God is leading you to read specific books in His word or meditate on certain verses, but, in His time, when you least expect it, but most definitely need it, it will penetrate your heart and you will will just know.

Happy reading!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Barbecue, drugs and a sponge bath...

...every man's dream? Read might change your mind.
Really, Sweetheart, on the eve of our 15 year anniversary, if you wanted barbecue and a sponge bath, you could have just said so...

I'm so in love with you, I would do anything for you, even eat cheap barbecue on our anniversary to make you happy...
You are, to me, and always will be, the hottest man in the whole wide world...
...even with my clean dish towel wrapped firmly on your dirty foot with the 2 and a half inch gouge in it...
...and waiting for stitches while reading sports mags...
Jason, you are by far, the hottest man in the whole wide world, and whether we are celebrating in an Urgent Care facility or some fancy restaurant with candlelight, I'm grateful to God we are celebrating, and it's with you.
(Next picture, not for the weak at heart...)

So, as we were doing some landscaping, Jason was using a 4 inch diamond blade to cut some flagstone in half...with his sandals on...when the saw hit a bump and jumped 2 feet, still rotating in the air as it shot across the ground into his foot.
We went to Urgent Care where we thought he'd just need a few stitches...
He got a few stitches, alright, but they are temporary surface stitches because when the doctor pulled open his wound, there was bone and muscle exposed, a little fat, some 'unknown chunks' and such. We have to call an orthopedic specialist in the morning. He got a tetanus shot, IV antibiotics, a Rx for antibiotics and Vicodin, barbecue on the way home (his favorite food) and, though I drew the bath, he's a big boy and can take care of the rest...
This is his fancy footwear for a while.

And so, I am grateful to God for sparing Jason any further or greater harm. I am grateful for the last 15 years of marriage to my very best friend, regardless of circumstances, we are in love, and for that I am thankful. I also am so thankful to Jason for granting me permission to blog his escapade, as, quite frankly, I've felt a little dry lately, and, well, this is just good material...I love you, Jason, forever. Me xoxox

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Creator God

A 'little somethin' God whipped up one day, long ago...
Some trees He designed that He knew we would enjoy...
He was right. They are my favorite.
Can you make those? Or explain them with a scientific equation?

I do not worship creation. I cherish it. I admire it. I am usually speechless while gazing upon it. Or, I am stupid and repetitive while sharing it with another because there are not enough words in the dictionary to describe its beauty with adequacy. To me, though, what makes creation so phenomenal is that it was all, ALL, every bit of it, created by God. To me, enjoying the created things around me are much more appreciated through the filter of knowing they weren't an accident, but divinely designed by God. I love Him more each time I look around and see that He took time to show the world His creativity.

This past weekend Jason and I enjoyed a getaway in one of the most beautiful places in CO. We were in Snowmass, near Aspen, for our friend's wedding. And in true awe of God's display, the wedding and reception were outdoors, surrounded by mountains in every direction. As we sat and witnessed the beautiful beginning to a wonderful marriage, I could not help but be distracted by the display of God's splendor.

This isn't a post about whether God created the universe or not, since He did...but for me, it's that enjoying it is so much richer knowing He made it and it's not just a bunch of rocks, trees, waterfalls, and plants taking up space...just like us...He made us to show off His creativity. Enjoy being a part of His creation and know you were made with a purpose.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A little soap in the mouth

Did you ever get your mouth washed out with soap? I said something naughty when I was Em's age or younger and, though I do not remember what I said, I sure remember the taste of Irish Spring...Abusive? No! But most certainly effective!

The soap incident only happened once, Praise the Lord, but I have allowed other things to escape my lips of which I am not proud. I used to think cussing was cool in Junior and Senior High. It wasn't my primary mode of communication, but little bombs here and there. One genre I always steered clear of was the "G.D.'s" and "J.C.'s". I had it pretty well in my head from a loose but present church upbringing that those were taboo. I would cringe when those were spewed on TV, a movie, or at athletic events. I even used to suggest alternatives to the person because it made me uncomfortable. I only partially understood why...

More recently, like within the last 10 years, when I have heard "the name of the Lord taken in vain" I've said to the stranger, "Wow! You must have a very close relationship with God to call on His name so: frequently, loudly, publicly, etc." or "Is Jesus Christ your best friend? You sure call Him a lot!" It's pretty effective...well, at least it flusters the person, so that's kind of fun. Oh the facial expressions!

But, let me throw this out Exodus chapter 20, verse 7, God is sharing the 10 Commandments with Moses. This particular commandment, the third specifically, follows God saying, 1 "You shall have no other gods before me", and 2 "You shall not make for yourselves an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth below. You shall not bow down to them and worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments." (emphasis mine) (BTW, that verse is another post someday...) The 3rd commandment reads, "You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name." The translation a lot of people have grown familiar with is, "Do not take the name of the LORD your God in vain." Interpreted by many with the understanding that cussing or swearing using "G.D." or "J.C." is what God meant in the text. I urge ALL to go way deeper, but also to take the commandment at face value...If we call ourselves followers of God, thus using His name, then aspire to live life a name bearer.

I personally don't love it when the guy or girl next to me at the sporting event is shouting my Lord's name. It's obviously not fitting. Seriously, what does Jesus Christ have to do with that person's anger over his or her favorite player choking on a lay up? Nothing! You just aren't supposed to miss lay ups! My heart is more grieved that the person doesn't know God's character, His unconditional love, His grace and forgiveness. He or she thinks the name that is above all other names is a cuss word or flippant saying, not realizing its power.

Using the Lord's name in vain is using it for our own selfish ambition, it's having other gods before Him and worshipping false idols, but at the same time trying to secure Heaven safety not having a clue what a relationship with Him actually looks like. Misusing His name is talking His words but walking opposite of their commands and meanings. It's living for our own purpose, not His will. Misusing the name the Lord is misrepresentation of His name. It's like being a parent but neglecting your children. Calling yourself a pilot but not having a license. Claiming to be a tiger when you don't have stripes. It's lying. It's not a call to perfection, but boy, if you or I are going to call ourselves followers of Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords, the Alpha and Omega, the Lamb that was slain on a cross for the sins of the entire world, we probably should have pure intentions...

"God, please help me damn my selfishness."

"Jesus Christ, I thank You for the grace to do it."

Monday, June 16, 2008

Father's Day

Daddy's girl, early on
Good daddy's read to their kids if they are able...
Her lips could be there all day
My favorite pic of these two.
This year's Father's Day lunch, with Em's very first Barbie
Walking with Daddy on our trip to FL after Noah died
Em's usual position atop Daddy's shoulders
Em, at 2, with Daddy in OR

This Father's Day was memorable to Emily for several reasons; one being her Dad is amazing; two, she made her Daddy garden stones with hers and Noah's name on them; and three, which is what she's talked about for two days now...with her 'Bible Bucks' from church, she 'bought' her very first Barbie doll at the Kids' Church 'store'. We held out until she was 'older'. I used to play with Barbie and have turned out somewhat normal. I realize the doll's measurements are not true to life, but I figure if I don't dwell on it, Em won't either. Jason is teaching her, as am I, about modesty, so she calls her Barbie modest. Anyway, we haven't made a big deal about the doll up until this point, but alas, she's got one, and I didn't have to buy it. That's what she'll remember. Here's what I'll remember...

On the way to church I asked Emily, "Em, what does it feel like to have the very best Daddy in the whole world as your very own Daddy?" She said, "I really can't explain it!"

I can explain it, but apparently I don't need to since she's living it...

Please note: Jason is the best Daddy to Em and Noah. The reason I say, "Best Daddy in the whole world" or "Best Husband in the whole world" or "Hottest Man in the whole world" is not to make others feel like they don't have that, but to teach my daughter that "BEST" does not equal "PERFECTION".

*Amazing read: Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters by Dr. Meg Meeker
Read whether you have a daughter or not, because if you are a woman, you are a daughter. Not to be read to dig up the past between you and your dad, though if that is appropriate and healing, go there...But really, it's eye opening to why you may do the things you do, and hopefully inspires you to be the woman (or dad) God has chosen you to be...Not to be read to tell your husband how to be a good dad to the kids...He can read it on his own, and should...Jason recommended it to me. It's eye opening, and is not only good for raising daughters but has pertinent information for raising children in general, especially teaching sons how to honor women...SO RICH! Must read!

I put the "un" in "cool", but it's okay...

Wax Stix glasses
Solar-Rolz TM, as prescribed by my eye doc
The top of the least 9,748 elevation
We carried Noah's balloons 1.34 miles up 948 vertical feet to the top of Devil's Head trail (why do people name mtns after the devil? well, we stood on his head)
Noah's balloons way off in the distance
Em wanted to stack rocks to remember...

So, it was on our hike last Tuesday that I was talking to God about many things. One conversation in particular went like this:
Me: Lord, I would like You to just give me humility. I know You don't really work that way, but You giving it to me would be much nicer than learning it...but either way, Lord, I desire more humility in my life...
Lord: (nothin')

Move onto Friday morning when I went to an ophthalmologist to have my eye checked out. You see, for the prior week, I wore my glasses, which the glasses alone are fine, it's the wearing them part I abhor, to give my right eye a break. My vision in my right eye has gradually become blurry, regardless of corrective lenses. So, he took one look at my eye and told me that it looked like I had rubbed sand paper all over it. He told me that I am not allowed to wear my contacts until further notice. I asked if I could just "quick get Lasik?" but he informed me that he can't do surgery on my cornea in that condition. I told him I just started training for a marathon walk, "How am I supposed to work out?" "Like anyone else that wears glasses and works out", he stated plainly. "But it's sunny, I don't have prescription shades." "Oh, you can grab a few of my complimentary Post-Mydriatic Sunglasses on your way out...they are actually kind of cool."

They may be cool on their still in their packaging or still sitting on his office counter, but then I put them on and BLASTO, they became un-cool!

So this may not be a big deal to anyone else, but for me, who has worn my contacts for 20 years straight, for between 14 and 18 hours a day (hence, the scratches), this is more than just having to wear my glasses. For me, I know God is taking my request for humility seriously. I PRAY and HOPE, for REAL, I learn it on the fast track...

So, would you like to encourage me with a story of when you prayed a prayer that you meant but didn't really want to do the work, so much?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

400th Post

Well, we did it. Jason and I watched Noah's birth video. The pictures below...I got to see and hear them!


Besides one video in the hospital that a doctor took to document Noah's hypotonia and other symptoms (which I deleted because I couldn't bear to watch it) and two videos I took of Noah in January where I moved his little lips to a song sung by a bear (yes, I have a weird sense of humor), Noah's birth video is the only video of him alive! I did alright on the photography side of things, but we didn't even have any video of him at home during his 7 1/2 weeks there! Second child syndrome...I suck.

I tell you what, hearing his sweet, sweet little cry not only made me bawl but warmed my heart. He moved. Noah used to move...He used to cry. He used to open his sleepy little eyes. He had not done any of these things for so long at the hospital that seeing the video tonight was almost surreal. All the tubes down his throat at the hospital prohibited Noah from making sounds. And the drugs that sedated him. Then, when he was trached he couldn't make noises either. I got to hear his little cry. I remembered it as if it were yesterday. Noah was awake. He was real...Noah had me wrapped around his finger. I would anticipate his cry at night and run to his room before he made a squeak so I could feed him. It was the most tender little cry...heart melting.

One day, when I figure out how to transfer the video to my computer, I'll post a snippet because his little cry is darned near the sweetest thing you ever did hear. And his sleepy little eyes, blinking, blinking...And Emily, touching him, holding him, meeting him for the first time...all of it...I am so grateful that despite my poor videography skills, I at least have more than a half hour of live footage of Noah.

Thank you for your encouragement and prayers for us. The flowers, cards, emails, texts, calls, visits...It was a good day and a difficult day. Noah should have been in a backpack on my back for our hike today. He would have loved the funny sounds Em and I made as we drove on the horrible washboard dirt road up to the trail head. He would have enjoyed letting go of the 2 dozen colorful balloons on the mountain top. He would have loved seeing the two deer prancing through the Aspen trees. He would have loved helping his sister catch and release the two beautiful blue miniature butterflies. Em said he would have liked her chocolate ice cream cone.
Even though these are great things, real things, things kids love and enjoy, I know Noah is not missing out on anything. WE are the ones missing out on the so much more that he is living.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

399th post

I just couldn't get my act together to hit the 400 mark on Noah's birthday. Technically, I could hit "Publish Post" and then post again tonight, but I'd feel like I cheated somehow...NAAAAA.

Monday, June 09, 2008

It was a happy, happy day...

7 minutes old
Puckering up
Proud daddy and big sis

Some random thoughts...
  • It would be cool to develop a line of body spray that smells like the nostalgic scent of the person you love...I wish I could say that my pillow is safe in an acrylic frame, a ziplock baggie, or a vault of some kind, but, the gift I received the other day, that of smelling Noah's sweet scent one more time was gone as quickly as it came. I am so grateful to have had it even for a moment. It seared in my heart the necessity for us to not store up for ourselves treasures here that rust and decay but to store them up in heaven. Just as Jesus said, "One day at a time." If I wait to savor something, it will be too late. I have to be thankful NOW.
  • Noah was born at 6:57 pm. June 10, 2006 will always be one of my most favorite days of my life. Noah's birth experience, everyone and everything that surrounded it, minus the substitute ob/gyn, made the day nothing short of miraculous.
  • Tomorrow Jason is taking the day off and the three of us are packing a picnic and headed up to the mountains for lunch and a hike. Emily is so excited that not one minute of the day will be spent working. While Noah was home with us, we took him up to the mountains for a little hike near a beautiful mountain lake and waterfall. Emily collected dragonflies in her bug catcher.
  • I am going to watch Noah's birth video tomorrow night for the very first time. My friends that were with us during Noah's delivery, I believe, took turns with the video camera. I don't really know or remember since I was focusing on pushing...Anyway, it's still on the tiny tape that was actually still in the camera, collecting dust because until Jason videotaped Emily's loose tooth recently, it had been in its case, out of sight.
  • If you have ever had more than one child, regardless of their length of stay on earth, I wonder if the anticipation of the second child stirred in you the question of whether you could love that child as much as the first. Or, having read the story of Jacob, did you ever wonder how it was possible for him to love his son, Joseph, more than his other sons? That he could actually have a favorite?! I remember thinking he wasn't a very good dad to have a favorite kid...but then I had Emily, and then I had Noah. She is my favorite daughter in the whole world and Noah my most favorite son.
  • P.S. Happy Birthday to anyone born on June 10th! You're awesome!

Remind me to tell you about the cool sign God gave me tonight while I sat in the hammock...

Friday, June 06, 2008

Scented pillow

June 2006
Today Em wanted me to unpack a few boxes in the basement so I could find her Lincoln Logs and my vintage Fisher Price toys. Jason pulled the boxes down and they revealed a box that said "Duck Prints/Bulletin Board/Rug". I had been looking for my bulletin board so opened the box. Randomly inside the box, I guess to fill empty space, was my favorite foam pillow I used to sleep with. You know the has a U-shaped dip for your head and the top parts of the U support your neck. I used to sleep with that pillow while Noah was still at home. Then with hospital life and packing up our house for resale, I guess put it away for staging purposes. Well, I pulled it out of the box and smelled it. It smelled like Noah...

I bawled. I could not believe it smelled like Noah! I had tried to find his smell in his room while packing it up but could not. I smelled all of his clothes, his blankets, EVERYTHING, but his smell was lost. Well, two weeks after Noah was born Jason had business out of town. I would bundle Noah in his blankies and put him in the dip of the pillow and lay him next to me in bed at night.

When I tried to smell it again, my sinuses were too full of teary snot to detect it, but I am so grateful that almost two years after Noah was born, I was given a beautiful an early birthday present, but for me...

Funny Friday...

Except if it's true, it's not funny, it's really sad. Today while I was driving home from an errand I saw a garage sale sign that read, "HE CHEATED! EVERYTHING IS FOR SALE!" and then it gave the address. Either it's true, or it's a catchy marketing ploy to get rid of your junk. If he did cheat, I pray for healing in his heart and healing in the hearts of those involved. If not, I hope they had a successful sale...

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

And because...

Em was sick all last week and I'm trying to finish writing Noah's book by his 2nd birthday which is next Tuesday the 10th.
*(The other 2 reason's I have been a bad blogger...)

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Satisfaction guarantee? Not so much...

I'm sorry I've been distant...from the blog, that is. I've been kind of crusty. Over Memorial Day weekend we planted several trees in our yard in memory of Noah, my father-in-law Steve, and in honor of living family members, like Em and so on. Anyway, Noah's tree is is Steve's. Let's just add insult to injury, huh?! Let's! Seriously, Lord, want to breathe life into my little guy's tree? Please!? Thankfully the tree has a full money-back guarantee for one year...if it dies, we have to dig it up and take it back, no questions asked along with a receipt and we can exchange it for a new, fresh one...Too bad you can't do that with the people you love...(did I just say that?!)