Thursday, June 25, 2009

How old are you?

Last night I was walking Emily's friend part way up the street to her house after an evening of playing. As I watched this six year old riding her scooter, wearing a helmet of course, roll down the sidewalk, I had this strange sense come over me. The sense of being 37 years old. I thought, "When did I become a grown-up? When did I become a grown-up enough to be a parent? When did I become grown-up enough to own a house on a street in a neighborhood, with a husband of 16 years on Friday, to boot?!" It was a surreal moment.

I don't necessarily know what it feels like to be 37 because in my head I don't really feel any certain age. I know I don't feel like I'm a teenager, or even early twenties, and I wouldn't want to, believe me. Not because I think I am better or smarter than those particular ages, but because on my own journey, I was a really insecure, obnoxious, envious, bragging, (did I mention insecure?) person in that season of my life. Some would probably beg to tell you I am still that, but I'd like to think my 30's have had a profound impact on my life...I suppose if I could be 'stuck' at an age it would be early childhood because from observing Em, you know all you need to know about your own world and faith and how to treat others, but nothing about the big, bad, scary world that happens outside the walls of your pink and brown bedroom.

I have not learned everything, for that I am grateful. If I ever announce that I have learned it all, shoot me...seriously. When I am with someone older than me I try to listen to their life...listen to either something they want to teach me or listen by observing. The key word there being listen. I believe the past is important and age and experience bear weight in the wisdom arena. Maybe it's from reading the book of Proverbs a lot, or maybe it's just the obvious...I don't know everything. But as I walked back home I wondered if everyone, no matter their age, has an age that they live by? For instance, my grandparents, at least in my observation, lived within their 40's and 50's well into their early 80's. Now they are in their 90's and even though they are sharp as tacks, their bodies have most certainly caught up with them, if not surpassed them.

At what age does that happen? Walking down my street at age 37, I feel invincible, able to leap over a building in a single bound. Able to at least attempt to solve the world's problems, not wars and politics, but the problems each of our hearts' contain.

Does my 93 year old gramma, who used to cut up a rug like Ginger Rogers well into her 80's but just broke her hip the night before last (not dancing but trying to walk on her own) feel like Em in her heart? Does my gramps, 92, Ginger's Fred Astaire, feel 37? He doesn't, mind you, because he's told me in no uncertain terms that getting old sucks, but at what age did he start to age? When does life start catching up with us, so to speak? I've always thought of age as simply a number, not a state of mind.

My many days laying out in the sun have caught up with me. My many years eating processed foods, and things 'fat-free' but not calorie or carb-free, are still sticking around on my thighs, unfortunately. But what about my heart? My attitude? My mind? My outlook on life?

I know I am going to die one day and I no longer fear it. Perhaps the turning point for me in living was when I no longer feared that living would one day end? No. Not 'perhaps'.

I guess it makes living one day at a time, to the fullest, that much more meaningful...

Monday, June 22, 2009

"Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms." 1 Peter 4:10 NIV

"Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: if words, let it be God's words; if help, let it be God's hearty help." The Message

I've been thinking about the above scripture a lot lately. If we were to read it correctly then we would know that EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US has gifts (strengths, talents, passions) that have been given to us from God. ALL OF US, not just the ones who think they do, not only the people who are aware of those gifts, but all 6.79 billion of us. AND, get this...not only the people who believe in God! God made all of us whether we believe in Him or follow Him or not, and He made us not for ourselves, not only for His good pleasure because He loves us, but because He loves it when we love each other. When we love each other, when we walk with confidence in the gifts that He knit into us from the dawn of time, it's not because we are a big deal, but because HE IS A BIG DEAL! Yes, we are big deals because He made us, but the reason He wants us to love each other and not judge each other is because when we do, we are spreading around His grace.

Satan, or the devil, is the most jealous being in the Universe! He was the first cast out of God's presence and ever since has been a miserable cur. He couldn't stand that God beautifully and intricately designed man from a speck of dust and breathed life into him and then into woman. And, since then he's been trying to distract our hearts from the Ultimate Love Experience between God and human. He'll do whatever it takes, stooping to the lowest of lows, deviously scheming ways to distract, discourage, and harden our hearts. (If you don't believe me, read the book of Job...) He'll candy coat lies that appear truthful and enticing, but of course, that we won't necessarily recognize, to lead us even one degree in the wrong direction. And one way he does it is through jealousy...

Jealousy is when we look at other peoples' strengths, possessions, gifts, talents, and are intolerant, hostile or vigilant toward what it is they possess. Jealousy stirs up discontent. Eve didn't know she was 'missing out' on anything in the Garden until the devil stirred up discontent in her heart that there was more that she could not see. Jealousy stirs up selfishness. Adam and Eve weren't selfish until they started casting the blame on the other for who led who astray. Prior to that, they were a team. They both had strengths and gifts that balanced the other, but they worked in harmony because they weren't gifts to be coveted but mutually enjoyed.

Until we ALL start appreciating the gifts in one another, seeing that each one of us has been given these gifts, NOT TO BOAST or FOR OUR OWN GAIN, but because God is really cool, He's good and generous and He has given us gifts to spread His grace...well, not until then will we really be able to see how HUGE, and BEAUTIFUL and AH-MAZE-ING God is for all 6.79 billion of us.

Just some thoughts on my heart this beautiful Monday morning as I figure out how to love others, and myself, the good and the 'unlovely'...

Monday, June 15, 2009

A look back...

On our overnight away last week in memory of Noah's birthday, we headed up to a quiet little cabin and spent a little family time doing things we think Noah would have loved to do...and things his big sis loves to do, here and now!

Like feeding and petting beautiful horses...

And being together as a family...

And touching slimy fish...

And letting Daddy touch slimy fish that Em catches with her Princess fishing pole, but just poses with...

And hanging out with real cowboys like this one named Gary...

And touching more slimy fish, like this big one Daddy caught...

And stealing the camera at breakfast to capture half-asleep parents like these ones...

(Maybe this daddy should start drinking coffee???)

And sitting on Daddy's side of the booth because Daddy time is AWESOME!
(Notice the shirt on the beautiful toothless girl above...that just 'happened' to be a 'hand me down' from a friend.)

And hanging out with her most favorite man on earth!

And skipping rocks with Mommy while Daddy tries his hand at Princess fishing pole 'fly fishing'...
(Note: Mommy had her record of 7 skips until her stone went all the way across the creek into the bank, Em's record was 3...great job, kid!)

And then following this double rainbow down the mountain for 20 minutes, while Mommy bawled and thanked God for such an amazing gift and Daddy tried to video tape it. Here's the You Tube link...

It was a beautiful day and we were grateful for the time away as a family. When we got home, flowers were waiting from family and friends, along with a sweet treat for Em to "share" with her brother.

Noah, I don't know how you celebrated in God's presence, and even though I would have rather you been here, (or rather me THERE), smearing frosting through your hair and touching slimy fish with your sister, I am grateful for the time we had to remember. Your life was short according to the standard of time we use here on earth, but it was rich, so to me, little guy, length is not a good measure of impact! Yours has been HUGE! SO proud of YOU, Sweet Noah! Love you bigger than the Universe! Mom, xoxox

Tuesday, June 09, 2009


Em just lost the same tooth on the other side of her mouth last night, so has two holes...must take pic.

We played bumper bowling the other day. I'm not going to lie...the bumpers came in handy for me, too!

This morning Em came and jumped in bed with me a little early, but with good reason:

Em: Mom, I lost another tooth last night!

Me: YAY! I was thinking about you at my women's meeting and thought, "I wonder if Em lost her tooth yet or not?!"

Em: Dad yanked it right out! I screamed once and then, yank, it was biggie!

Then Em pulls her wrinkly dollar bill out and stretches it straight before me. (I was the tooth fairy last night, NOT Jason, therefore Em took a $4 cut in tooth earnings! Don't ask!)

Me: Nice! You have made quite a bit of money in the last two weeks losing should lose a few more, maybe go into business!

We headed downstairs to pack her lunch and eat some breakfast. Side note: Em got a great kid's Bible for her preschool graduation that we've read about 4 times already. It's comic strip style. Here's a link to check it out. She won't eat a meal without one of us reading it to her. Honestly, even as a theology major in college, the Old Testament version of this kid's Bible is a great refresher. ANYWAY...


Em: Mom, did you see the other exciting surprise?!

Me: No! I had no idea there was more!

Em: We have to go outside to see it, though.

Em and Jason lead me out to my pathetic 'vegetable' and 'flower' garden that, one, we seeded too late, and two, doesn't have actual soil in it but is filled with only fertilizer! Don't ask...seriously, don't...

Em: Mom, look! Every row has things growing in it! Isn't that cool!?

Me: I can't even believe it! That is pretty cool!

Jason: Okay, Em, back in the house, you need to leave for school.

Em: Oh man! I don't need to go to school!

Me: Yes you do, so scoot, in the house...

Em: (Spelling...) S O C H....School.

Me: RIGHT, that's exactly why you need to go to school!

Classic! What a great way to start the day but with a great laugh brought on by our children!

Monday, June 08, 2009

3 years ago...

I was getting things in order, fluffing my nest, trying to bond with Emily and Jason as much as possible prior to our lives changing with the addition of another child. I could not wait to meet my son!

On Wednesday three years will come and go from the beautiful day Noah was born. We'll take Em out of school for the day and head off by ourselves somewhere for a little quiet. We'll probably take a hike through God's glorious creation, maybe pack a picnic, but mostly stop time, at least in our little world, and reflect on how life isn't perfect, how our hearts miss our guy, and how, through all of it, our hope and trust in God has not waned. We'll probably wonder what he's doing, and dream heavenly dreams for a bit...and for us, the respite will be welcomed in the midst of our busy lives.

If you or someone you know has lost a loved one, or two, or three, or more...please, allow yourself or the person you know time, allow for space and solitude, allow tears and allow laughter. Don't ever expect yourself or the griever to 'get over it' or 'just move on'. Don't ever put a time frame on their grief journey, or your own. For those who do not understand, don't expect them to...they don't and won't. We, the bereaved, do 'move on' but as we do, we always take some of that person with us. Don't be afraid to do the same. There is no 'right way' to grieve nor is there only one way. But don't forget to grieve because in grief, you look close enough, there is beauty, such great beauty!

And, if your heart is stuck on the "Why?", "Why me?", "Why them?", "Why now?" questions, I assure you, even if you knew the why, it wouldn't make you miss them any less...

Friday, June 05, 2009

Cupcakes in Heaven?

On the way to school this morning, Em and I were praying in the car. We put on our "Armor" every morning in the car so that neither of us starts the day "naked"...because that would be...AWKWARD! It goes something like this:

Me: Lord, we put on our armor. We put on the belt of...


Me: Yep! So that we share your truth and always choose to tell the truth, not letting the devil tempt us to lie.

Me: We put on the breastplate of...


Me: Yep! Lord, we want to do things Your way, not ours, so help us to be a light and choose to do the right thing.

Me: We stand with our feet in the gospel of...


Me: Yep! Lord, we thank You that You sent Jesus, the Prince of Peace! And we trust You as our foundation! Your ways ROCK and no matter what the d(D)evil tries to throw our way, we will trust You and know Your peace!

Me: We put on the helmet...


Me: Yep! Lord, we thank You for Your word! We want to renew our minds with Your word because the d(D)evil tries to lie to us all the time so we need to know the difference between Your truth and his dumb lies!

Me: We take up the shield of...


Me: Yep! Lord, we thank You that FAITH can ward off the fiery attacks of the e(E)nemy.

Me: We take up the...


Me: EM, YOU ROCK! I am so proud of you!

Me: Em, today is a special day. Today is Pearl's birthday.

Em: (Smiles) Cool!

Me: Do you think she's sharing her cupcakes with Noah?

Em: They never even met here, do you think they know each other?

Me: Well, Pearl's mommy and I are friends...

Em: Yeah, they are probably like, "Hey, isn't your mom Adrienne?" and "Hey, isn't your mommy Laura?" and then she'll share her cupcakes.

Me: Yeah, that's probably how it happened, though that conversation probably took place a few years ago...

And look at that! Cupcakes in Heaven! Who knew?

Wednesday, June 03, 2009


I read this quote today and it is something I want to share here...

"A visible God would have lots of superficial followers." Chris Tiegreen

Faith is hard. It's hardcore and it's uncomfortable! I mean, seriously, who wouldn't follow God if, at the moment each of us died physically, our bodies either floated peacefully to Heaven or went straight to hell? It would be the easiest decision Eh-ver! Instead, at times we feel a need to defend God or His existence. And, at other times, we try to convince ourselves.

"Okay, God, I know You are real. Wanna just throw me a bone though, just to make sure I'm on the right track?" or "God, I don't think You really exist. I think you are a figment of a bunch of whacko's imaginations and I don't want any part in it..." (Oh really, then why are you 'thinking' to God in your head? Just throwing that out there...)

Each and EVERY ONE of us has been hand crafted by the Creator of the Universe, God Himself. We weren't manufactured in an abandoned/bankrupt automobile factory or even designed by a computer engineer. And technically speaking, even scientifically, we weren't just instantly human. God literally made us from dirt! We were dirt! Without His life breathed into us, that is how we would have remained. Sometimes we still may feel like dirt, but we were loved enough to be so much more!

I love, love, love that quote by this guy!

It takes something from us to actually have faith. It takes surrender, I am finding. It takes a willingness to admit I'm not the smartest person in the world. It takes effort on our parts to say we are wrong, that we don't have all the answers, and maybe, just maybe, God, who we can't see and who doesn't work or do things the way we necessarily would, is good, loves us, and sees a bigger picture. And, in my opinion, by admitting that, you are more wise than all the philosophers and theologians and scholars in the the world...Because, of course, He's smarter than them...

If He were on, say, American Idol, He may have likely had the best voice, but I'm thinking a lot of people would have voted Him off because He just doesn't 'have the look', 'fit the mold', 'have great stage presence', according to OUR standards. Jesus didn't do flashy miracles all the time and He didn't fit into the mold of what the people were expecting. He definitely did miracles, but not for esteem or to draw attention to Himself, but to point people to His Father and to show His love. An 'out of sight' Dad, but not out of touch. Very much IN TOUCH, hence, sending Jesus and all!

Superficial means: of, relating to, or located near a surface; lying on, not penetrating below, or affecting only the surface; concerned only with the obvious or apparent; shallow; seen on the surface; external; presenting only an appearance without substance or significance

In order to know God, in order to have faith, in order to gain a perspective in life that is so much more than what we can tangibly see and feel, we have to dig deeper, get below the surface, because, really, God doesn't show Himself physically a whole heck of a lot. We don't dig deeper by setting up more rules on proper behavior and good works. We don't dig deeper by doing everything right and always saying the right things. Actually, thank God that when He instructed us on what is required and how much faith it takes to follow Him, it was only the size of a mustard seed. Whew! I've got that!

Now, I'm off to follow and trust and live for my unseen GOD! Deeply, truly, below the surface, where roots can spread and growth takes place...

Monday, June 01, 2009


And I'm not talking about beautiful vines with flowers that creep up the side of your house or in your garden! I'm on 'Twitter'. It's mostly to give information for "The Well" Radio Show, but it's also random thoughts here and there that pop into my mind. Anyway, last night I posted something about how old I feel having to drink psyllium every night. Yeah, welcome to being middle-aged, right?! Anyway, I like to check to see who is following in case they have something worth following. I like some politicians (very few, of course), some people with global purposes, I follow The Holy Spirit! Yeah, He's on Twitter (smiley face). And, of course, Paul Hewson. Anyway, I clicked on someones link and it was disturbing, to say the least! I hit BLOCK with great force but it wouldn't block! I kept hitting it repeatedly but Twitter was having 'technical difficulties' or something! Literally, I tried to block the creeper for an hour, even enlisting Jason's help even though the content on their page wasn't something I wanted to see or I wanted him to see. Finally, he said let's just go to bed and I'm sure it will be fixed by morning. When I laid down in bed was when my heart was finally ready to actually pray for that person and for the whole world of perversion they represent. I 'sicked' God on them! Seriously, my heart started to grieve for the person and the world of deception, lust, perversion and demonic influence they are so deeply rooted in. God made sex. He created it to be a beautiful thing between a husband and wife. There are no exceptions. This isn't relative! There aren't exceptions to the rules that include photos, gadgets, or extra characters! Oh man, I am worked up and you can bet your arse that we'll be talking about this on our show! Satan is the biggest stinking liar known to mankind, but that is the problem...much of mankind doesn't believe he exists or even have a clue that he's lying to them! Twitter creeper wanted to expose 'exposure'! Well, Adrienne and Gina will expose the devil's creeper schemes and not be ashamed to do so! ARGHHHHHHH!

John 3:19-21 "This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."

I Corinthians 4:2-5 "Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God."

Ephesians 5:11-14 "Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible."