Month: July, 2011
Dear Mak & Livy -
Unwavering conviction is something I pray that you will have. Complacency is something I pray will find you much less frequently than conviction. Be women who know what you believe and why you believe it. I mean really know.
I do not believe in zoos. I do not believe in circuses. I have never and will never take you to either. I will never take you for a pony ride or to a petting zoo. I will not. I believe that those things are all used as entertainment at an animal’s expense. I will listen respectfully when people wax on about the educational value of zoos or how they save animals. However, I do not agree.
If you are interested in learning about lions then go to the library and read up on them. And when you get older if you are still fascinated, go to Africa and see them first hand. But don’t tell me that I am responsible to take you to a zoo where they are kept confined, clearly acting different than they do in the wild so that you can oogle over how silly they are when the scratch their bum.
I’m sure by the tone of this post you can tell that I feel passionately about this. That, sweet darlings, is conviction. You find it somewhere deep inside of you. It’s born out of your experiences and beliefs. As long as your conviction is not contrary to Scripture, keep on. Don’t back down.
Remember this: if you believe something different than most people, those people will try very hard to get you to be like them. They will question you about what you believe and they will try to persuade you to be like them. People are very uncomfortable when you stand up and say I disagree with you and I’m going to do things this way. The caveat here is that you are never to discount or disrespect someone if they believe differently than you. We express our views in love and with great respect. And you know what? I’ve finally learned that it’s ok for you – if you have strong convictions – to demand respect right back. Really, that’s quite fine.
And now I have a confession. I secretly want you to have my convictions! Isn’t that something? I must, however, stand firm in my conviction that you must form your own beliefs and you must be able to defend them with a clear mind. You cannot defend them with my mind – you must defend them with yours.
I love you. Grow and be strong.
Sometimes the world converges into an indecipherable mess. Doesn’t it?
One moment you can be thinking clearly and full to the brim and the next it’s a jumble of confusion.
Last week I couldn’t figure one doggone thing out – not to save my life. I couldn’t figure out what to cook for dinner. I didn’t know what to wear each day. It took every ounce of energy in me to plan some fun things to do with Livy while Miss Makenna was off at camp. Each night after I tucked Liv in, I sat praying and trying to figure out what in the world my heart was doing.
I spoke with some of my beloved people and couldn’t even explain the insanity enveloping my spirit. This went on for days. And I didn’t like it one bit.
As the weekend progressed and now that I sit here on Tuesday and have had a lot of time to contemplate, I know exactly what it was. It’s something that I’ve fought against for 14.5 years.
Internet, I confess right here and now that sometimes I look for joy in places that I shouldn’t. I look for completion and joy in my husband and more often than not I look for joy in my children. And I look for joy in my family and my friends. And I even look for joy in material things. What’s wrong with that?
What’s wrong with that is those people and things cannot ever be what I need them to be to bring me continual joy. While talking with a friend last week (you know who you are and I adore you for it), it occurred to us (she has the same illness I do) that we are seeking joy in things and people other than God. And when we go along that path, we are destined to be disappointed. Yes, we have blessings like family and children and pretty little shelters in which to live. But to find joy in those things? No, no, no. That’s not what we were made to do. I’ve resolved to find my joy where I was intended to – Jesus. He is all satisfying and I must fix my eyes on Him daily/hourly. Otherwise, I’m in a state of confusion.
Why was I discombobulated last week? My oldest was away. And that, internet, should not send me into a state of discombobulation. But it did. In all truth, it did.
When I’m in that discombobulated state, I fix my heart on my husband and my children in an unhealthy way.
Everything in it’s proper place – that’s when life is most joyous. Today, everything is in it’s proper place and I am content. I am content that I have beautiful children to raise but His wisdom had shown me where my joy begins and ends. It’s Him. Do you know Him?
She had an entire week with her mama and papa………..all alone.
Her mama and papa enjoyed it greatly.
She makes us laugh and hugs us a lot.
The things she says – she’s just something else.
This morning she was sitting on my lap and she said: “mama, do you know what kind of class I’d like to take?”
“No, babe, what kind of class would you like to take,” I said, waiting for something great.
“A literature class,” she said very confidently.
I wondered outloud: “what do you think literature is, Livy?”
“I don’t know, mama! It just sounds good!!” she belted out in laughter.
We giggled with one another for five whole minutes over that one.
And later tonight she used the word “perhaps” and I giggled. I find it funny when anyone under the age of 30 uses the word “perhaps”.
And even later tonight she said, “hey mama, which country music singer do you think wears a cowboy hat the best?”
Now friends, if you know my heart you know that this question is a good one from my point of view. Is it very funny to you that an 8 year old would ask such a question?
Just so you know, she thinks Kenny Chesney gets the honor – she said he wears it low over his eyes and that’s why. And yes, that’s exactly what I taught her. I do teach on important things sometimes, friends. I told her that I agreed, he wears one well but I wondered if maybe Jason Aldean or King George should certainly get honorable mentions.
When she went upstairs this morning to take her jammies off and get her day clothes on, she came down wearing a cowgirl hat. She didn’t take it off all day, until she went swimming. She golfed with it on. She rollerskated at Skatetown with it on. And she’s sitting on the couch this very minute watching Liberty Kids with it on. She’s a girl after my own heart.
Today was a very lucky day for me. I got my favorite shot of her for 2011 thus far. I adore it and want to blow it up into an enormous size! huge x huge ! I love it:
These two are buds. Her sister has been away at camp all week so Livy has asked all week if her bedroom door can be open. She misses sleeping with her sister and wants desperately for the dogs to sleep in her bed. The problem is that she has a twin bed and the dogs each weigh over 80 pounds. I left it open last night and after I finished reading went to check on her. The one in this photograph – Ella – was laying next to her like a human being. They Adore one another.
I found this today. Apparently she made a bracelet for her sister and this was the tag she put on the box. It touched my heart so.
She is so perfect for me. God gave me a little girl just perfect in every way for me.
I will never understand the theory that everything sprang from some chance collision of matter and that everything on this earth came from that collision. Let me clarify, I fully understand the theory – I do not believe it.
Especially when I look at intricate details all around me.
When I look at the beautiful insides of a flower, I see a Creator.
When I look at the sky and I see an amazing sunset or thousands of stars, I see a powerful and wise Creator.
When I ponder the insides of my anatomy and the way in which my children entered this world, I see an amazing Creator.
When I see photographs of the amazingly regal and spectacular lion, I see the great imagination and implementation of a Creator.
When I see images of life under the sea, I rejoice in the Creator.
I see a Creator in everything around me. I will forever be indebted to Jesus that He caused me to see.
on Harry Potter.
My husband has read all of the books and seen all of the movies. The books are very high on the bookshelf because as parents we have made the decision that the children cannot read them. Controversial. I know.
Why is it ok for him to read them and not the children?
Here is my answer:
He is an adult. He can reason and understand when he’s in danger. In danger of what? In danger of the pathways in his brain getting all mixed up and fixating on things that are not lovely and pure. For him it’s entertainment.
I have chosen not to read the books. Because I am an adult and I know my personality, I know it is important for me to guard my heart. I know that I have certain tendencies and can be frightened easily. I know that certain words and images have the potential to disturb me for long periods of time. My husband does not suffer from this.
We have chosen not to allow the children to read them quite frankly because it is our job to guard their hearts and minds at this point. We do not believe that they have the ability yet to recognize certain tendencies in themselves. It is quite possible that there are children that can see the series as entertainment. I do not have the wisdom at this point relative to my children to determine whether or not that is the case for them. The limited wisdom I do have on the subject, however, leads me to believe that most likely they are both like me. They take things in and have difficulty shaking them.
While I know that I have to guard my heart and mind, I did agree to see this last movie with my husband (with a jacket to cover my eyes and and ipod to listen to, if needed). Mostly because he really wanted to see it and going to the movies alone is not enjoyable. As he began telling me about the events leading up to this last movie, I became very uncomfortable. The talk of wizards and witches to my sensibilities is very dark. Very ugly. And scary. How did I deal with it? I thought about Jesus. I thought about lovely things. Why? Because I know that I need to renew my mind continuously. I know that if I sit and think on things that I perceive as ugly, I will soon be in trouble. I think on lovely things regularly so when I hear about dark things, it is troubling to me. I honestly believe that if children are given the opportunity to think on dark things in a disproportionate amount to lovely things, the dark can be normalized & accepted. And therein lies the problem.
Now, aside from the spiritual issues relating to the movie, what was my general opinion? I’ve heard so many people talk about what a wonderful imagination the author has to create such an elaborate and detailed story. However, with apologies to those who disagree, I must say that I was not impressed. Seems to me that C.S. Lewis wrote many years ago about children at a train station being transported into another realm. I also recall J.R.R. Tolkien writing very beautifully about dark versus evil and the need for the destruction of a certain ring. While I would have to admit that the author did introduce unlovely wizardry and magic, I submit that those portions of the story are the ugliest.
Even though the author’s notion of good does win in the end, in my mind it really isn’t good that wins. What wins is twisted. A wizard that seems to die with strange resurrection stone references only to come back to life. My heart tells me that not only did the author rely on Lewis and Tolkien but seems to have taken portions of God’s book and twisted them to suit her story.
And that, to me, is very dangerous and the ugliest of ugly.
When you are me
you are driving down the road
you have a little girl in the back seat
it’s very quiet, you most certainly get nervous and turn around to make sure she’s still breathing. And when you turn around and she’s quietly reading her Bible, your heart is so full in that moment. You might even get a tear of happiness in your eye. And then you fumble quickly for your iphone so that you don’t miss the moment. She was even unaware the photo was taken.
And when you are at the beautiful farmer’s market and your darling little one decides that she really wants to jump into the fountain, you make certain to take a photograph before she goes knee deep!
And when you are waiting for the fireworks on the 4th of July and the trolley drives on by, you look at it and decide an old time finish on the photograph would be good on the iphone.
And when you go to your nephew’s baseball game and you see the cousins loving on each other, you tell them to smile for a photograph. These two are buds.
And when you are at the same baseball game and you see your younger nephew looking as cute as you’ve ever seen, you grab a photo of that too.
And when your 14 year old is as happy as can be with her delightful girlfriends, you make sure you capture that on your iphone as well.
And when your children serve their papa breakfast on father’s day, you get a photo of that as well – jammies and all.
And when you are just loving the hot weather and you are with your family and things are beautiful, you just take your phone out and snap a photo of the first thing you see.
Summer goodness. Pure summer goodness with an iphone.
Our town is a pretty small town. We have farms and subdivisions and homes on land in our town. It’s diverse that way. I love our town. It’s small enough to feel cozy but close enough to conveniences to make life fairly easy.
Each year our town puts together a few days of fun in July – it’s called progress days. We have a little carnival and a parade and other small activities. The children look forward to it. In fact I remember when Mak was younger – she would begin asking when progress days would be here way back in March.
Last night we went to the little carnival. Just for a few rides.
Today was the small town parade. Again, when Mak was little her beepa built a lemonade stand for her. She sold lemonade at the parade for years when she was younger and this year it was Liv’s turn to take over the family business. heehee.
Summer is in full swing and I’m trying to enjoy each moment. I pray you are too!
So, there is this chair. I remember the chair from my childhood. It was in my mom and dad’s backyard for years. It was broken, though, and very unstable when you sat on it.
One day last summer when I was at my mom and dad’s and I said, “boy, I love this chair.”
My dad told me that the chair was my grandma’s (I did know that) and just tonight I called to inquire a bit more about the chair. He said he remembers it from back when he was in 3rd or 4th grade.
That day last summer when I said that I loved the broken chair, my dad told me I could take it. I could see that my mom wasn’t really that happy about me taking the chair, but she’s a gem and didn’t say no. Who am I to stand in between me having something vintage that my grandma sat in years ago and leaving it at my mom and dad’s house?
My hottie bought new parts for it to make it sturdier and fixed it up real good. It’s all shiny and red now and I can swivel to my heart’s content.
I dream of a day that ALL people of the United States, while not required to turn their hearts toward God by the laws of the land, do one day incline their hearts toward Jesus and desire to follow Him. Regardless of whether or not that ever happens in this age, I do know that I am grateful that the Lord has placed me and my family in this country. And more importantly: I do know that one day every knee will bend to Him. Every political party. Every federal office occupant. Every Marine. Every rock star. Every librarian. Every janitor. Every laborer. Every movie actor and actress. Every landscaper. Every preacher. Everyone. Not one will stand against Him. And that day, that day will truly be glorious.