Mar 26, 2010

Profile Picture

Some of you might be slightly curious about my new profile picture.  OK ... more than a little curious.  So here's what I can tell you about him. 

Nery (Pronouned Nedy) is 9 months old today, 16 pounds.  He is in temporary guardianship with us.  (Thus why I'm not allowed to show his entire precious face.)  He has some fairly extreme special needs.  If you're inclined to prayer, he could use them.

But right now what he needs most of all is love.  And we have that in over abundance.  The kids are hugging and kissing and loving (and fighting over who gets to help me more). 

He wormed his way into my heart 2 weeks ago and today he came home from the hospital with me.  He has one of the sweetest spirits of anyone I've ever met.  He's gentle and patient and non-assuming.  As I type this, he's laying on my bed watching the ceiling fan go around and every now and then, he does his head in a circular motion.  I try to get it on video but of course he's camera shy.  LOL

We don't know what the future holds for Mr. Precious.  But what I DO know is that ... for now ... his cheeks need some more kissing so I gotta go.

Mama of 6

Mar 24, 2010

Growth ... darn it

As a parent, I change the way I relate to my kids as they age.  That's natural.  Like when they were 2, I would pick out what they wear and even help them dress. By age 3 I might pick out 2 appropriate choices and let them pick.  By age 6 I might just say, "Get jeans and a t-shirt" and they get to pick which ones.  By middle school, they're probably helping decide which clothes to buy.  By high school, I'm hoping they can help buy those clothes.

It's completely natural to me that this would progress.

So why do I question this process when it comes to God parenting me??

We have a decision before us and we want to get it "right".  (Whatever that is.)  I'm a firm believer that God is guiding my steps, lighting my path, showing the direction.

But I also know that my relationship with Him is changing over the years.  He is trusting me more with some of my own decisions.  Just like my example of the clothes.

I don't like it.

I think He's trusting me toooooo much.  And it's with life and death decisions.  With life altering decisions.

What business do I have in making such decisions?!?  I'm not a mature enough Christian to do this.

But He thinks I'm ready.  (sigh)

Mar 15, 2010

The case of the missing tooth

"I broke my tooth"
"I broke my tooth"

"Here it is"
Sure enough ... it's a tooth.  Or more precisely, half a tooth.

Zoe has cleft lip and palate and as a result, she has very very porous teeth.  We have several we're watching.  This was NOT one of those.

The tooth just broke in half.  Vertically ... all the way to the nerve.  Painful.

Doctor could see us in about 2 1/2 hour after it happened.

Quick, painless, relatively cheap.

They put a composite on the front and hope it will stick a long time.  Me too.  If not, they'll have to pull it and compromise the palate.

In the meantime, she has a perfectly pearly white.

She DID have one concern ...  "Will I get money for this tooth?"

Gotta love kid thinking!

Mar 13, 2010

What would YOU do?

Faith.  If we had enough faith, we could move a mountain.  Really?  Always?

I'm going to ask a hypothetical question and then tell you the story and see if your answer is different when it's Hypothetical versus when it's Real.  I think it will be for most of you.  Be honest now. 

Hypothetical situation ... you're faced with a decision. 

You say "Yes" :  requires great faith.  God will have to interevene.  God will have to move a mountain.  Or the consequences are dire. You throw all your faith in and say, Whatever it is, God can handle it.  You trust God to pull off the miracle. 

You say "No":  is it a lack of faith? or is it wisdom?  Because God might not intervene.

Do you say Yes or No?

If you're a Christian, my guess is that most of you would say YES to my hypothetical situation.  You'd say Go for it and trust God.  You'd say I should stand on faith and do it. 

So let me tell you the situation.  3 days ago, we were presented with a potential adoption situation.  A little baby boy (under a year) with some special needs.  The initial needs didn't scare me off so we considered it.  (A know a few of you are ALREADY thinking ... "what the heck are they thinking".)  We got the medicals and there is a possible life threatening situation.  As in ... he might not live to see the age of 3 or he might live to 10 but no one with this condition lives to 20. 

So now does THAT change your answer about faith? 

I know to the core of my being that God is a healer.  That He is capable of healing.  That He could pull off this divine miracle and heal this child and he could live a full long life. 

I also know that sometimes God says, "No".  And has other purposes and plans for lives.  I know too many people of God who have lost children way too early to be blinded to the fact that God sometimes has a different purpose and way of looking at things. 

So if say "No" to adopting this baby, do I have a lack of faith?

We've already made our decision ... I just want to use this situation as a way for us to question deeper, to wrestle with some of the more difficult decisions of life. 

Mar 12, 2010

Where do you draw the line?

I often find myself trying to find the balance in a situation.  And realize that "balance" is subjective.  What would be utter chaos to one person might be completely normal to another.  What might be just right for one would be shear boredom to another.

So what am I trying to balance?  Hope.

Where do you draw the line? 

"HOPE deferred makes the heart sick"

but on the other hand,

"Faith is the substance of things HOPED for..."

So see my dilemma?

To hope or not to hope?

I have a current situation and I want to hope with all my heart the answer is "Yes"  (I don't get to say, it's not up to me).  But I also know that God's answer might be "No".  And I'll ultimately be OK with that answer ... He's ALWAYS right.

So hope or not to hope?  Where's the line?

Mar 11, 2010

My Double Standard

I am POSITIVE I'm not the only one who does this ... (let's be honest here).

One of my jobs (the one I get paid for) is to train people in various skill sets through Dale Carnegie Training.  I spent Monday and Tuesday, for example, on a class called, "Communicating with Diplomacy and Tact."  Tuesday night, I was in the evaluator role for a soon to be certified instructor on our flagship course "The Dale Carnegie Course".  During these, we encourage people to live their best lives.  We point out strengths and send them to the world to try them.

Meanwhile ....
I was born with certain God-given abilities, I was taught some cool skills, I was given some neat knowledge, I have had some amazing life opportunities.  During which I have gleaned some "stuff".

So why is it I'm so hesitant to USE these abilities and skills?

Case in point ... I've written close to 100 songs.  Some are actually pretty decent.  A few I could even hear being played on the radio ... if I ever did anything with them.  Or what about the books I have half and three quarters written that are only on my computer?  Or during this last week, I keep thinking that I could actually put together a parenting program based on the principles we've been teaching.

Even as I was writing that last paragraph, I had a catch in my spirit.  Or perhaps it was in my stomach.  It seems like bragging first of all.  It seems like I'm trying to say, "Hey everybody! Look at meeeeee!"  Or I have the other thought that is ... I am not the expert on parenting.  I don't know everything.  I don't even have teens yet! And those songs ... how would I even get them out to people to hear them - I don't have a way to get them recorded, don't have the musicians.  .... blah, blah, blah.

Truthfully ... if someone came to ME and told me those excuses, I wouldn't let them off the hook.  I'd point to their strengths and that they need to take a chance and stop listening to the doubt.  That you can't possibly know everything on every subject and no one expects you to.  That you go with what you've been given.  Sometimes you just start and it will come together.  I'd tell them they would likely regret NOT doing it.  That doubt will prevent you from living your best life.  I'd tell that person to get off their butt and start living!

Hey ... that's pretty good advice.


Mar 7, 2010

Sandpaper and fences

Got a text first thing this morning saying I am on standby to teach a class tomorrow.  (The instructor is in the middle of a family emergency and might not be able to make it.)  The class?  Diplomacy and Tact.

I got to thinking ... what do *I* know about diplomacy and tact?   

But as I muse on the subject, it's easy for people to jump to the two ditches.
1) Say everything that comes to mind with no editing and not consider what or how it's said or the possible effects.
2) Say nothing that comes to mind as to not offend and then no one ever knows what you're thinking or what you need.

I heard a story once about a school that was in the inner city.  They didn't have any room to build a regular playground so they built one on the roof.  They put a walled fence around the perimeter as to keep the kids safe (well within the specifications of the law).  But when the kids were allowed to play up there, they all huddled in the center, afraid to go to the sides.  They wouldn't play anywhere near the fence.  The administrators saw this and made revisions to the fence ... higher and more slats.  The next time the kids played out there, they played all the way to the edges.

They didn't feel safe until the boundaries are clearly marked.  Kids actually WANT boundaries.  They want to be shown what is right/wrong.

Today, we live in a society where the ONLY thing that is considered "Wrong" is ....  telling people there is a right/wrong.  We are supposed to let people make their own choices, make their own rules and live by their own moral code.  People who assert any kind of moral or Biblical or religious basis for their own beliefs are now being persecuted under "Hate Crimes".  

*Disclaimer:  Yes, Yes, Yes, I know that people have persecuted people in the name of basically every religion in the world and I think that is reprehensible.

So back to the class ... how am I supposed to teach a class about diplomacy and tact in this kind of society?  Ironically, I think it's back to the basics.  Back to teaching what works and what doesn't work. That if you say something without thinking first ... you might hurt someone's feelings.  If you say it in a certain tone, that might be taken in the wrong way.  Think before you speak.  Consider the other person's point of view.

People in this class tend to be a little "rough around the edges" I'm told.  And I guess I'm supposed to be the sandpaper to help smooth some of that out.

Smoothing comes via something abrasive.  How ironic.

Mar 5, 2010


Ever feel STUCK?

Reminds me of one of my first dates with Dan.  He drove my volkswagen jetta to church one day while visiting his grandparents and we missed the turn off so he had to turn around.  He decided to do that in an area where there was some mud and I suggested he find another spot.  He did it anyway and we got stuck. (He's since learned to listen to me a bit more! LOL)

He got out, all embarrassed and started pushing the car.  Suit and all.  I stayed in the car (in my dress and high heels).  Normally I'd have gotten out to push too ... but this was very early on in our dating and I wanted to see how he'd handle it.

Eventually this nice country boy in a truck came along and helped pull us out and we were on our way.   My car and his shoes were muddy and his ego a bit bruised ... but otherwise we were all fine.

And better yet, it told me a lot about him, about his heart.  He didn't get angry or lose his temper.  He stayed calm and solved the problem.

Since then, we've been metaphorically "stuck" a lot.  Never again in a car (that lesson we learned the first time) ... but in life.

Right now, I feel stuck.  A few months ago I was F-L-Y-I-N-G and now I'm stuck.  Not sure what changed or what I'm supposed to notice while I'm sitting here.  When I was stuck with Dan, I was supposed to notice how he handled things.  But here?  I'm looking around trying to see what I'm supposed to be noticing and am clueless.

I've considered whether this is one of those "wide spaces" ... where I'm just supposed to graze and rest.  But that's not it, this is definitely not a grazing and resting place.  Is it a place of battle?  If so, the enemies haven't shown themselves yet.

So I stay on my knees.  If I'm "stuck" in a position, one of prayer and praise can't hurt.  I could get stuck there the rest of my life and that would be OK.

I think about the story in the Bible of Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles.  Basically the story goes like this - Jehoshaphat needed to fight a battle.  God told him to praise and HE would fight the battle for him.  I like that.  I claim this a lot in my own life.  Every time I feel a battle I can't win (which is often), I declare to God, "I will praise you, You go fight my battle."  By the end of the praise, I feel restored and I know that God has done what needed to be done.  I thank Him and move on.

What about you?  Are YOU "stuck"?   If so, maybe it's time to praise.

Mar 2, 2010

41 revolutions around

Today I'm 41.  People are sending me all sorts of sweet birthday wishes and thoughts and prayers and blessings.  I'm honored and touched.

But I'm a weirdo (in case you hadn't noticed that already).  I think it's strange to celebrate that I haven't died in the past 365 days.  So I have to find more meaning to it than that.

I take the time to reflect on all the blessings in my life.  The relationships that have come and some that have gone.  The goals I have met, those I have not reached yet and those I have abandoned for new ones.  I try to avoid the mirror lest I also notice that time is obviously moving across my face and other parts of my body (no, there will be no photos LOL).  I reflect if I've made a difference in the world or left any kind of positive mark versus just carbon emissions and being a consumer.  I think about the future and the journeys I haven't even dreamed of yet.

I'm left standing in amazement just like I do as I sit on the edge of the ocean and consider it's vastness.

But call me crazy ... Is it just me or shouldn't this be a celebration of my Mother?  She did 9 plus months of hard work with the parasite (me) latched on to her.  She did a day of hard labor to get me O U T.  Then 18 plus years of raising me, loving me.  And now the past years of being a mentor and friend.

So here's a shout out to YOU Mom.  Thanks for life.

And finally, a tribute to God.  You have dreamed of me before I was born, formed me in my Mother's womb, know every hair on my head.  You know everything about me and love me anyway.  So thanks for another spin.