Wednesday, September 26, 2012

update on little one

well...after a long day at cleveland clinic we have some answers.

little one's hemangioma is not affecting any underlying structures or tissues. 

now the big we have it removed?  pros and cons...prayer...advice...all appreciated.

Friday, September 21, 2012

portrait of man

this morning my husband walked into our bedroom to find my computer all a blaze with warnings and my 4 year old son under the bed.

'son, why are you hiding?'
'daddy, i was hiding from you'
'son, why were you hiding from me?'
'a'cause i touched mommy's a'puter 'n i'ma not allowed.'

sounds a lot like adam hiding from God after he disobeyed...

thanks, God, for giving us the opportunity to extend your grace to our children just like you extended grace to yours.  and thanks for using them to speak to us...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

move the can

i recently moved my bathroom garbage can.  it has been a disaster. 

old habits die hard and i have inadvertently thrown many a used tissue on the floor where the can used to be.

as God takes us thru new things and miraculously removes major garbage from our lives...we have to be cautious not to end up with junk in that spot.  and if we do accidentally fall into old habits we need to fix it quickly.

to clarify...if God has convicted me of a prideful, judgemental nature (guilty as charged)...i will repent and turn away from that pride (move the garbage can).  however...i may...without thinking...drop a thought into the space where my judgemental pride used to be.  if i leave it there...then i might as well just put the garbage can back.  so i need to take quick responsibility.  'whoops...that doesn't belong there anymore...'  and fix it.

the same goes for our relationships and our emotions. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

wait for me!

in these days of hustle and bustle no one likes to wait for anything.  especially not for slowpoke me.

as a kid...i can't even count how many times my parents 'left' me in stores (all the while waiting right outside the door) to get me to move faster.

in grade school i was a good thing my neighborhood was a loop because i almost always caught the bus on the second time around.

in college i would get left behind at dinner...forced to cross an inner city campus after dark if i didn't eat at the same pace as my company (a group of guys that were complete gentlemen in every other aspect).

i don't try to be pokey...honestly...i try really hard to be early for things...

then...God decided to make a little joke.  yeah.  'let's give 4 preschoolers to the pokey one...'  funny...really funny.

'wait for me!' used to be my i don't even bother...

---  ---  ---

in chapter 8 of the book of luke Jesus is a busy guy...he's travelling all over the place, healing people, telling some really good stories, calming storms, casting out demons, you know...all in a day's work for the Son of God...

as He is doing all this awesome stuff a powerful and important man comes and asks Him for His help.  Jesus, of course, goes with the guy to help out.  and Jesus' mob (not wanting to miss a miracle) jostled along with Him.

so Jesus was on His way somewhere important with someone powerful to do something awesome.

then there was a woman.  the woman had been bleeding for over a decade.  she was probably crampy, anemic, and sick of being unclean both physically and ceremonially.  she had emptied her bank account trying to find a cure. she was probably weak.  she was probably lonely.  probably desperate.

so...she gave it a shot.  she touched Him.

here is my favorite part.  He...Son of God...Creator of the Universe...on His way to somewhere important with someone powerful to do something awesome. 

He waited.

He stopped the entire mob and started playing detective to figure out who had laid claim to His healing power.

He stood there and had an entire conversation with this anonymous woman.  well...she was anonymous to everyone else...the bible doesn't give her a name.  but Jesus...He called her Daughter.

Jesus loved her so much...He waited for her.  He stopped everything and took a minute just for her...

thank You, Jesus for waiting for me.  thanks for waiting for me when i am being thick headed and taking too long to get things right.  thanks for waiting for me when i am unable to understand...
Your grace is so amazing...

Friday, September 14, 2012


i teach a group of 12 year old girls on wednesday nights.

sometimes they get really involved in what i am teaching and allow God's word to change them...other times i may as well be speaking to a brick wall.

as the new school year started...i also started with a fresh group of girls. 

this year i decided to start with the integrity unit.  i like this unit because it teaches the girls to be the same person all the be honest with their faults and not 'play church' around me and act differently as soon as they leave my classroom.  that means i have to be prepared to deal with some ugly stuff...and i also have to be willing to reveal some of my own garbage...

anyway.  the opening of the unit started with them having to name 3 people that had integrity.  and then they had to explain why.

i was blown away when all 5 girls in my class...with no discussion...wrote down abby's name. 

not that i was surprised.  abby had been in my class the year before and is an awesome young woman.  her parents are raising her right...and holding her responsible for the choices she makes while loving her thru her imperfections.  she hears from God and does her best to seek Him daily. 

what surprised me is that she was the first person to jump to their minds...all of them.

i want to be that way.  i want to live my life in such a way that when someone says 'Christlike' or 'full of grace'.  my name pops to mind.  i want my name to be synonymous with integrity.  in the dictionary...i want my picture to be next to those words. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

like her brother...

today one of my daughters tried to pee standing her brother does.  then she poo'd.  it wasn't until she realized that she had poo on her legs feet and floor that she realized.  God didn't make me for this.  seriously.  life doesn't get any better than that...right?

how many times do i look at the people around me doing the amazing things for God that they were created to do.  and covet their calling. matter how hard i try...i just can't do it.  and i usually don't realize it until i have made a mess.

God created me for something awesome.  but i can tell you a few things that i am not created to do.

i am not created to preach.
     though i have taken and passed public speaking classes and have no qualms about standing in front of people...i am not good at preaching.  i am a choppy-minded person that requires far too much feedback for addressing the masses.

i am not created to host.
     while i would like to think i am decent cook...and i would happily offer anyone the comforts of my home...i know that i am not gifted in hospitality.  guests stress me out.  i wish i wasn't that way...but i am.  hosting a dinner or a prayer meeting or even just having friends over is not something i do well...and usually i end up making people feel uncomfortable.

i am not created to head up a ministry.
     creating schedules and maintaining itineraries is like reading swahili.  i just don't get all.

so i know what i am not created to do...
but i do think it's so cool when God uses someone to do these things.  for instance...we have a ladies tea every winter.  it is phenominal and it is all put together by 2 ladies that are gifted in the hospitality/hosting/cooking area.  they have 3 courses (scones, sandwiches and dessert)  and a tea to go with each course...and let me tell come hungry and you leave satiated. 
if i were to try to be a major part of the tea ministry (while i can carry a hot teapot with ease) it would be a disaster.  i know this...the ladies that do the ministry know this...they just keep me out of the kitchen.

if i were in charge of a ministry...the budget would be blown in a week and no one would have any clue what was going on...including me...and i would be trying really hard.

i have a lot of gifts in different areas.  i am an encourager...i boldly speak truth...i have a background in music and theatre...i am a problem solver with big ideas...i know that God hears me when i pray...

so...i am trusting that God has created me for something specific and special...something that only He in all His wisdom and imagination could come up with.  i just have to wait on Him to reveal to me what His plan is.

in the meantime...i am going to encourage people that are doing what God has created them for and help clean up the messes of those trying to function in roles that they were not created for...including my own...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


today 11 years ago...i was a college freshman trying to stay afloat in a new life.

one of the professors rolled a tv into the hall and tuned it to the news just in time to see the second tower being assaulted.

i sat on the floor and thought to myself... 'how horrible.'

then the news about the plane in pennsylvania changed my whole view.

i am from a small town in western pa...and have always been a little self i had no idea where exactly the plane was or how close it was to my family.

images of the neighborhood i grew up in as part of the wreakage flooded my mind.  and it seemed like time stood still.

i think i called my family 20 times that day.

it is easy to say...'how horrible' and feel no real compassion and do nothing when things seem far away.  but when those very same things are in our own backyard...we understand and are often moved to do something about it.

children starving...families without clean being forced to do unspeakable things...

thankfully God is everywhere...He knows what those people need.  and He has the power to do something about it. 
He may even want to use you to help.

Monday, September 10, 2012

but i just

my kids have a bad habit.  it goes like this:

mommy:  'honey, stop doing that please.  you're going to get hurt...or hurt someone else.'
kid:  'but i just wanted to...'
this drives me crazy!

'but i just' has been banned in our house. 

using your good intentions to veil your less than pleasing actions.  yuck.

we often say 'well...God knows my heart.'
     ...gossip is gossip.
          ...murder is murder.

and yes.  God does know our hearts and when we do something unintentionally His awesome grace covers us.  absolutely.

but when we assassinate some one's character...'but i just wanted them to know what kind of person she really is' not a good excuse...

when we kidnap some one's dreams and ambitions with our 'realistic' views instead of offering to pray that God works mighty miracles to guide them toward their calling...'but i just didn't want you to be disappointed.'  ...well...that just isn't enough.

we all do these things.  i'm not saying that we will be perfect.  we lose our tempers...our tongues are mighty and are not easily tamed.  but...don't make excuses.  just own up to it. 

instead of...'but i just...'
maybe try...'i'm sorry that i...'
or...'please forgive me for...'

Friday, September 7, 2012


bricks are pretty inspiring.

they are all made of the same basic ingredients.  dirt and water.

hmm...sounds a little bit like us...according to the book of genesis God made Adam from dirt.  and according to my biology text book a significant portion of the human body is water. conclusion...we are bricks.

just kidding.
but seriously...the similarities don't end there.
a brick that is made by hand is far more expensive and will last longer than a brick that is made by a machine.  do you know why that is?  imperfection.
the imperfections in a handmade brick allow it to expand and contract with environmental changes. while the more machine made brick crumbles more easily because it is more uniform.
i just thought that was so cool.  we are perfectly imperfect.  rather than looking at the bricks around us and wishing we were more like them...we should be celebrating the fact that we have so many imperfections.  when we work together we make a formidable, long lasting structure. 
embrace your imperfections...they make you stronger and worth more than if you were perfect. 
and when you are looking at someone else and thinking how amazing they are...and comparing your flaws to their shining qualities. 
remember...we're all just bricks.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

passion isn't pretty.

olympic divers - mid dive

these divers work hard to have the flexibility, precision, accuracy and stamina to get olympic gold quality dives on a consistant basis.  they are amazing.  they are passionate.  but...they are certainly not pretty. (at least...not in these pictures)

if a guy looked like this while walking down the street and approached'd probably run...or maybe call for an ambulance...

similarly...when we are passionate about or God-called to something...we may not be very pretty.  we have to be okay with that.  because it's only when we let go and allow ourseves to be a little un-pretty that our passion shows and with God's grace we can come up with some really wonderful stuff...(olympic gold...anyone?)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

birthday boy

my oldest turns 4 today. 

the day has been all about it should be.  i have not gotten much done because we have been playing chutes and ladders.  we had poptarts for breakfast.  i am only able to post this now because he is watching g i joe (a show that was previously banned in our home due to him beating on his sisters).
i don't mind indulging him today...but tomorrow it will be back to normal. 
one thing that is kind of funny...for lunch...he wants to meet daddy for starbucks.  hehehe.  i love that boy!  

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

every word

i guess it's been a week since i've posted...huh?

things have been crazy...but things are always crazy.  i could give a hundred excuses...but honestly.  i just didn't have anything worth posting.  and that very fact inspired's funny how that works.

i have probably mentioned before that my youngest has a large hemangioma right smack between his eyes.  it's a very obvious blemish on his otherwise adorable, happy little face.

i hardly notice it when i see him...but i know that it stands out to people that don't know him.
strangers make comments all the time.  'oh, did he fall?'  'what is that on his face?'  'are you going to get that removed?' 'oh my (son, daughter, cousin, grandchild, little kid i taught in sunday school) had one of those and it faded by the time he was twelve.'  'aww...that thing looks just like an apple.'  'is that cancer?' either they make these crazy comments or they ignore him completely and talk to me about my other children.
we were at the park and a little girl was talking to the baby.  she asked what was on his face and i told her it was a birthmark.  'awww...he's too cute for a birthmark!'  was her answer. 
i realized that her response put my feelings into was honest.  and refreshing. 
there are so many verses about the words we speak...proverbs 18:21, psalm 17:3 and matthew 12:36 come to mind.  most often, when we think about the power of our words...we think of the things that are intentional.  intentional words to encourage or to hurt definitely hold a lot of power.'s the things that are unintentional that are sometimes worse.  things that are said to fill the silence and things that are not filtered by social grace...
funerals are the worst.  people say really dumb things at funerals...with the best of intentions...
i am striving to be more cautious of the words that leave my mouth...both the intentional and unintentional.  (even here...on this blog).  because...we are held accountable for every word we speak...
the thing is...God can give me the right thing to say and the exact right time to say it.  i just have to listen.