Wednesday, March 23, 2011

This will be quick...

just wanted to share a real life example of God's prevenient grace.
Yesterday was Sam's birthday (more on that when I get pictures uploaded) and as soon as Earl got home from work, we loaded up and headed to IHOP.  Sam wanted pancakes.  What better choice?  International House of PANCAKES.  But...more on that later....Eeeeeeneway...
The days have been just beautiful so the kids had been outside playing in the cul-de-sac.  When I saw Earl's car pull up, I quickly rounded up the offspring and loaded them into the van.  Somewhere in this process, I put my phone on the bumper of the car.  I think this happened between loading kids and running upstairs to get my purse.  I can't be sure.  Yes...I know this is pretty stooopid thing to do.  I have no excuse save that I have been fairly forgetful lately. 
And we were off...with the cell phone on the bumper of the car....
I had totally forgotten about the phone which was now joy riding on the bumper of my car.  Kinda dug through my purse for it, figured I had left it in the house when I ran upstairs right before leaving, and forgot about it.  Until we got to IHOP.  And my momma called Earl's phone. Hmmm...that's weird.  Why didn't she call my phone? Wonder if everything is okay?...I immediately called her back and she answered with "We have your PHONE!"  Wait.  What?  You live 6 hours away.  How can you have my phone?  I seriously went through that thought process...sigh.  Turns out...God was working in my life through a teenage boy and I was completely oblivious.
The phone had fallen OFF the bumper at the entrance to our neighborhood.  A boy that lives in our neighborhood was driving to lacrosse practice and noticed the BRIGHT LIME green cell phone in the middle of the street.  He pulled over.  Picked up the phone.  And took 30 minutes out of his life to be the hands of Christ.  30 minutes isn't a long time...but I'm certain he was late to practice and if I remember correctly from high school, coach's aren't too keen on late arrivals.  He coulda pocketed the phone...coulda sold it for some quick cash.  After all, it is an iPhone.  They're kinda a hot commodity.  But instead he called my parents.  6 hours away.  Remember the cover is BRIGHT LIME green?  I like it because it's easy to find in the bottom of my purse.  But it also sorta looks like a cover a teenager might choose...and since only paramedics and people over 25 know what "ICE" means he thought the best route to finding the owner of the lost phone would be to call the contact listed as "Mom and Dad"...
Side note:  Do you know what ICE means?  It means In Case of Emergency.  And I have "ICE-Superman" listed on my phone as a contact for Earl.  My husband.  Thinking I need to change how I've listed contacts on my phone...
So he called my mom.  She told him where I lived.  After knocking on my door with no mom told him to take the phone to "that little red headed girl next door!"...that would be my neighbor Staci. Probably one of the very best neighbors evah.  Really.  She makes ya a margarita when the day has gotten the best of you...or a hot tea if you have a nasty case of strep.  Her husband will till up an entire section of your yard if you want to put in a garden and snow plow your driveway in the middle of a blizzard in return for a case of beer.  Honestly...the. best. neighbors.  She will also rescue your phone....when you leave it on the freaking bumper of your car.  Sigh.  If you're reading this...Thanks Staci....
So I got the phone back.  It was rescued from certain danger and placed in trusting hands before I ever knew it was gone.  It's all a lesson from God.  He works through other people.  This time he chose a lacrosse playing teenager.  And it really wasn't even a big deal.  We have insurance on the would have been replaced.  And do I really need this fancy high-tech cell phone anyway?  Really?  I guess what I'm getting at here is that there are these small incidences...small moments...that teach us so much about the character of God.  And I think it's important to wake up...look up...and remember that if He does this in the small corners of our lives, how much more will he do it in the big stuff?!  He's working...all the time...moving in our lives.  It is our responsibility to recognize awaken to the beauty of it all.
So to wrap it all up...
Staci got a ginormous piece of homemade birthday cake.
And I called the teenage kid...thanked him a hundred times over and gave him what my dad would call a nice chunk of "walking around money"....I also told him his momma sure did something right raising a honest boy like that.
God...walking around in my neighborhood.  Absolutely fantastic.  I'm kinda glad I left my phone on the bumper.

Friday, March 11, 2011

I wish heaven had a phone

Grace got her star moved.  Twice.  In one day.
Let me back up.
In Grace's Kindergarten class, each child has a magnetic star.  This star starts out on the green every morning.  It is true, even in Kindergarten, that God has indeed created a new day, everyday.  Misbehavior can cause the star to move to yellow--a warning, a reminder to "slow down" and think about your behavior.  If the behavior continues or escalates, the star is then moved to red.  A note is sent home with the child and further action is taken if that is deemed necessary.  Above said magnetic star can be moved back and forth throughout the day between green, yellow, and red as behavior warrents.  It's a fluid system.  And it works fantastically for my 6 year old and her need to please.  The law of the star holds much weight.  And simply asking "Where is your star?" upon arrival home from school can elicit a big smile or big tears.
Wednesday I didn't even have to ask.  With ducked head and weepy eyes, Grace said "Mom...I had my star moved today."  Once for talking and a second time for not listening.  Oiy...  I expressed my disappointment, told her she had to tell her daddy when HE got home, and asked her what she would do differently in the future.  I left it at that.  It was clear to me that the migration of her star from green to yellow was punishment enough.
Later that night...when the children were in bed, Earl and I sat on the couch playing a game (lately we're playing Mancala--an Ethiopian marble game) and I began to talk through the events of the day.  Particulary the movement of our primary offspring's precious star. 
It was then that he told me this story:
"When I was in Kindergarten, I got into a fight--a fist fight--with another little boy during recess.  My brother had to pull me off of him."  Earl sighed...then grinned and looked up at me and said "And that was only half day could be worse could be worse."
Oh how I miss my mother-in-law. 
It's times like these I my fingers itch to call her and ask her exactly what kind of genetics I'm dealing with here...
I wish heaven had a phone.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Another song...

I've noticed I seem to use a lot of song lyrics to narrate pictures of Grace.  And I think the reason I do this is because she is such a musical little thing.  It seems to be woven into her very core.  And music (and often the lyrics that accompany that music) seems to fit her like a nicely tailored dress...or tutu in this case.  Enjoy.
"My baby loves to dance
She loves to spin around
She's only two feet tall
but I don't mind at all
She hears a song in every little sound...
My baby loves me so
She loves me as I am
She lifts her little hands
Her wish is my command
I'll pick her up forever if I can"

--Lyrics from Andrew Peterson's song My Baby Loves to Dance

Friday, March 4, 2011

Sigh.  I am a slacker.
Moving on...
Earl found a CD.  Of pictures.
Let me back up...
August 2007.  Earl was going to San Diego for training with his former job.  I tagged along.  Nothing like getting a vacation and letting someone else foot the bill.  4 days before we were scheduled to leave, I found out I was pregnant (We so totally weren't expecting that).  And the day after that we found out that Earl got the job he has now and we would be moving and he would be leaving for training for something like 7-8 months (I say 8, Earl says 7...for the record, I'm right).  To say we were stressed is an understatement.  We went on the trip anyway.  Looking back, I'm so glad we did.  And, although I was 8 weeks pregnant with a surprise baby, I insisted we go to our scheduled surfing lessons.  It's another "bucket list" thing for me...I wasn't gonna let some baby ruin the fun.  (Sam--my little surfing embryo--is now 3, and he's no worse for the wear.  His initials even spell out SRF...Surf.  No...we didn't plan that one.  His favorite lullaby?  "Little Surfer" by the Beach Boys) We paid a crazy amount of money for a CD of pictures to document our sad attempt at surfing.
Here are the pictures. Well some of them.  The CD is sorta screwy and I can't get all 56 of them off and onto the computer.  Probably a good thing though...there's a picture on there of me wiping out pretty good.  I don't think my ego could take the ridicule.  Oh and just so you know, surfing is the absolute toughest thing I have ever attempted.  So the fact that there was only one picture of my wiping out is amazing.  I spent the entire class wiping out.  I had a belly full of salt water and sand in places I didn't even know existed.
I'll walk you through these...captions will be at the bottom of each picture.
 This board/roller thingy here is supposed to help you learn to balance...I did fairly well at this part.  I got kinda confident.  Thought maybe I could be a surfer girl after all.  Psshhh...stupid board.
Earl.  Ever the athlete.  I was raised by a man that could pick up any instrument and play it well.  I married a man that can pick up any sport and play it well.
 Stretching.  Yes...I picked a pink board.
 More stretching.  I like this picture.  Kinda a picture of marriage in a way.  Push and pull...give and's a very fine balance.
 Okay so then our instructor (a very handsome young man named Jordon) made me get on the board and try to maintain my balance while he shook the board violently with all his might simulated waves.  My confidence began to wane at this point.  And just LOOK at Earl's face in the background!  Is he laughing at me?!? I have enlarged this picture...ladies and gentlemen, I give you...exhibit A.
 Of course Earl...ever the athlete...soared through this test with flying colors.
Jordon...showing us how to find our center of gravity and balance.  Bwahahahahahah...right...cause it's that easy.
 Earl...pretending to paddle out.  The fact that he is so handsome keeps me from choking him somedays....
 The classic photo.  One of my very favorites. 
 And again...with Jordon.  He made surfing look so easy...
 And...out we go.  This is our first time out.  How do I know this?  Look at my's still neatly pulled back.  5 minutes later the waves had ripped the ponytail right off my head and my hair was covering my eyes.
And so I've come to the last picture that I could pull off the CD.  A picture of me...wiping O.U.T.  Humbling.  So very humbling.  I was so sure that one didn't make it off the CD...
Would you believe me if I told you I had a a good time?  I absolutely did.  But I will not be surfing again.  The next time I see a beach I will be sitting in a lounge chair drinking a drink with an umbrella in it.