Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Because He Lives

Did you know that the world is full of former Christians?  With internet access.  And they are not at all hesitant to voice their views all over the place.  I'll admit, I lose sleep over it occasionally.  I lie there feeling a deep sadness for them and worry for my family...what will keep my kids from turning and running?  I read into their experiences, making mental notes of what I think causes someone to leave the faith of their family.  I make lists of dos and don'ts.  I pray for them and for all of us.  That Grace would keep us.  I know that life is hard and there will be questions.  I know I won't always know what to say.  I don't have all the answers.

.....................................................

When my Dad was just old enough to walk to the store by himself, he was strolling along and happened to swipe his finger in the shiny metal coin return of a pay phone.  To his delight, he found a coin had been left behind.  He proudly showed this treasure to his dad, who was waiting at home.  In a stern voice intent on teaching a valuable lesson, his dad insisted he return the coin to the shop owner.  The lesson was clear, if you didn't lose it, you can't find it.  And if it isn't yours, you can't keep it.  With, I'm certain, a heavy heart, my little dad walked back to the store and returned the coin.






My Mom remembers the neighbor lady walking down to her house so that my grandma could write out her bills for the month.  The neighbor wasn't literate, but my Grandma was and so she helped her do anything that required reading and writing.  I remember the first time my Mom told me that story, and I remember wondering how that lady knew she could trust my Grandma.  I remember thinking about how lucky that lady was that my Grandma really was so  honest.  Any and all of the neighbors knew they could trust my grandparents, there wouldn't be any trickery or any taking advantage of anybody because they were honest, upright, and willing to extend a hand to their neighbors.







I'm so thankful my parents shared the precious gift of salvation with me.  It has been life to me.  Instead of saying, "This is God, and these are His unattainable standards", they said to me, "Here are some seemingly unattainable standards for you and for our family.  And this is Jesus, who is our Hope that we will, in fact, attain them.  You will mess up.  It's ok.  When you do, tell Him you're sorry and He'll help you the next time."  They showed me what the peace of God felt like.  And encouraged me to live to feel it.  That's what keeps me.  Not a heavy yoke, but a light and easy burden.  This faith has only ever been Hope for me.  Call it a crutch, I don't care.  It is the best part of me.  The only good you'll find.

"Only let us live up to what we have already attained."  
Philippians 3:16

I hope I leave my kids filled with such Hope.  I don't have all the answers, but I know The Answer.  And I'm happy to whisper to their hearts these secrets to life.   To sing to them this sweet song.  It is the very least I can do.  It's the very best I can give.  If they remember nothing else I say, may they remember "Jesus loves me, this I know."  If everything else fades away, let that Truth remain.


And what if a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them wonders away?  What of these lost sheep who keep me tossing and turning on sleepless nights?  

Well, they're His; He can find them.  

They are His, and He can keep them.


Mom and Dad, thank you.  I treasure our time together.  Jillian asked me when you left, "why did we let them go?"  I told her other folks needed you, too.   You've spent my life sharing this Resurrection story, helping find lost sheep.  Spurring one another on.  So I don't mind sharing you at all.

But, y'all come back now, ya hear?!


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Latelies...

Well, hello there.  


You remember Milo, right?  I updated iPhoto tonight and realized I have approximately 500 photos of  him and have only blogged one, I think?  He's offended.  He thinks I should blog more often and that I'm going to forget a lot of important little things if I don't permanently secure them a space on the interwebs.  I agreed.  So I should tell you that we like to make him howl with us.  Like pack howling.  It's just so ding-dang cute, but we have to limit ourselves, because it makes him want to bite his own back leg.


Also, I should tell you I can never find him because he blends in with our floor.  And that he dreams of flying.  Or being Super Spaniel.  Next time I find him like this, I promise to lay a little cape across his back before I snap the photo.


Also, guess who's his favorite?  Oh yes, my friends.  It is the subject of daily rubbings-in.  I'm not bitter, but I will give you one hint about who it was that first broke the no table scraps rule...


And since I posted a recent of Lee, I'll post a recent of myself, too.  Lee thinks it's so weird that I would desire a self-portrait...  And I'm like, wait...let me take a selfie...


I also need to share the news of the latest additions to the family.  Meet Nora and Alex.


If I'd remembered how gratifying parakeets could be, I would probably have started here with pets.  But don't tell Milo.


(Milo, don't chew on that, it's not yours.)


Anyways, like I was saying, the birds are a pretty good time.  Alex is named after my childhood parrot, Alex.  And Nora?  Well, the kids' cousins have another cousin named Nora, but Benny didn't remember this.  I wasn't sure if it was nice to name your bird after a pretty little relative, so I asked him why Nora?  He just said it was the most beautiful girl name he could think of.  So we went with it.


We tried to get birds with two different colored little noses, because apparently that's the easy way to tell if you'll get more birdies.  Two of the same color = no more birdies and two different colors = the pitter patter of little birdie feet.  Our fingers are crossed.


I should warn you in advance that Jillian looks 4 going on 16 to me in the following photo...


Isn't that just the stuff sad songs are written about?  Watercolor Ponies or Cats in the Cradle or Stop This Train or something like that is playing in the background of my life somewhere, I'm sure.  The other day she grabbed my face and said, "Do you think I was meant for you?  Because I know you were meant for me."  I gave her half my kingdom.  And then threw in the rest, just because; provided she shares with these two.


So that pretty much brings us up-to-date.  We've just been schoolin' and churchin' and messin' about.  We're party planning around here for a certain 7-soon-to-be-8-year-old's party.  I asked him if he could be 5 instead and he said, "that was never part of the deal.".  So I guess that option's out.  Part of the deal.  Uh-huh.

Ok.  I hope you're all doing beyond well.  I hope you all have a relaxed and peaceful weekend.  I hope you all put Rita Springer on Pandora and give yourselves a minute or two to just rest.  I've given God permission to show me who He really is.  Not who I think He is, or who anybody else thinks He is.  I've given Him permission to freak me out a little.  I want to know Him and be known by Him. 

 Because I am meant for Him and He sure is meant for me.   


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