Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thankful Day

Good Morning! Before I head off to bed for a rare decent night's slumber for which I will be very thankful for, I wanted to wish all a very grateful filled Thanksgiving Day!

We received a package of pictures today from Compassion International. There were 6 pictures of the most beautiful little children, all of whom are awaiting sponsorship so they can go to school, have a decent meal, clothes, medical attention, and a chance to know Jesus. We love our sponsored child Ligia and enjoy her letters and pictures. The children took 2 pictures each and taped them to their beds so they would remember to pray for them every night to find a family here in the US to sponsor them. With that, they understood better that their home, their school, their church, their dinner - those are all gifts for which they are to be grateful for. 2 of the 6 kids were born within days of Corban, which they all thought was so cool, and it made me appreciate him being in Kindergarten so much deeper for some reason. We are so blessed. I love this time in my kids' lives where they develop the skills to begin expressing themselves for themselves. I am always intrigued by what comes out of their little heads, and worried about what they'll regurgitate that I shouldn't have taught them too! Corban was so proud to bring home his Thanksgiving Feast mat. "I wrote it myself!" he proclaimed. You know me, of course I teared up. So sweet. I'm thankful my kids know what things are important, and that they are thankful for them. School, Snow, Dog, God, and Love. Me too Corban, me too.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Give it up for Mimi!

Last week Jason and I both went to The Nutcracker show in Houston. My Mom stepped up big time for me with the kids. She still works full time in Downtown Dallas, and still agreed to live at my house for the week to take care of the crazy rooters. The night she came over to have everything explained to her, I could see a touch of panic on her face as she realized the enormity of packing lunches every morning, completing homework, taking care of Grandma's meds as well, making dinner, breakfasts, brushing teeth, and even a birthday party on Saturday! Yikers! She made it from Tuesday night through the next Monday morning and the kids were extremely well adjusted the entire time. Of course, Nathan had to try and eat the concrete which required an emergency front tooth repair the day we returned, a little blood and pain for Mimi to have to deal with, but she did remarkable. Kudos to the Grandma for stepping in and juggling her full time job and the full time job of keeping up with three crazy kids! We couldn't have done it without you Mom! And thanks Hobby Bill for giving her up for the week so we could have her! Hope you enjoyed your nights of snore less bliss! :)

Lessons from 4 Men during My most hellacious 2 weeks

So today I'm still busy as all get out and don't have but a second, but I have to record this for the history books. I just completed the two toughest weeks of the year for the Cup business I work and it was most especially difficult this year for a couple of reasons, but amidst it, four men taught me lessons I'll never forget and am grateful to have received. It's a little long but the last one's the most important.

1. Random Man at Shipley's Donuts

On the second day of our stay in Houston we decided to eat Shipley's donuts for breakfast. We walked in and there were two little Asian sweethearts standing at the door to the kitchen, the 3-4 year old was crying, the 18 month old having just caused her sister to cry was fine just standing there watching her sister fall apart. The scene made it obvious to everyone that the girls had been there since the wee hours of the morning, and this was probably an everyday event. Sitting there, keeping themselves occupied with a few toys and a pack and play. After about 5 minutes of the loudest crying ever, mom finally broke away from the busy counter and went to scold the girls and quiet them down. As we sat to eat, the girls were so sad looking just sitting there bored and reprimanded. And then Jesus walked into the building. He came in the form of a 50-60 year old Hispanic man and he was beautiful. He marched through the door and held coloring books and crayons up high in the air! I'm crying now almost as much as I did that morning over my donuts. He laughed and joked with the them. He went over her colors, her shapes, they read together, colored together, and he made jokes with her. He filled her morning with attention and love. The familiarity between them made it obvious that he was a frequent visitor. I know he was once just a frequent customer, who saw a lonely little girl, and chose to do something about it. You could see Jesus all over him, and I loved the Father more deeply for sending that man into the lives of those little girls. I don't want to see a situation and think "Oh that's sad." I want to be willing to do something about it like that man does when he walks in the room and brightens their lives with crayolas.

2. David the Hauler

We have a guy who works with us this time of year hauling our shipments of cups around the planet for us. He looks just like Pres. George Bush, hence his nickname, George. He's approaching 60 and is fit as a fiddle. He has one daughter who is a CIA agent in Washington D.C. and actually works with the president as part of his security team. He tells great stories about being saluted in Washington whenever he goes places, and the things people have said and done to him because they mistook him for ole W. Anyway, the man oozes with kindness and chivalry. He opens doors, pulls out chairs, tells amazing stories, kisses your cheek when he greets or leaves you, so kind. But what he taught me after two weeks of constantly being together is the gift of honoring people with your words. Up to this point I had never met his wife or his daughter, but I tell you what I love them and think they're the most amazing people on the earth just because of the way he talks about them. And he talks about them constantly. He brags on them every chance he gets and he notices everything about their spirit, their heart, their personalities, and he shares his love for them and who they are with everyone. He is so proud and not afraid to share it. Oh, and his mom too. He tells story after story about how awesome the three ladies in his life are. I can't imagine how he'll be if Tonya gives him a granddaughter some day! I want to be that way. Constantly building up the people I love, so that people who have never even met them think they're amazing and can't wait to meet them. I want my boys to grow up being kind and having that chivalrous spirit natural and constant in their lives. David made the week a pleasure, Jason enjoyed working with him, and came home with a few lessons of his own.

3. Jason - my amazing best friend

I learned a new respect and love for my husband this week too. He showed up big time for me. Supporting me like never before through some tough moments, and I saw a new turn in his life with some news about his employer that wasn't so great. In the past I've watched him get nervous and fearful, but this time, I could see his faith in the Father oozing from him. No timidity, no fear, only courage to keep going and knowing that God has it all in His control. I enjoyed his friendship our week in Houston, he worked his toes off and never complained. And then the second week he stayed home with the kids while I went to Austin. He did an amazing job. I came home last night to welcome home banners, fresh baked brownies, a clean house, clean laundry, and the shocker of all, clean dishes and stocked pantry and refrigerator. I just love that Man!

4. My Jesus

On top of all the stress of being away and working long hours in stressful conditions, I was also in conflict with a friend I have gone 11 years without fighting with ever! It was emotionally exhausting and I didn't know what to do or how to handle it without making it worse. Last night as I was driving I knew He wanted me to get it out in the open, and for me to initiate reconciliation. I didn't want to! I was so nervous! So I told Him, "If you want me to open up, and You promise me it's going to be better afterward and not worse, then I want You to give me a sign, let me see the number 11 next. And then I thought, "Or the number 33." So the NEXT billboard in blaring letters had a huge phone number, "***-***-3333." And I said to Him, "No, I just thought that as an afterthought, I didn't really mean that, or did I, oh, I don't know, maybe that's to vague of a sign for me. Ok, God, if you want me to open my mouth change the price of diesel on that sign there at that station." And then I thought to myself, "That's stupid, He's not going to change a huge sign on the highway," And so I looked up, and the darn sign which read $2.69 changed to $2.59! I thought that did not just happen, so I stared longer and no change, I looked backward, and I said to God, "Do it again." AND IT CHANGED AGAIN! and then as I left it I saw it change back to $2.69! You think that would be enough to open my mouth but I'm stubborn. So I said to God, "I asked for an 11." (You're saying, REALLY?) And the very next billboard said, Braums 11 miles, and the 11 was the largest text on the sign! So I said fine, and just when I opened my mouth to speak, she goes, Oh this is that song I was wanting to hear, and jacks up the volume full blast! Seriously? So, I said to God, if you want me to speak you're going to have to turn down the radio, and she suddenly picks up her phone to make a call and TURNS DOWN THE RADIO. She hung up and put the phone down in her lap, just as we passed by mile marker 311. Needless to say, we talked and worked it all out. I wouldn't have had the courage to open it up and be confrontational without Him there in the car with us. Huge numbers on gas station signs are nothing for the Lord. He shows up, and He assures us that when we listen, things work out for the better.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A little squirmy wormy

Jason went to let the dog in at 12:30 this morning on our way to bed, and as he shut the door, this little guy tried to sneak in. The lights were off so if he hadn't shut it in the door, it would have come in and gone who knows where! My bed is only 10 feet or so from this door!! OMG! PTL! ;) (Just for you Amy!)

Jason the crazy snake wrangler!

It amazes me sometimes when I stop to think about all the things God protects us from in the course of a day and a lifetime. We only see the things that happen, we don't see the things that could have, or the extent to which things that did could have gone. Faith is knowing that the Lord loves you so much, He only allows things in your life that will bring you closer to Him and closer to being Christlike. The snake, He obviously felt that wouldn't serve either two purposes, this time.