This Where the Nonsense Turns to Makesense

..A large family working to perfect our sweet skills: Loving others, making an impact, parenting on purpose, living simply, and embracing sarcasm.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Mostly

Mostly I've been up to my eyeballs. Detroit? Well. Detroit was the most intense couple of days I've spent on purpose. 
My days there included at least 8 meetings, but probably more, a new coffee favorite straight from the early 1900s when it used to be a butcher shop, and some very vulnerable hearts. Oh. And a spider and her baby egg sack cooked right into my omlet. The previous words are not a joke. Spiders and baby egg sacks are never welcomed near me. Never. 

After Detroit, I came home for less than 48 hours to cook, clean, cook, grocery shop, pack, and cook. 

I also had some coffee and missed Detroit. Not Detroit. Hamtramck. I promise that's how it's spelled, and I promise if you go there your heart will creak. Some forgotten hinge will rattle away the rust. 

Then began the second leg of my spring break journey called "Can We Survive Bodega Bay in a Tent Trailer?" The answer to that is mostly yes and then no. We left a day early, right around the time the emergency weather system said "seek immediate shelter". It worked out ok. Samuel found a sea snail the size of his head, my children all decided they enjoy catching crab and digging for clams, some realized they hate seafood, others realized they love it, and then we freed Rick. Rick the sea star. He's back in the wild. And just in time because we left to head home and got trapped on the winning side of a snow storm. This also worked out just fine because the winning side of the snow storm included a two night sleepover with my most favorite family ever and IKEA. Snow? What snow? 

Upon our arrival home, I broke standard protocol and cleaned out my van and started laundry immediately. No waiting. It helped that this may be the first time I've arrived home from a trip and not been completely exhausted. It helps that my children are older. It helps that we got to decompress a bit in Sacramento. It helps that we packed all of our favorite clothes, and if we don't wash them now, we will be hosed.

Also. It helps that I spent nearly all of my hours lying in the sun and reading a book. Oh teen lit. I love you. 

Shortly after the last bit of laundry was finished, the last precut celery stick remaining from our trip was eaten, and Right after I found my computer cord it was time Elijah's surgery. 

This kid broke his nose in 6th grade. It all seemed too painful to take him in for a rebreak, so we embraced his slightly crooked nose. Until he became a man child and not only was it no longer slightly crooked, it was hindering his breathing. Surgery. 
He's been down and out and sad and bummed. This mamma's heart almost couldn't stand to watch, but then I found myself just staring at him all the time. When he slept. When he sat. When he watched tv. I'm grateful he didn't ask me to stop. It's like he knew I was filling up wth him. I needed to notice his eyelashes, the curve of his lip, and his sweet face and fill up with him. We've been on this road with him for too long not to. 

So. Now. Now I have the capacity to be here and write and blog and share and breathe. But only just now. A minute ago would have been too soon. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

I've decided I mostly want routine, and possibly its a lost cause. If I were a disney character I would stop and sing "Let it Go" loudly. But I'm not. In fact I find myself grasping harder for routine only to find more evidence of it slip between my fingers. 

I've got children, so routine is paramount and impossible. Their schedules only seem to get crazier as they get older. Ah the good ole days when that lady kept saying "enjoy them as babies. This is the easiest season." 

First off, don't say crap like this to mothers of babies. Sure, tell them to be in the moment. Tell them to take pictures, both physical and mental. Be emotionally available. Play the fool and dress up with your preschooler. But don't act like what they are going through is less difficult than what is yet to come. 

Second of all. She was right. Just right.  I needed to be reminded of the fleeting seasons and how snuggling was second nature. She was right about all of it because she also said I would miss it so much. Darn you random lady with the motherly advice. 

I'll be right back. I'm going to go be intentional. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Miracles Are Afoot

There’s so much business about us. Some people are in the car business. I am in the teaching business. I know a guy in the singing business. My kids are in everyone’s business. We visit people in the doctor and dentist business. But none of that compares to God’s business. He dabbles in miracles. Well, more than dabbles. Frankly, it’s a miracle we get to wake up every morning, breathe deeply when we desire, and sit in the sunshine. That’s all because God deemed it a good day for miracles.

Corrie Ten Boom lived in a crazy and chaotic time. She believed God is who he says he is. And when she was sent to a Nazi concentration camp for harboring Jews behind her bookshelf in a make shift closet, she knew for sure she believed in miracles.

KEEP READING...

Today, I am writing over with some new friends. Awaken Reno is a local organization committed to helping women discover who God has created them to be. They are giving a voice to women illegally trafficked and sold into sex slavery. Click here for more information. 

Saturday, February 28, 2015

A Side Project

I quote movies; it's what I do. Recently I was asked in a panel interview, "What do you do to relax or blow off steam? When you feel you are getting too overloaded, what do you do?" I am sure I said something serious; I am pretty sure I said I write. And, that's totally true. I am doing it right now! It wasn't until much later when I realized I actually quote movies.

Not merely when I am overloaded, stressed, or have too much going on in my brain. I quote movies all the time. ALL. THE. TIME. It's my equivalent to being in a musical when one guy starts singing a song and suddenly everyone in the joint knows his lyrics and his dance moves. What he really has is a team of people creating the best scene possible with words and choreography.

Well, I don't need the dance moves. Strangers want to put me on Ritalin when I dance, so as a community service, I don't dance. You're welcome. However, if a guy spends months or even years developing what turns out to be a guffaw inducing script, I am going to steal his lines and call them my words. Try and stop me, Napoleon. (< this is a movie quote.)

This entire back story is merely my way of pointing out that, "There are two types of people in this world: those who love Neil Diamond, and those who don't. My ex wife loved him."

SIDE NOTE. That was a movie quote. That quote has been sitting on my tongue all day just waiting to be used. Wanting to be slipped naturally into an already happening conversation. That opportunity never came, so I shoved it in to this blog post all awkward like. Just accept it.

Again, I am off course of where I wanted this to go. I am here to tell you I have a side project.

SQUIRREL. (< this is a movie quote)

I am working with a non-profit organization to bring awareness and an end to sex-trafficking. The group is called Awaken, and this might be the first time in all of my life I am standing beside sisters doing something out-right crazy for God and seeing miracles. For reals. Miracles. But I am easing into it. "You rush a miracle, you get rotten miracles." (Do I even have to say it? Movie quote.)

Anyway, I would love for you to join me. Just click HERE and jump with me to another tab to see what we are working on. See the difference that God is making. See the crazy that he has planned for just an everyday guy or gal who is willing to stand up and say, "WHO'S GOIN' WITH ME?!" as they hold their gold fish up in the air. (

Thursday, February 19, 2015

A Rocky Faith

I wouldn't call my faith rocky everyday. Just today maybe. Don't get me wrong, I doubt like the turtle: slow and steady. I don't want to. But most days there's a sliver of doubt. 

Today, I had a minute where I had to remember God knows what's best. A little girl my heart melded instantly to is spending her last day in my classroom tomorrow. She needs different help than what we have to offer. I don't have what it takes to make her healthy. I have stood behind her and held my hands at silent awkward angles, praying for her secretly. I have walked behind her and laid hands on her while praying in my head for her body to be healed. For her mind to be changed. For her heart to surrender to Jesus completely. All the while she thinks I'm just scratching her back and encouraging her to keep up the good work. I call it being a ninja Christian, but my skills just weren't right. God has something different planned for her. I hope her new teacher prays. 

Then God brought to mind a discussion I was having with a co-worker. We tend to spend a few minutes of our weekly planning time hashing through the Bible. Ah, public school system, you hire some rad people. Anyway, we were discussing the authority in the world. Specifically the verse that says the only authority is that which God has put in place. We don't have to worry about whoever or whatever seems to have power or authority in our lives because it all comes from God. 

My friend pointed out that this conversation seemed to pair up perfectly with the verse I read earlier: 

Hebrews 2
Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control.
And then there's my favorite line of one of my most favorite worship songs. Oceans by Hillsong United says, "Grace abounds in deepest waters." This little heart breaker? She gets God, whether she knows it or not. He is holding her and planning for her and working for her and loving her and providing for her and His grace will abound in her deepest waters. God has her totally and fully in the palm of his hand, just as he does me and you and my babies and my husband and...and...and... I can't think of someone this doesn't apply to.

And yet. Knowing this. Knowing all of this, I manage to squeeze in my slow and steady doubt. Did I do enough? Did I pray enough? Were my words enough? The answer is yes and no all at the same time. Because I could never do enough. Ever. it isn't in me to be enough for this sweet girl. But God's grace really does abound in deep waters. He is enough for her- today and tomorrow and on Monday at her new school. 
And I will take a second and take stock. Did I show Jesus as much as I could have? All the time? Did I listen to the Holy Spirit and obey? I'll remember these answers next time and for the rest of my students. And I will not finish praying for this little faith filled girl. As a teacher, we meet students who are sent to change us. She is one of those for me. 
 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

When The Sleep Draws Near

For a girl who wakes nearly every night somewhere in the middle- when the stars are in their comfort zones, and the moon is caught up in conversation with the man up there- I relish this minute coming over me. The sleep is drawing near.

I know it is happening because I stop forwarding the songs on my Pandora, I have to read and reread a question for clarity, and I begin pausing to think and reflect and the ideas begin to flow. Oh, are you one of those whose ideas flow when you're bright eyed and wide awake? hmm. weird. I don't know what that's like. I prefer my thoughts to be all over the place and forgotten by morning.

The weird thing is that although I forget writing even a word of whatever piece I am working on, it seems to turn out pretty sense making when I come back to it the next day. The sad thing is this is what it takes to make me stop bossing and for Jesus' quiet spirit to finally be heard. oops. I am a work in progress.

Maybe if I had diamonds to wear all day long things would be different. Diamonds that glitter like stars in the sky. I say we try it; it's a valid experiment.

Here's a short glance at my stream of consciousness; don't be scared.

That fire fighter. He loves me. I need to get him a card or something and write how grateful I am for him.

My neck hurts. I need to schedule myself a massage- oh. call the ENT for Elijah tomorrow.

My poor boy. I am so sad he has to get his broken nose fixed. So painful. I should get him a card or something and write how grateful I am for him.

I need to turn in my calendar for my Detroit project. I wonder who else wants to come to Detroit with us. Oh. shoot. We need to get our plane tickets and I need to pray God makes that money happen. "Your will, Father. I believe I am supposed to be there. Please find us the money we need." I hope my boss is fine to give us that last day off. I am so grateful for my boss. I need to get him a card or something and write how grateful I am for him.

Ok, so what I write isn't deep. But it makes sense. To me. And helps me remember to buy cards.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Occupy Till I Come




I read a phrase tonight that came across as a military directive: “Occupy till I come.” 

Just those four words. But immediately I stood up a little bit taller. My ears perked, and I wondered at God’s meaning with this phrase. I felt like it was a challenge thrown at my feet.

How easy would it be to translate this into something that suits my needs? For all of my days I could twist this into something simple, lazy, chipper, bold, brash, and maybe some days not at all Christ-like. 

Phrases like, “Live it up,” or, “You only live once,” pop in my mind. We could modernize it and give it a nickname. “Sup? OTIC. I’m doin’ it.” Naturally when it’s come to this, it’s come to failure. Pretty sure God intended something powerful when he breathed out, “occupy till I come.”
Just before this phrase appears in the book of Matthew, Zacchaeus is the butt end of the gossip train, and Jesus is at the center of what everyone perceives is a scandal. 

There’s gasping and chest heaving and dinner. Which seems totally out of place, but Jesus invites himself to dinner with a true shady character, and of course the shady character accepts, and then believes Jesus, and his whole household is saved forever. And do you know why? Because first Jesus was occupying until it was time, and then Zacchaeus and his entire family realized what it meant to, “occupy till I come.” First they stood a little bit taller, and then their ears perked up. Suddenly they were hooked. 

They watched as Jesus came to be about the Father’s business. They took in his actions: He lived to win souls by loving for real. Man, that’s just better than any Kool-Aid out there. It’s such a small sentence and a huge summons all at the same time. 

“Occupy till I come” means you take what you have been dealt, handed, blessed with, and you do any and everything God asks. 
Say hello to that person. Take food to that family. Invite that girl over for dinner. Pay for that woman to go to retreat. Compliment that guy on his work. Hug it out with that co-worker and tell them Jesus was and is and is to come. Stop and pray with that neighbor. Babysit that young mamma’s kids. The list is unending.

All Jesus did was invite himself to dinner. What a rude gus. He didn’t even wait to be invited. He couldn’t. He was too busy occupying.