Thursday, June 30, 2011

My pain ain't your pain

In less than three months I am going to give birth again.....and I am PUMPED. I know that may sound totally bizarre to some. I know women who have only had one child that cite child birth as the main reason they didn't have another. It is always something along the lines of making a deal with God that if the epidural worked they would NEVER get themselves in that position again.But for me it wasn't like that.

Maybe it was because I had an AWESOME book that is now out of print (I looked into getting it for a friend, but $68, ouch). Maybe it is because I have a high pain tolerance after years of fibromyalgia. Maybe it is because I know LOTS of women who gave birth sans pain meds and are really positive about their birth experiences. But for me birthing babies is a little like what people describe in running marathons. Yes, it hurts, yes there are moments when I feel like I cannot do it. But then you keep going and at the end it is AWESOME and you feel so accomplished, and the natural high that your body gives you.........I don't have anything to compare it to, but I am told that a high like that is very expensive and can have some weird side effects. 

But not every woman comes into the hospital laughing about 6 or 7 centimeters. The nurses were certainly surprised. And not every woman had all the awesome opportunities and support I had. And pain is a really. really, personal thing. Like so personal that we can never experience each others. We can both stick our thumb in the exact same place and get hit by the exact same hammer at the exact same force, and could very well not be the same pain. Who knows. We'll never know. Maybe your thumb is super sensitive. Maybe you literally have more pain receptors than I do (people don't have the same amount, isn't that crazy?)Maybe my nerves over-react to certain stimuli. It isn't the same. It never will be.

When you have a muscle disorder for as long as I did, you start thinking about pain, reading about it. The studies about chronic pain are beyond depressing. You actually lose IQ points if you are in chronic pain long enough. You wonder how a body that looks healthy can be in that much pain. You literally forget the sensation of "pain free." I started to wonder about the pain scale at the hospital. "On a scale of one to ten..." At my worst I calculated that I walked around everyday with what I would describe as a what did that mean, was 6 my new zero? Did my scale now go from 6-16 while yours capped at 10? Could I feel more pain than my body had somehow gotten good at it? Would I even notice a 2, or would that now seem like relief. Like a 2 for me would now be like you with an Oxycotin?

 It was all so strange to think about. We can talk about it, and describe and calculate and attempt to define. But we can't ever experience someone else's pain. And we shouldn't pretend that we do. I know what it is like to be told it can't possibly hurt that bad when you are doing everything you can not to sob uncontrollably and scream the exploitive that rhymes with duck. So do you need an epidural. I don't know. I'm not you, I can't actually feel your pain.

I think spiritual-emotional pain is a lot like physical pain. For whatever reason some things that seem the same from the outside, break ups, parental abandonment, heck even a harsh word don't always hit the same spot in the same way. We certainly don't feel them in the same way. I have two sisters, and Emily (the oldest) seems to be built less sensitive than I am. Things don't hit her in the same way. But when I call her crying because....oh who knows why, but my feelings are hurt again.....she doesn't tell me that it doesn't hurt, that I shouldn't be crying. She acknowledges my pain and helps me figure out how to move on.

I however, am often not so gracious. When people are talking about what a difficult time they are having I sometimes am rolling my eyes internally. I want to shout "GET OVER IT! YOU DON'T HAVE PROBLEMS!" But they do. They are hurting, their spiritual nerves are shot. Maybe I would rate their pain as a 2 but I am not the one who is experiencing it. Maybe it is an 8. I wouldn't know. Often times people are hollowing because there was already a bruise there, you know? I will just have to trust them and hear them and be a little more empathetic. Because your pain, ain't my pain.

Monday, June 27, 2011


I don't think you can be a disciple without discipline. There are so many awesome examples of disciplined people in my life (my mom's cup of tea with her Bible and prayer journal open at "her place" at the breakfast table are a firm mental picture in my head.) But, it is something I struggle with, and something I am really struggling with when it comes to writing, I have quite a few projects on my plate right now. Any suggestions? I need help!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Saved, Healed, and Delivered Awesome

Well I am home in Toledo.

I left Toledo Saved. I return home saved healed and delivered. GSA was a life changer. I will be telling you more about it in days to come, for now I repeat the words of a man that walked the same streets and cornfields as I did when a boy and who went to be with the Lord at a young age after blessing the Church and the World with these words. "My God is an awesome God He reigns from Heaven above with wisdom POWER and Love my God is an Awesome God" Richy Mullins.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Won't you be my neighbor?

Sometimes I think modern christians have the tendency to complicate some issues. We have, I love my neighbor month at 1027 church, which I love. We often explore the issue of who exactly our neighbor is. And I have a book on my kindle that I am slowly working my way through that argues that now that we are in a digital age and aware of problems we never would have been aware of back in the day, we have a larger group we need to be calling neighbor. Google expands our virtual neighborhood.

But you know who else is my neighbors. The people who actually live in my neighborhood, in the houses next to mine. Yeah, them. A few weeks ago someone knocked on my door and wanted jumper cables. I could do that. Heck, he didn't even need me to hook 'em up, just go to my car and get them. I almost didn't look because I didn't feel like it. But I did, which is good since I would have had to admit it right here if I hadn't. Wow, that would've sucked.

Tomorrow I have the opportunity to love on my actual neighbors in my actual neighborhood. I am super excited. I have this opportunity because my neighbor Brooke (the one who spiffied my blog up) goes to the neighborhood meetings and helps with passing out the neighborhood letter is in the know. She heard there was a kids carnival being put on by a church in the neighborhood and they needed a face painter. She signed me up!

When I was a girl scout my mom decided that for the purposes of our troop, painting faces beat raking leaves when it came to the service hour requirements. So we spent a couple hours practicing on each other and then signed up for some local festivals. Painting faces is way more fun than raking leaves. Especially when you are sixteen, or pregnant (or both but hopefully not because the girls on that tv show have it rough). I got to face paint last year at the Virginia Highland Summerfest. Our church sits right in the middle of that street festival and there is no where to park that sunday so we are encouraged to volunteer. Christian and I have always volunteered at the kids center because we like kids. And they ALWAYS need people.

Last year the Peanut was just a couple weeks old. We weren't really sure how that was all going to shake out so we didn't volunteer. But when the day came we felt like we could manage, as long as we could take the baby. And the kids place was again desperate for volunteers. When we offered our services the woman in charge said something like "what I really need is face painters, please tell me one of you can face paint!" And I could! The best part of face painting is this, people let you lay hand on their kids. It is socially appropriate to touch a shoulder or hold a chin gently still. And while you do you can pray over that child. It was awesome.

So when Brooke heard they needed face painters she said "my friend can do that!" and I have been spending the last forty minutes looking through google image search and bookmarking my favorite designs so I will have some choices for the kids to pick from. I have found that if you just say "what do you want" sometimes the choosing takes more time than the painting (and there is always a line). And sometimes you get requests that are very difficult to fulfill (I want a snake eating a badger...a HONEY badger....and a bear is eating the snake...can you do that....PLEASE....just try....that doesn't look right.....can I have something else?). Also, my design ideas tend to be sort of girl centric. I only have neices and daughters. I learned to face paint through the girl scouts, and then we would go paint brownie troops. I am awesome at hearts and rainbows, butterflies and schools of dolphins, fairies that rest on one cheek and spit magical swirls all over the little girls face out of her star shaped wand. A boy shows up I am all....a BLUE heart? how about a don't like sport? I can write X-MEN on your cheek...I can draw a green squiggly line and call it a snake. But I found some awesome batman/spider man masks I can paint and a snake or shark that opens its mouth when you open yours!

I am so excited. And I wouldn't have had this opportunity if Brooke wasn't purposeful about plugging into our neighborhood. If you don't ask, how do you know what people need? If you don't put yourself in a place like the community meeting, you won't know they need face painters.

The best part about face painting is if you mess up, a new design is just a single wet wipe away.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Here comes SUMMER!

Summer school ends Tuesday. We are reviewing for our tests and taking finals and then I am DONE (Imagine the sing-song voice my mom always uses when she is excited that I used to think was nerdy. Yeah. I do that.) I am so very grateful that God provided a pretty easy way to store up for maternity leave, yes I sure am. It hasn't been that bad and I still get all of July off. Plus, I am only going back to school for about a month and a half and then am off until January, so I should have enough time off to not go into the mental ward.

But boy am I chomping at the bit for this all to be over!!!! I have been downloading free chick lit onto my Kindle, coming up with to do lists of how to re-arrange my house. Scheming ways to get to the ocean beach one more time this summer. (Man I really want to take the Peanut....) I am ready to sleep whenever the Peanut sleeps all day if I want to, go to the farmers market and buy whatever I want to eat for that day, make dessert, Christmas shop ( I know it is weird but I like to do it when I have time....not jam it all into December.), wander around IKEA. I want to not tell a teenager to stop talking for a whole month. And I can Tuesday at noon. IT IS SO CLOSE!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Child-care sharing: How does that work?

So, we child-care share. Or co-op or whatever else you want to call it. Bottom line is we don't pay for child care because God has lead us into this awesome relationship that we believe not only benefits our wallets, but also our kiddo(s). It is working, and all systems seem to be at go for next year as well. Christian has to get his schedule and then we will figure out the details, but both our and Elizabeth's desire is to continue the arrangement next year. (I was a little nervous when I got pregnant, it is like, "Hey you will have an extra infant next year I hope you don't mind"....when she told me she hoped it was the twins I was so relieved. But if God gives us another kid pretty soon....which we are hoping Hdoesn't.....or if this is the twins.....I don't think so but you never know, I just know they are coming.........He will have to giver her a new van. Which we are praying God will do anyway. Lady needs air conditioning, and a radio, and maybe some remote sliding doors!)

Our arrangement rocks, and I have had more than one person ask me about it because it works so well for us. And because it has NOT worked for some other people I have talked to. It also seems to be a very popular idea recently. I have seen a lot written about it. I think my generation likes to put a label on things (join a child-care co-op!) our parents and grand parents have been doing for years (watching each others kids...duh) and then claiming them as a bold new-fangled parenting solution for the  modern world! As I have been thinking about this I have figured out some things that make our arrangement particularly succesful.

Parenting Styles: We parent in a very similar way as Elizabeth. If you aren't down with the way someone parents that is fine, but I think it is unreasonable to drop your kid off at their house with their kids and then insist that you do XYZ with little Logan, please follow the same rules. Food allergies and other legitimatly special needs issues are different. But don't expect your friend to take care of your kid with a whole different set of rules than she takes care of hers. And mostly we follow the who/how rule. I trust who I leave my kids with so I don't worry about how every single thing goes down. If you are a micro-manager then you need to pay some one. That way it isn't uncomfortable when you boss them around.

Friendly arrangement or Business: Decide early, is this a business arrangement with set times, or a set number of hours a week? Or is it more loosey goosey like we have a mutual understanding that when we call each other we will say yes if at all possible? Are extra times "allowed"? Will you try to keep that even-stephen too? We started with set times. The peanut went there Tuesday and Thursday and we watched the Grimes clan on Monday and Friday. Now we have a general two day two night arrangement. Elizabeth lets us know when she is working when she gets her schedule and the Peanut goes over there when Christian decides is best for him. If we need extra, we ask but don't expect anything. It works for us.

How many: Elizabeth has three kids, we only have one. It doesn't bother us. We don't have some sort of formula where our hours equal more becuase there are more kids. Her kids are older so I don't have to dress or change all but her youngest. They aren't likely to eat something and force me to call poison control because they have surpassed the "stick everything in your mouth" stage (I'm looking at you Peanut....). I can leave them in a room for a minute and trust they aren't going to hurt themselves. Plus, we put the kids to bed not very long after Elizabeth leaves, so half of our time babysitting is spent watching Netflix on the couch. But for some people number of kids is a big deal. Not everyone would sign up to watch 5 children 6 and under......welcome to January '12!

The Age Gap: For some having everyone in the same stage is helpfu, for us I think it works better that they are not in the same age range. Part of it is personality. I love my babies but I am not a baby snatcher by nature. I won't stalk you at church to grab your new born and smell her tiny head. I have found the Peanut much more enjoyable to spend the day with since about her birthday. But Elizabeth, holy baby lover. The teeny feet, the little cries she loves to walk around with a baby in the sling (which is good because in just a few short months I have a tenant for that sling!) and lament how much bigger they have gotten in the week she hasn't seen them. She doesn't find the infant stage to be as draining as I do. Meanwhile, I dig school age kids. I like answering "why" and explaining things in a way a kid understands. I just find kids funnier and much easier to deal with when we can actually understand each other. Christian is pretty even in the developmental preferences so that evens everything out. I guess.

Grace: Ultimately it takes some grace to make this arrangement work. You have to give it, and you have to make sure you are  not taking advantage of too much grace taken not enough extended. That shakes out a little differently for everyone, but too many arrangements that I have heard of erode into one person being the free baby-sitter for the other family and quietly resenting it.

Can you speak up: If you need to re-work, or end the arrangement are you the kind of person who can? If you keep saying "yes" then some of that frustration you are feeling needs to rest on you. Do you trust God enough to know when this relationship ends another way will open up? At some point Elizabeth may get a day job, our kids will be in school when I am, Christian may get a ridiculously high paying job and I will homeschool, Elizabeth will become a best selling author and go on her book tour for two months. We will both be best selling authors and go on matching book tours and leave all the kids with Christian for two months (Thanks honey, you are the best!) Whatever the case may be, it ain't forever. And that is okay. But when the time comes, somebody needs to say something.

I think that God put this relationship in our lap for a variety of reasons. One of the pastors at our church said that us doing this for each other is the gospel being lived out. It sure feels like it. And imagine if this were the norm at churches, that people truly live lives together and meet each others needs. Heck, if people were regularly doing this for each other I think people would show up at churches in droves just to get in on the action!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Friends don't let friends......

There is a rule I have. One this: Friends don't let friends be a-holes. And if you are really my friend, and I am really being an a-hole, you will tell me to knock it off. If you let me continue to be an a-hole without my knowledge....maybe you aren't as great of a friend as I thought you were.

I have been really lucky blessed in this area of my life. My sisters have always kept me on the hook, whether it was asking me tough questions about purity in High school, or telling me I better get off my high horse before I get knocked off.

My best pal from the 6th grade, Diane, was an AMAZING accountability partner all through Jr. High and High school. And I am not the easiest person to hold accountable. I have the tendency to get a little defensive. In pre-marital counseling we took some test and Christian and I both rated me super high in hostility. Then I got hostile about it when my mom and future husband were giggling about the fact that I didn't seem to already know this about myself. I may have been standing in my childhood living room yelling "Hostile! I'm not hostile! I don't know what everyone thinks is so FUNNY! I AM NEVER HOSTILE! FINE! I DON'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT THIS!"

Sometimes, when Diane would call me out on my less than Godly attitude or behavior I would often have a million reasons to justify my behavior. It wasn't wrong. I wasn't wrong. I was completely justified in my behavior. It was good for me to be.....doing whatever I wanted to. Especially the stuff that wasn't good for me. And she was a good enough friend to not let me get away with that crap. She would stand firm, tell me it didn't matter what I said to justify it. My behavior was not Godly. Inevitably I would call back at most a few days later letting her know she was right. Could she pray for me. She already was.

Between my freshman and sophomore years of college I went on project with Campus Crusade. I ended up living in a house all summer with 8 other women. And I learned there that if you really loved someone, you wouldn't let them get away with being a butt. Yeah, a lot of times it is easier for people to just go on their merry way. What they do between them and God is really none of your business. You don't want to hurt the relationship between you and her. can get awkward. The problem with this line of thinking is that ultimately it is selfish. I don't want to be uncomfortable so I am going to continue to allow you to hurt yourself. Mostly because I don't feel like saying anything.

I know you have to develop a relationship and all of that before you can dive in. Recently a friend called me out on an attitude problem I was having. Then I tried to justify it. Then she laughed and said "You can think that if you want to, but I am pretty sure that isn't the way God works." Not unkindly, it was just that I was soooo being in the flesh right then. And we both knew my nature was seeping through. I have grown up since the days of a phone call three days later. I laughed and said she was right. I am so glad she loves me enough to not want me to be an a-hole.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Why do all the best mommy stories, have to do with poop?

I want to know, why do all the best most hilarious mothering stories have to do with poop? At least at this stage. Perhaps it is because at this stage the kids are not old enough to say loud and inappropriate things at the worst times. And if I am honest with myself, I sometimes say loud and inappropriate things when I am certainly old enough to know better. So I probably have that stuff coming to me.

I have never been very squeamish about much. I don't like blood and have almost passed out at first aid presentations. But that was in junior high, I have gotten a lot better since then. I can even watch Grey's Anatomy without closing my eyes. But bad smells and generally disgusting bodily fluids I have always been able to deal with pretty well. Except when I am pregnant. My gag reflex and sense of smell kicks in to overdrive.

WARNING: This is the part where I start telling hilarious poop stories. Well, hopefully hilarious.

I found this out last year at the Sunday after Thanksgiving  dinner my mom was hosting. The Scientist (Em's second) was hopping out of her seat and running back and forth around the table. The Scientist ran out of the room and when she came back she was swinging something back and forth. It was her diaper. And more importantly, as the Star (Em's oldest) so aptly pointed out from the other side of the table as she stood on her chair, pointed, and yelled IT'S POOP! Emily was stuck behind our overly crowded table and thus could not get to the Scientist. So Jill grabbed the Scientist and I snatched the diaper. Jill cleaned her up so before the Scientist could sit on anything while I went to three different trash cans before I found an unoccupied bathroom where I could throw the offending object away. Then I went outside to make sure that if I threw up it would be in the bushes.

Recently, Christian was helping people move and I was at home with the peanut. Our disposable diapers have snaps, but for whatever reason I grabbed a random hand me down diaper that was Velcro at the top. Hey, it matched the cutest little dress I put her in. I needed to run upstairs and check the laundry really quickly, so I left the Peanut in her nursery playing while I ran upstairs. I got distracted and the next thing I knew the Peanut was calling MAMA from the top of the stairs......with a diaper trailing behind her. Upon closer inspection there was a turd trailing out of that diaper. I stripped the Peanut and left her in the bathroom (after making sure she would be safe in there) while I simultaneously tried not to puke and picked up her little trail, and bleached the floor. This is the story that makes people crack up laughing.

And then last week I was babysitting, and I had to change the youngest's diaper. And I realized I was making gagging noises and disgusting faces because he was mimicking every single thing my face was doing. Then I was laughing, gagging, making faces, and changing the diaper. It was as amusing as he thought it was.

So really, is this just the phase of parenting I am in right now. The poop story phase? I can't wait to get into the "inappropriate and hysterical comment" stage. I was reminded yesterday that the Star spent a good portion of the French and Indian War re-enactment last summer yelling "I can see that Indian's BUTT!" I guess that is funnier than poop. But it still has to do with butts.....

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Baby Update

Dang, I was reading back through some entries and it is amazing to me what already makes sense to me, just a few months ago I was feeling the need to call out for mercy, but what the heck did that mean?

Well, it seems to mean that instead of the two boys I would need a whole bunch of new stuff for I am getting a beautiful wonderful second baby girl. And the morning after the ultrasound as I was driving to work it suddenly occurred to me that I didn't HAVE to buy anything for this baby. I will buy a few things so she can have some things all her own, and I am sure other people will as well. But I don't have to plan or list or anything. I just have to take this kid home. So easy. So awesome. Getting very excited.

While my first trimester was a lot harder this time around mostly I am shocked by my neutral appetite. I am just not that hungry. And I still fit into my regular jeans. I doubt this is coincidental. The ones I bought BEFORE the Peanut even. I really need to find the time to post some belly pics to Facebook because I look much better this time around.

God providing. I am already halfway through summer school. Clearly someone was praying there would be enough kids because I needed about ten and I have 22. They definitely needed me. And there is some other "random" money coming in. Maternity leave is abundantly covered.

New School. Someone contacted me and through the wonders of Facebook we figured out we knew some mutual friends that I don't know very well but I have a LOT of respect for their world view. I am very much at peace about what will happen next year.

Writing the book. I am doing it. It is still easier for me to not think about it and just do it. But I am doing it.

Mostly, I am amazed at the peace and grace God has given me when my default method of coping is clearly freaking out. Thanks God.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Adventures in Abbyland

I have noticed some things about myself. Things I have noticed before, but they have been peeping out as I have had a week and some change of mostly just being with me. Most notably, I get myself in situations I am not entirely sure I will be able to get myself out of. I just wing and a prayer it and think "this will probably work out" and most of the time it does. I drive far too long on a gas tank that has been sitting on E far too long. (I know for a fact the CRV can make it 60 miles round trip if you turn the car on and the get gas light is on.) I only ran out of gas one time. And the one time I did run out of gas in college, I called someone and they fixed it. No problem. I once showed up to get an entertainment center off Craigslist only to discover the CRV was about two inches too small in the opening. But my friend with a truck wasn't working that day and she and her husband came to rescue me. No problem.

Recently that same friend lent me that same truck because the Volvo-wagon is currently out of commission. And me with a truck is probably not the best idea. First, I have a tendency to over estimate what I can lift, drag, carry on my own. Second, I have TERRIBLE spacial awareness. That pre-school skill where you practice figuring out which item fits in which box without actually putting the item in the box.....I could use some work. So I have some trouble figuring out what could go in the bed of the truck and what could not. I just think, "Hey I drive a truck, I can get that!"

Yesterday I went to Lowe's to pick up the supplies for the headboard I am going to be making. I picked up an eight foot by four foot piece of ply wood, paid for it and attempted to load it into the bed of the truck that was so clearly NOT eight feet long even I was wondering if this was going to work when I whipped out my credit card. You should have seen my pregnant self struggling to cart the giant piece of wood around, then push it out of the store, before finally schlepping it into the truck bed. Where it didn't fit. And it was light and blowing and bending in the wind. Luckily, and honestly this was the way I expected it to go, some nice man came by and pushed the wood so that is was wedged underneath the box and only sticking out maybe two feet. (Hey, I live in the south I am allowed to expect some nice man will help out a struggling little big pregnant lady.)

Then I had to drive home and get this thing into my house by myself. Which, surprisingly, I did with only a few splinters to show for it. Then I had to get the thing upstairs. I had decided that I was going to get it upstairs before I painted it. Because I knew that there was a chance the giant board would not fit up the awkward narrow staircase we call our own. And I was not going to invest my time and paint on this thing only to have Christian come home and let me know I could either saw it in half or abandon it. But I did manage to get it around and up the staircase! All by myself! And now that I put the bottom coat on it occurred to me this morning that I didn't measure the space I want to hang this thing on.........hmmmmm.........

Oh well, I am sure it will work out.......

Monday, June 13, 2011

Missing You

This weekend I went to the beach with Elizabeth and her kids. It was awesome. But I did cry when I got there because I could imagine how much the Peanut would like to splash in the water and dig (and eat) in the sand. I wanted to slather her with sunscreen and have her experience it all. And I wanted Christian there with me too. Since we have been married we always go to a new place every summer. We love traveling together and know how spoiled we are that we get to take summers to do that. This year, unless we take a quick vacation to Savannah or back to the beach, we don't really have plans to do that.

On Sunday Elizabeth's kids decided they would rather chill at the pool than go back to the beach. So I took the minivan and headed out by myself. I had some really great God time, and wept as I heard what the Lord spoke into my heart. Mostly, I miss you. This here, the ocean, the beach, the warm breeze. I put it here for you to enjoy, and I was hoping we could enjoy it together. I want us to spend time together again.

Since becoming a mom I have never quite recovered from the hectic-ness of it all. I tend to spend snippets here and there with God. But picking up my Bible, reading and meditating have not happened very often if at all. God has been so gracious in showing up despite my lack of time or discipline. But I miss the concentrated time I used to have too. And I was pretty humbled that the Lord cares enough about me to miss me individually. I think sometimes I figure He has enough to worry about and surely He doesn't mind that I have been lacking in calling. But He does.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

GSSM Day 4

GSSM Day 4
Today Sergio Scataglini taught and ministered to us all day long on Holiness. All day Long. Here is a man who regularly ministers to tens and hundreds of thousands of people, one of the mot famous evangelists in South America if not the World and he is spending a whole day with 60 students. God must think we are pretty important to his kingdom. I agree with God. In the morning while Sergio taught the Holy spirit fell and this time I wept uncontrollably as God gave me a new vision and the specifics of a calling I have been carrying for awhile.
Sergio taught on Holiness. To love Holiness. The Bible calls it the beauty of Holineass, not the duty of Holiness. This makes sense to me. Graham Cook said, One thing we know about people they will do what they want. Bill Johnson said, “when you know who you are you won’t want to be anyone else”. Larry Randolph says that before there was a universe God dreamed you. The Bible says that he prepared works for you to do from before the foundations of the earth. How is this possible only in a dream from God. When you find out what that dream is (how heaven sees you) You will come in line entrain with that dream. That’s repentance. When the entrainment is complete you will be who you are and you won’t want to be anyone else. That desire is the beauty of Holiness.

Thursday, June 09, 2011


I follow Priscilla Shire's blog. It is pretty great. Every month she posts a new devotional in the section she calls the jewelry box. This month she posted about two letters. O.K. You should really go read it, but essentially she writes on how powerful those words can be. Not in a sarcastic, or dismissive tone but used in a way that says "I heard you; I trust that you heard me. I will not add any more strife to this conversation." I have noticed how powerful those words can be  because I have spent the school year working under a principal who uses them well.

People come to him with concerns. Sometimes they are valid, sometimes they aren't. When you work with as many teachers as are at my school you simply can't make everyone happy. Teachers are notorious for having gone into the profession because they get to be completely in charge of their own space. They like to be the ones telling what to do.....not the other way around. Making decisions based on what one person is telling you is probably not the best route. So he listens and says okay. Then you have to let him decide what is going to be the best way to handle the situation. Sometimes, he has a really good reason for not changing anything. Sometimes, things get changed.

Lately, with the school situation. I have heard God telling me OK. In the exact same way Mr. Sims says it. OK, I have heard you. OK, I am taking what you say into consideration. OK, I need you to let me handle it now.

This year I also learned the power of OK in my classroom. When a student won't budge, when they are being belligerent. When they are making decisions that I cannot allow in my room, and are refusing to see reason. The staff was instructed to not get into the argument, to simply say "OK" let the chips fall where they may, and let the consequences say the rest. The scary thing about this is I don't win. I want the student to KNOW I am right, to hear what I have to say, to get what I think is an adequate punishment. But I can talk forever and still not get that from a student. Sometimes when you have had your say, and things aren't immediately flipping to your side you need to trust that it will all shake out in the end and say OK.

I have been in situations before where I hear the Lord say to me OK. When I am refusing to do what He asks, when I know the better way but am not following it. When I have been railing against His plan I hear "okay" and no that God is saddened by the decisions that separate myself from Him, but that He is going to allow me to suffer the consequences, and be there when I finally decide to do it His way and ask Him to pick up the pieces.

But the OK that has been pressing on my heart most is the one that God has asked me for. The one I finally gave Him yesterday. Where I can say truly, OK. You want me at Roswell? OK. You want me to drive far and serve a suburban population? OK. And not OK...but I don't like it. OK....but I have better ideas...but this is stupid.....but....but....but. Just OK.

GSSM Day 3

Today there was great teaching in the morning but the Afternoon was amazing. Shara ( she was Heidi Baker's assistant for 2 years) who was our teacher in the morning had assembled a world class and I mean WORLD CLASS prophetic team and they prophesied over every student publicly (it only took 5 hours). I was called out early (the words they gave me were amazing) and Shara told me to go over to the corner and minister to anyone who wanted more of the Holy Spirit. (She must have noticed I had been flat on my back laughing uncontrollably during the activation period and was having fits of laughter while we where praying Bible verses in small groups. I now know this behavior scores you big points in Supernatural ministry school. Who knew?) You can imagine nobody in that group wanted more of the Holy Spirit. I prayed for other students for about an hour which gave me an Idea of what the Prophetic team was doing for 5 hours and it was exhausting but of course an amazing privilege and I was super blessed that my fellow students would trust me to partner with them in there pursuit of more Holy Spirit. My fellow students are so awesome and so hungry.

GSSM Day 2

I am at Randy Clark's Global Awakening summer intensive where we try to do a year of school of supernatural ministry in three weeks. Today was so awesome. The class of 60 is bonding and Gelling up in the Lord. Day 2 was awesome for the teaching, but mostly for the outreach we did at the end of the day. We went to the streets ( in our case a park) and I got to prophecy over a young man about his future and see an ankle shake and see healing as I prayed for this basketball player who had just injured it playing. The amazing thing was that when injured he dropped (in agony) right in front of my other two team members. They prayed for him . He was able to get up and limp around to the other end of the court and plop down next to me (God is Good) . He let me pray for his ankle twice (this made a total of 6 prayers) The second time his ankle started shaking. After a minute he got up and walked away still testing the ankle which was obviously much better. Praise God.

GSSM Day 1

I am at Randy Clark's Global Awakening summer intensive where we try to do a year of school of supernatural ministry in three weeks. Yesterday was the first day and it rocked. The head of the school Ben spent the morning talking about nothing. It was the greatest teaching on nothing I've ever heard. I went up for prayer looking for a word and instead went down for the first time ever under Ben's Prayer. They have good catchers in this place cause I'm big. I lay on the floor and prayed to receive what ever the Holy Spirit was depositing in me. In the afternoon I learned new ways to hear from God. I told Ben if we keep going like this for three weeks my head would explode. He said good. Pray for me. If you get a word for me deliver it. P.O Box 777 learning street, Myheadmayexplode, USA. or put it in the comments. Thank's

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Proof I've got a good one

I learned from someone that when a bride first steps into the church, where most of the people are looking is not where the show is. I mean, of course you want to look at her, the dress, the hair, the make up, the dress, the shoes, the back of the dress. But, there is time for all of that later.

The real show is up front. The best place to look when the bride walks into the church is at the groom. At his face. I have been to weddings where you could tell the exact second the groom could see the bride walking in. My breath has been caught in my throat or I have audibly sighed at his reaction to his love. I have been to weddings where Christian had to elbow me because the bride was half way down the aisle and the grooms face had not changed and it was becoming increasingly obvious I was looking in the wrong place as everyone else was slowly turning with the bridal march. That one was a bummer.

We were at a wedding this past weekend for Christian's cousin Jessica. It was really beautiful. We sat in the back so I could make a quick get away with the Peanut if she decided she had had enough of this sitting quietly having people pay attention to someone who is not her business. Somehow between making sure the baby wasn't screaming her face off and being in the back I forgot my usual behavior at weddings and turned to face the back of the church when I was instructed to by the minister.

The bride was gorgeous and looking wholly like a bride and completely like herself in the best possible way. I definitely caught the moment where she saw her groom for the first time. It was pretty great. But apparently I missed the big show. Christian poked me and whispered, did you see that? And when I looked at him he was looking at the groom who was still trying to recover from the moment his bride walked in the door. And Christian was wiping tears out of his eyes. "You missed a good one." Yes. I did, and I also got a good one.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

The stuff never-written books are made of.

I have been hearing it, again.I have been hearing the voice again compelling me to write. Not just in my blog or on twitter (which I am finding way more fun than I thought it would be) but continuing to work on a book that  I have been working on, on and off for about four years.I thought it was just because I was being lazy, procrastinating. Hey it isn't like I haven't been guilty of it before.

Jill, ever the therapist, has asked me if I was afraid of success or failure....definitely failure. What if I write a whole book and no one is interested? What is they think it is stupid? What if no one will publish it?

Then one of my friends sent me an email about her recent trip to India. She had a quotation from bell hooks. I should probably look it up but that whole laziness thing. It was basically about how if we are going to honestly write about our life, our situation, then we must face the darkest parts of our selves. We must own the things that we thought and said that were wrong. Admit that we did them. Only then can we move past it all.

It is why we need mommy blogs, well why people read them anyway. I don't think it is an accident that the woman the NY times crowned Queen of the Mommy Bloggers is the same woman who checked herself into a psych ward because she realized her PPD was going to kill her. She wrote through it. People identified. It isn't that being a mom isn't life changing and incredible and completely amazing. But sometimes your kid strips off her diaper on the way all the way through the house and you have to wash her new dress and put on a clean dress. Then you have to go through the house and find all the turds she dropped on her way to find you while she screams her head off when we you try to keep her contained as you pick up her poop and try not to vomit. Those stories need to be shared so that when it happens to someone else, she can know she isn't alone. And she will laugh about it later.

I want to write that book for first year teachers. The book I wish I had my first year. The one that admits that every thing you said you would never do in teacher will do those things. Punish with homework, lose your temper, give up one day, give up on a kid even though you do truly believe that every student can and has the right to learn. I said things to students that I am not proud of. I had whole days that were unequivocal failures. My victories were smaller most days than I had ever dreamed. But I pushed through it, and after four years I am starting to become the teacher I was so sure I was when all I did all day was talk educational theory.

Now all I have to do is take these next two weeks and actually write that business. No problem.........if I do it. Which I haven't even before I had kids......Wish me luck.