Saturday, December 29, 2007

A Wonderful Christmas

My parents and siblings came to Texas this year for Christmas. We had a wonderful time together!

We cooked....and ate...

(I really did help, but at this particular moment, I had been instructed to sit down and put my feet up. Mom was wonderful in all she did to help, as was the rest of the family!)

We played games...

We opened a lot of presents...

We even had time to relax...

Merry Christmas Everyone!!

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Some friends recently introduced me to this great hippopotamus Christmas song. They couldn't believe that I'd never heard it before. In case you also fall into that category, I've included a link of a You Tube version of the song below.

I think this song is particuarly entertaining for a couple of reasons. First, the pronunciation of "hippopotamusses" cracks me up! Isn't it so like kids to be convinced that they're saying it right, but really be so wrong? But it doesn't even matter because it is so cute! I'm telling you, kids are the only ones who can get away with horrible grammar and pronunciations.

My parents tell me that when I was young (but still much older and wiser than my little brother), one such situation occurred. Keenan was asking for more "sghetti"; I firmly corrected him saying, "it's not 'sghetti', it's 'p-sghetti'!" And of course in my stubborn little mind, I was absolutely right!

The other reason I like the hippo song is because it accentuates how children can get obsessed with something and be absolutely sure that it would work out. I remember telling my parents that of course there was room for a horse to live in our backyard! (and I still think, why not? it'd be so much fun!)

Monday, December 10, 2007

the golden compass, part 2

Well, here it is a week and a half later, and I've finished listening to "The Golden Compass." Actually, I finished it last Wednesday, but I've been having a rough time getting my thoughts organized concerning its merit. It definitely left me hanging, and I already requested the next book on CD from the library. Hopefully it comes soon!

As far as fictional stories go, it is great - truly intriguing and fun to read (or listen to). At best, I would say that my thoughts are inconclusive. While I thoroughly enjoyed the story, I am hesitant to regard it as worthy literature for children. I suppose the main reason for my confusion is that I've heard so very much from various Christian organizations basically condemning it. Focus on the Family's Plugged In representative gave the movie 1 out of 5 on the family friendly scale. Even Dr. Darrell Bock, a noted Dallas Theological Seminary professor whom Heath & I both admire, was shown on TV last week saying that Christians should at least be wary of the books. Do you see my dilemna? Do I dare disagree with such wise men and women?

I think I'm beginning to understand why prayer is needed so much as we learn to live righteously and teach our children to do the same!

Friday, November 30, 2007

the golden compass

Recently, I received a message from a Facebook friend that directed me to a website about the movie "The Golden Compass." I'd heard nothing previously about this movie, and I'm generally one to ignore such messages, but on this particular day curiosity won out and I clicked the link. opened and the question posed was whether or not the new movie "The Golden Compass" is "based on books with anti-God & anti-religious themes". (For those who may not be as nerdy as my husband and I, is a website devoted to researching urban legends.) This particular legend was deemed "true" and from what I gathered from the article, there is a debate among Christians about the danger of letting our children both see the movie and read the book. Sources said that the author (Philip Pullman) of the three volume series "His Dark Materials" of which "The Golden Compass" is first, is decidedly athiest, and that his books are meant to be actively opposed to C.S. Lewis' "The Chronicles of Narnia." Apparently, the movie is a tame version of the books, which causes alarm that children will see the movie, love it, read the books, and be indoctrinated with all sorts of anti-God ideas. By this time, my curiosity was aroused even further and since I very belatedly joined the search to discover for myself the quality of the Harry Potter books, I decided I would not fall behind on this one. Immediately I found the audio recording version of "The Golden Compass" in the Dallas Public Library's system and requested the next available copy.

I've been listening to it since Monday on my drive to and from work (an easy 45 minutes one way). I am about halfway through, and I won't deny that the story is intriguing. I feel constantly pulled in by the plot and all the unknown factors. It is a magical, fanciful story, and already I have come across several great themes. Themes like the desire & need to rescue those who have been lost or enslaved; prophecies of one to come who will save all life; the battle between good and evil; the knowledge that there exists another world, one that cannot be seen. And I'm sure there are many more. Although it isn't a Christian book, so far I can't say that it is anti-God any more than I can say Harry Potter is anti-God. As of yet, I cannot rate this book as either a "bad" or a "good" book; only that it should be read with the understanding that it is a fictional work of the imagination of an imperfect man. Just as anything must be held up against Truth, so must this book.

As I continue to listen to the story and finish it, I'll keep you posted on any further thoughts...

If you're interested in finding out more, here's the link to the article, as well as a few other news articles:,2933,305487,00.html'Golden_Compass'_Author_Denies_Promoting_Atheism_in_Books.htm

Sunday, November 25, 2007

a little Thanksgiving, a little Christmas

Our day of thanksgiving was spent at one of my co-workers' house. The day promised to be entertaining and comfortable with the company consisting of my co-worker, his wife and 2 college age boys, their air force friend, and my co-worker's wife's niece from Korea and her 3 friends. We watched a little football, played a little Wii, ate too much food, talked and laughed a lot, and generally had a wonderful time!

Saturday was our day to pick out the Christmas tree and get out all of the holiday decorations. I was incredibly excited and made plans to cook the extra turkey in our refrigerator. However, morning brought with it a messy, dreary, rainy day. And then began the deliberations on whether or not we'd go ahead with our plans. We decided to take the risk and went to Home Depot to pick out the perfect tree. Since it was raining, though, we were some of the very few who wanted to stand outside and look at the trees - shocking, I know. Even the sales associates were nowhere to be found. Seriously, it took the customer service lady about 10 minutes and 3 or 4 intercom calls to get someone with a coat on up to the front of the store to help us! (The gate around the trees was locked, thus necessitating us waiting for the sales associate.) Finally, we followed the rather unwilling Home Depot dude out to the tree lot and began our search. It didn't take too long because we were quite cold and getting wetter by the minute. We found the perfect tree, got it wrapped and in the car, and went home.

Heath cut off the lower branches and got it set up in our living room to let it dry for awhile before we began decorating. In the meantime, I made some stuffing and sweet potatoes, put my first turkey in the oven, and rested after all that work!

I'm not sure why the kitty is so exhausted, but I sure was tired!

Later that evening, we had a wonderful time decorating with Christmas music playing and our bellies full of Thanksgiving goodies. Truly we have a lot for which to give thanks!

Our first turkey turned out very yummy! I think the turkey bag and some advice from my mom saved the day!

Didn't it turn out pretty?

Friday, November 2, 2007

a flock of friends or foes?

On my way to Bible study last night, my attention was caught by a large gathering of little black birds at the corner of Marsh and Preston. It must be a yearly occurrence because I remember seeing them last fall, too. Around dusk, they begin to gather by the hundreds, filling the tops of every tree lining the street, as well as all of the telephone wires. It is almost a creepy sensation to drive through the intersection as their chirping and cheeping and cawing fills your ears, but last night I was merely curious. What makes them gather every year only in the fall and only at dusk? Why these trees at this intersection? Who organized this meeting? Is there a city bird council to debate important matters concerning safe aviation and the successful marking of cars? Maybe it's a secret meeting to discuss an overthrow or uprising against the current goverment...Or maybe they're interested in helping us humans keep our city clean and they're going to organize a trash pick-up day.

Whatever it is, I really would like to know...

Saturday, October 27, 2007

my down-home hair salon

This may sound arrogant, but I think I found the coolest hair salon in Dallas. Notice, though, that I did not say "the most upscale hair salon." The upscale salon is probably easier to find in this rich metropolitan city. My salon is only about a 7 minute drive from our apartment. It has a fun, family atmosphere where everyone seems to know each other; somehow, even though I know no one and should feel out of place, I feel strangely at home. It's a comfortable little salon with no pretentious decor. It's probably more likely that the furniture all came from a second-hand store down the street than a fancy Dallas store. That's what I love about it - it has character. All the stylists are Hispanic, as are many of the patrons, so there is very often a lovely mixture of Spanish and English coversation floating around. It seems that the majority of the customers are elderly women getting their weekly or bi-weekly hair setting. I think they're adorable! I love to just sit back and watch from my conveniently centered perch. And then there's my stylist. The first time I called for an appointment, not knowing who to ask for, she was the one with an open time slot. Her name is Rosie, and she is a hip Hispanic mother of 2 children. From my first apppointment with her, I have appreciated her ability to cut my hair quickly and exactly how I wanted it (that's a feat because I struggle to communicate exactly what I want). In fact, this morning I went in for my normal 2 month cut, and I walked out 15 minutes later completely satisfied with the result!

It probably was a combination of the early morning coolness and the wonderful fall smells that put me in such a great mood. But I still love everything about my hair salon - even the dirty floor, water spotted ceiling, and furniture with cracking paint. But especially, I love the people that I get to come in contact with; it's easier to believe that they are real people with real problems than any of the upscale mansion owners that I see.

Friday, October 26, 2007

tag, you're it

Apparently, there is a grown up way to play tag that is less, shall we say, physically demanding. I have been tagged by my friend Kelly. The rules in this game are such:

For each letter of my middle name I must:
- share 1 unique characteristic about me and
- tag 1 person for each letter of my middle name.

Here goes....
my middle name is MARIE

M usic lover. I can't get enough of it!

A rtist wanna-be. Read my first post to find out more about this...

R eader. For lack of anything else interesting about me...I love to read all sorts of books.

I ntrovert. By this I mean that I would prefer to spend quality time with a few close friends than go to a huge and crazy party.

E xpert Nerts player. It's a two or more player very fast game of solitaire.

And now I am supposed to tage 5 people. The problem with this is I only know of about 5 people who are blogging, so I apologize for any double-tagging that may occur!

I choose Greg H (it's been awhile since you were tagged), Karen, Jenna, Emily S, and Keenan (you'll have to start blogging!).

(That was much easier than chasing kids around the blacktop and potentially falling, as much fun as that is.)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

the texas state fair

I know, it's been a long time since I've written anything here. In my defense I have been extremely tired as I've been putting in some overtime at work, and my creative juices just have not been flowing - lame, I know. But it's the truth. I'm sure some of you mothers out there are thinking, "Oh boy, how is she ever going to make it being a mother?" (I wonder that myself!!)

In the not-so-recent news....Heath & I went to the Texas State Fair on October 13th. It was a big deal for me as I had never been to a state fair. Last year I was quite disappointed that we weren't able to go with all the moving expenses. So this year, I decided to start a State Fair fund months in advance to make sure we had enough cash to cover the exorbitant cost of just parking and walking in the front gate! Not only were we able to go, but it turned out to be beautiful weather - sunny with a cool breeze.

Highlights of our day include:

* being some of the first people there in the morning

* visiting the animals in the barns - especially the baby goats!

* eating corn dogs & loaded nachos

* seeing the Cotton Bowl and Big Tex

* tasting free food samples

* marveling over the biggest sand sculpture I've ever seen

* enjoying it all with my wonderful husband

Thursday, September 27, 2007

rainbows and patience

I wasn't feeling particularly happy when I set out for the drive to work this morning. Neither was I all that sad or angry. I was just BLAH.

All that changed as I drove down a less crowded than usual highway. I looked up and saw a tiny sliver of a rainbow, peeking through the clouds, its beauty enhanced by the brilliant sunlight. It was like a sigh of relief to my soul as I remembered the famous words:

"Never again will I curse the ground because of human beings, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done. I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant betwen me and the earth."

This God, who has the ability to crush the entire earth in his hands, has promised to be patient with all of us perverse humans, at least for a while longer. Now that is worth some celebrating!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

hello, Morning

I love mornings. I love the coolness of the air, the rising of the sun, the birds singing melodies. I love that there is nothing wrong in the day; everything starts afresh. All the worries and troubles from the night before have diminished before the newness of the dawn. It is especially true for me this morning that the sorrow may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning.

Yesterday was not a great day. Without intending to, I hurt a co-worker's feelings. I had a minor (and I repeat - MINOR) fender-bender. (Give praise to Jesus that everyone is okay!) And I broke my favorite sunglasses, the ones that I found for $5 at the flea market after years of searching. So, yeah, I was in tears last night and ready for a fresh start.

It's a new day. Welcome!

Friday, September 21, 2007

pet peeve #1

Ok. I have to stop working for a minute and just share a HUGE pet peeve that I have: wasted time, especially when it is my time wasted by someone else. It is my job to answer the phones at work, but generally they consist of just transferring the caller to the appropriate person. However, in the last few days I have received the following thoroughly frustrating phone call!

Me: Joshua Expeditons, this is Kristen.
Automated Voice (aka Time Waster): There is a minor delay in connecting your call, but your party wishes you to know that this is a very important call. Please hold to be connected.
[hold music]
Me: I'm not calling anybody...!
Time Waster: This is a very important call. Please hold to be connected to your party.
[more hold music]
Me: Maybe you didn't hear me the first time - I'm not calling anyone!
Time Waster: I'm sorry, I have been unable to connect you to your party....
Me: Good riddance! [click]

What a waste of 2 minutes of my time & energy!
Now, I know this is not a very godly response, but it's my response nonetheless, and I thought it was worth blogging about.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

two groups of people

A couple weeks ago, I was enjoying a lovely morning at Panera and saw a group of men who must have been having a Bible study. It was quite refreshing to see them discussing the Word and applying it to their lives. I was too far away to listen in but felt the common bond between believers in Christ. I love to see groups like this in the mornings because it gives me reason to believe that middle age & the real world (aka out of college) don't have to deflate one's love for Christ.

This morning, I had quite the opposite experience at the same establishment. While I was sitting in what I thought would be a secluded booth, a group of white haired women sat down at the large table nearby. At first I was pleased to have them sitting so close, so that I could, of course, overhear their conversation - which I was sure would be quite enlightening. I couldn't have been more disappointed. They expressed shock over a departing man's braided pony tail, related stories and concerns about friends and relatives, and discussed the cost of gas in the olden days. While it isn't wrong to sit around and chat about whatever, I was just hoping to hear something from them that would encourage me to stand strong in the faith.

I suppose I set myself up for disappointment this morning. And I suppose that I did learn something important by the absence of what I was hoping for. But I don't want to fall into that category in my old age. I want to be like the respected man of God who is still teaching seminary classes at 92 years old.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

valuable age

Society has a certain fascination with old things. Oftentimes, the older an item is, the higher its worth. Take classic automoblies for example - they are decades old and sport none of the most sought after convenient trappings. Yet they are ogled over when seen on the road. And what about antique anything? In my book, "antique" is a synonym of very expensive! Old baseball cards of famous players are worth a fortune. And don't forget the writings of Shakespeare and Dickens that have been taught in classrooms for decades.

What is it that makes a worn, weather-beaten book full of dust and crinkled pages so enchanting? Why is it worth more to a family to have great-grandma's dining room table refinished than to buy a brand new one from Pottery Barn? I submit to you that it is the very fact of being old that makes an item worthy of attention. It has survived the test of time and "lives" to tell the story.

However, the craze over old items ends when you start talking about old people. Here in America, where we're known for prizing time, money, convenience, and business profitabilty, old people rate very low to us on the scale of worthiness. This is an incredible mistake, a significant loss to our society.

I was reminded of this great falacy during our new building dedication at our church. As part of the service, the history of the church was told by video interviews of the founding members and pastors. Hearing their pieces of the history gave me a fresh appreciation for their lives and wisdom present among us. By their prayers and sacrificed time, the church I now enjoy was formed. It was they who taught the children to fear God and obey Him; now those children are the pastors and teachers whose words God is using to change my heart.

I am just beginning to understand what it meant for the Israelites to worship the God of their forefathers - of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob; what it meant to hear the old, old stories of crossing the Red Sea, or conquering Jericho; why the apostles quoted the teaching of the prophets. These were the men and women who had gone before them, whom God had used, despite their failings, to accomplish His purpose. These, like the elderly in our congregaton today, were the people who had experienced the joys and frustrations of life, and through it all clung to God as their only hope.

And that perseverance seen in a life well lived is worth noticing and worth following. For it is not just that a person has lived to be eighty years old, but that they have walked with God for so many of those years. It is the righteousness that God has wrought in their hearts and lives that is worth noticing.

And that is what I should value.

Friday, September 14, 2007

a strange paradox

The non-profit student travel company that I work for recently moved 27 miles from a north Dallas office to a growing and affluent community in McKinney. There is nothing more paradoxical in my life than entering a property surrounded with a low stone wall similar to what you would find in the English countryside and walking into the double wide trailer that is our new office. This is a picture of the other buildings near our lovely "mobile mini."
Now don't get me wrong...I think it is quite appropriate that our company work out of a trailer in the midst of such a gorgeous complex. For this group of people gathered by God to inspire students to do His work, everyday is a reminder of the humility that is required in such a ministry. Just as our Savior did not come to be served, but to serve, so are we to be servants to an arrogant, but dying world.

an evening with friends

This morning my cup is overflowing (evident by my watery eyes). The sky is more vibrant, the sun brighter, the air crisper. The reason is that last night I had the wonderful blessing of seeing a couple of old friends. These are not just any friends - they are to me like Paul must have been to Timothy. Their faith is real, their love sincere, and although they haven't said it in so many words, their lives say "follow us as we follow Christ." It was these friends that the Lord used to make an incredible impact in my heart during my high school years. And even though the time we had last night was short, it was more precious to me than any number of things that money can buy. Thanks to you, Greg & Kelly, for an evening of refreshing conversation!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

the thorn in my flesh

concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. and He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”

may I only learn to rest and be satisfied in His bountiful favor.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

in the words of a. w. tozer

Recently, while reading Tozer's The Knowledge of the Holy, these words struck me with their simple truth.

"When the Scripture states that man was made in the image of God, we dare not add to that statement an idea from our own head and make it mean "in the exact image." To do so is to make man a replica of God, and that is to lose the unicity of God and end with no God at all. It is to break down the wall, infinitely high, that separates That-which-is-God from that-which-is-not-God. To think of creature and Creator as alike in essential being is to rob God of most of His attributes and reduce Him to the status of a creature. It is, for instance, to rob Him of His infinitude: there cannot be two unlimited substances in the universe. It is to take away His sovereignty: there cannot be two absolutely free beings in the universe, for sooner or later two completely free wills must collide. These attributes, to mention no more, require that there be but one to whom they belong."

There is nothing I can nor want to add. He articulated it perfectly.

Monday, August 20, 2007

bugs, bugs go away

If there is one hard and fast rule that governs my home, it is this: Bugs do not belong. Beware any creepie-crawlies: you will be smashed and flushed without a second thought. I do not bother you in your space, don't you bother me in my space. (Besides, it gives me the willies to imagine any little creature crawling about my home just waiting to surprise me!)

My cat - and newfound hero - and I had an interesting experience last week. I had just come inside and much to my chagrin, a little gecko was resting on my living room wall! (I should mention here that I've had several traumatizing encounters with geckos). Now, of course it was not in the most convenient place for me to remove it. It was above the stairs just out of my reach. By now, Bashful had also spotted the creature and was eyeing it hungrily. At that point, I decided the two of us must become partners in order to catch the invader. I began pounding on the wall, trying to scare the gecko over to a wall where either of us could reach it. I even tried throwing a plastic cup at it, hoping to knock it off it's perch on my wall. No such luck. My attempts only caused the gecko to move further into the middle of the wall. Now what? I asked Bashful.

And then I had a brilliant idea - Bug spray! It had to do the trick! While shouting at Bashful to keep a watchful eye on the gecko, I ran downstairs to get my can of tropical splash bug spray. I ran back upstairs and joined the kitty on the living room banister behind the couch. Gingerly, I hung over the banister, pointed the spray can at the gecko, and pushed the lever. A very stunned gecko fell off the wall. Woohoo!! The job was almost finished. Bashful raced down the stairs and pounced on our prey. It was only a few minutes later that I was able to scoop up the poor gecko (minus his tail) and toss him outdoors. Phew! Mission accomplished!

(for those of you who like to read the epilogues of books, here is a quick note: I was shaking with relief at the end of this episode, Bashful got a handful of kitty treats, and he became my hero - at least for the day.)

Thursday, August 2, 2007

the forest hides behind the trees

I love visionaries. I have known a few in my life, my high school youth pastor being one of them. I am always amazed at the inspiring effect people like him have on me. Every so often, I need to be reminded why I'm doing the what and how. My personality is definitely Type A; details are my speciality. In fact, Heath & I discovered a curious difference in our personalities while we were on a photography date in downtown Dallas. He wanted to get panoramic shots of the downtown skyline, while I was only interested in the up close and personal shots of a mailbox, a sign, or the crisscrossing bars in a fence. My favorite photographs are those that hone in on a certian aspect of the overall picture. Needless to say, the details that I am so interested in and pretty good at noticing tend to narrow my vision. In doing so, I begin to only see the things that are my responsibility and not how crucial they are to the overall picture. Not only that, but I tend to get sloppy in my work.

This is why that I need to be reminded of the why of life.

I had just such an opportunity yesterday. It was my company's annual training day, and we had the pleasure of hearing both of the Co-Founders and the Director of International Leadership speak. This was a new experience for me, since my first day of work was a couple weeks after the training last year. Now I understand a little more why these men have accomplished what they have - they are wonderful visionaries. They see the big picture, and it is constantly the why behind the what of their work. A few minutes into their talks, I remembered first finding out about JE when I was applying for jobs last summer; I was very excited about their mission to "bring the world to young people and the Gospel to the world." It is simple and straightforward. It was a vision I could get behind and support, something that would make my work meaningful and worth doing well.

And I realized yesterday that I have forgotten this very important vision that is the goal of my work Monday thru Friday 9am to 5pm. It's an incredible trajedy that for many months my job has been an isolated project to me. The reality is this: for months I've been doing a lousy job of answering the phones and being the office assitant here just because I forgot the why behind the what. The truth is that my job (however menial it can seem some days) is crucial to the smooth operation of this company, whose mission is to teach the Word of God and disciple young people to do the same through their specific gifts.

Lord help me remember that whatever I do, it ought to be done in Your Name and for Your glory.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

north, south...which way?

My husband can get himself pretty much anywhere from wherever he is, even if he forgets to look at a map. He has a sort of internal compass that doesn't necessarily point North (reference to Pirates of the Caribbean), but somehow he ends up where he wants to be...every time! I have given up trying to figure out where his magic wand is hidden and now I just am amazed by his obvious ability!

I, on the other hand, am completely lost if I don't:

1. know the street name that I am on
2. know the street name that I am headed to
3. know some landmarks along the route
4. have a map in my hand
5. understand the general layout of North,South,East,West in relationship to the streets & destination that I am working with

So you see, Heath has the better deal here. He needs basically zero information to survive, while I need one of those GPS systems strapped to me!

As long as I'm with him, we'll arrive at our destination. That's really why I married him! :)

Monday, July 30, 2007

learning to drive...again

I guess this is my time to be a student again...our recent purchase of a 5 speed Ford Focus has given reason for me to learn how to drive once more. I really thought I was done with the scaring feelings of being behind the wheel of a vehicle which could do more damage in a few wayward seconds that I could do in my whole life. I remember being scared to death as my dad taught me to drive when I was only 14 years old - I felt completely out of control when I was supposed to be the one in control! What is it about being out of control that I hate? Why does it scare me? Probably because I have no idea where I'm going or how I'm going to get there...but wasn't it Abraham who "when called...obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going"? Oh to be a woman who will go when called, even when I am completely out of control!

Saturday was the day all those emotions came racing back, when Heath drove to a deserted parking lot and switched places with me. It was hard to focus on all the directions he was giving me, especially after we started moving. My mind was overwhelmed just trying to keep my hands on the wheel, but he was giving me more things to do..."push the clutch put it into 2nd...ease up off the you hear that?...give it some more gas...keep the engine high like that...good...more gas, more gas!...clutch!!!"

With all these instructions, I could barely think, much less follow them as quickly as I needed to. After making it around the parking lot once and killing the engine a few times, my eyes started to well up and it was time to go. But overall, I'd say it was a good first lesson. We didn't get in a fight over it, nor do I hate the thought of trying again.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

midnight musings

Every night I am awoken several times by the nagging pain of nature's call. Additionally, somewhere between 5-7am, our kitty wakes me up with his piercing . I stagger upstairs with him perched in my arms somewhat precariously and give him a change of scenery in the bathroom. During these frequent nocturnal awakenings, I have started to wonder what it will be like to arise to a fussy or screaming baby who needs to be fed, changed, or just cuddled. Will I be immediately wide-awake, ready to fulfill my child's every need? Will I just stare in amazement at the precious child the Lord has given to us? Will I be reminded of the fragileness of life and our dependence on the Father by his or her tiny fingers and toes?

I guess you could say that my ideas of motherhood are still very idealistic. However unrealistic my thoughts may be, I'd like to believe that these "romantisized moments" are not so few and far between!

(I know that it's more likely that I'll be struggling to keep my eyes open and my thoughts coherent, just as I do now!)

Monday, July 23, 2007

the (almost) distastrous haircut

Saturday morning Heath & I decided to tackle the somewhat overwhelming job of learning to cut his hair. Well, I was the one doing the cutting, but he was in charge of explaining what I ought to do. Despite his years of experience with getting his hair cut and his immense knowledge on the subject, the time arrived when he no longer knew exactly what I should do. The sticking point was the blending of the different lengths; he wasn't quite sure what the next step should be, and I had absolutely no idea. We were at a standstill...

...and enter one very emotional pregnant woman! The tears started flowing as my frustration grew with my lack of knowledge on the subject and a job half completed. Despite the seemingly impossible situation, everything ended up just fine, his hair looks pretty good (it'll be even better next time, I'm sure!), and we both learned a couple of things. Heath realized just how sensitive I am right now and how easily I'll cry! And in the midst of my obsessive perfectionism, I understood that learning something new rarely happens without failure. Experience is one of my greatest teachers!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

introducing: bashful, the tabby cat

Heath & I share our one bedroom apartment in north Dallas with a very sociable orange and white tabby cat. Though he was born on a farm, my family's adoption of him for my 16th birthday led to the loss of both his claws and his freedom to chase the birds outdoors. Needless to say, his energy did not just disappear with his claws; we are the glad recipients of the amusement he provides.

It's a morning ritual that I give him a good brushing as soon as I go upstairs. He has learned this so thoroughly (who said that cats have a pea-sized brain?) that he whines for as long as I wait to brush him. It doesn't fail to amuse me to see him leap over to the brush in my hand to show me where he likes to be brushed. He rubs his face and whiskers along the brush, almost so that I have to do very little work at all. Curiousity is his downfall, I am brushing his back, he noticies the basket only barely out of reach. He edges nearer and nearer, causing me to lean forward in order to continue his massage. Finally, I pull back and wait for him to realize that he must come back to me for further attention.

One morning this week, I was shocked at the parallels between me and my kitty and my relationship with Jesus. More often that I'd like to admit, I fall prey to distractions and wander just a little bit out of the care of the Father. Then, like my kitty, I wonder where He has gone or why I no longer sense His presence. The truth is that He hasn't changed one bit - only I have gone away from Him. All that is left to do is to retrace my steps until I am once again under His wings.

the work of an Artist

Creation amazes me. Everything about it - the colors, shapes, designs, patterns, not to mention the sheer creativity of it all! What amazes me most about the work of the Creator is how easy it was for Him to create flawless masterpeices.

Ever since I was a little girl, I have wanted to be an artist. I tried drawing and ended up with sickly horses and oddly proportioned people. I searched every craft book I could find on the bookshelf at the end of the hall, finding intriguing patterns for dollhouses made out of cardboard boxes and pretty containers covered with buttons, fabric, and paint. Sewing struck my fancy for a few years and I took up crossstitching, an easy quilt, and latch hook rugs. To my surprise, I actually did pretty well with all of those. I was encouraged, and stepping out on a limb, I tried my hand at one stroke painting. After hours of practice and paint splatters on a few of my favorite articles of clothing, I reached a point where I was happy with the finished product. I have dabbled in photography, pottery, scrapbooking, decorating the house. Yet the more I try, the more amazed I am with all I see in the world around me. Such preciseness, creativity, loving care, and order. Surely the earth displays the glory of the Lord!

My deepest hope is that my life will reveal the majesty of my King the way the rest of the created world does.