"I've found that when life's brush obscures my view with gloomy strokes that seem to mar the scene, God's hand appears and gives to sunless hue and dreary skies a more majestic sheen." Gustafson

26 April 2007

Quote of the day

"Every change in the quality of a person's life must grow out of a change in his or her vision of reality."
-Brennan Manning, "The Wisdom of Tenderness"

25 April 2007

Mama's in prison

They enter with hard hearts, callous from life’s twisted fate.
Rough and tough,
Their destiny, four bare cement walls and confinement.
Separated from their addictions and family,
They have time to think, to wrestle with themselves, to fight with God.
Who will they turn to? A seemingly hopeless state.

Then enter two unknown, non-criminal women. They come to bring hope. They come to give. They come to love. They come without fear.
They wash feet and give pedicures, teach Bible studies, lead worship and pray.
Hearts humbled. Tears fall. Walls broken. Lives restored. Hope renewed.
The battle hasn’t been won but the women are better, stronger, ready for a new life on the outside.
Jesus becomes real. He gives life. Victory is seen in the near distant future.

My mama’s in prison....giving pedicures, washing feet, teaching Bible studies, leading worship, praying. All for Jesus.

21 April 2007

Pea Party on the Patty

BEB loves "Pea Parties on the Patty" translated Tea Parties on the Patio! Her Nana Lin & Pa Bell gave her a folding, off white metal table & chair set that is easy enough for a 2 year old to carry around (thus the knee bruises!). After watching her move the table & chairs from here to there and back again, all over the patty and to and from Cotton's patty, I believe she'd make a great designer on Trading Spaces or one of those TLC Redesign or Design on a Dime shows.
When she actually sits down for a minute, we enjoy tea with sugar in her Princess tea cups. She likes serving tea to anyone who will join her!

*Title written by BEB's Aunt Jordie. Thanks for the idea!

19 April 2007

Adios papi

Tuesday marked a milestone in BEB's life. A few months back, we prepped her and told her that once she turned 2 years old, papi (her beloved pacifier that she only gets at bedtime) would be going bye-bye. We've shared how the Papi Fairy would be coming to take her papi(s) and give them to all the kids who don't have one. We explained that she would be helping other kids and that it's all part of sharing what we have with others.

Her birthday came and went and with the ear surgery still ahead, we decided to give her a little more time. We wanted to make it disappear Monday night but didn't feel like it would be fair to leave that task to our babysitter while we were at a meeting.

So, Tuesday night, we endeavored what we thought might be the impossible. CNB explained the whole process to BEB and my task was to be the gopher and encourager. CNB had me get her Tinkerbell wrapping paper, an empty gold box, a blank card, her baby Karen's papi and her beloved pacifiers. He picked her up, set her on the counter, and proceeded to tell her that it was time to wrap up her papies and give them to the kids. She put one in the box and one in her mouth. It stayed there until the last second before the gift would be wrapped – never to be seen again! We wrote a card to the Papi Fairy and encouraged Brit to color a picture for the kids. She thought it would be nice to give them some of her crayons and a pack of fruit snacks, too. So the gold box contained 2 papies, her baby Karen's papi, 5 crayons and the card. The fruit snacks made it to her mouth before making it in the box! CNB wrapped it up in Tinkerbell paper and we took a family walk to the mailbox, with Mimi, Papa & Scout in tow. BEB has learned which box is ours in the long row of mailboxes and went straight to it and opened it up. We said a little prayer and tucked the box in and told her that we'd come back tomorrow to pick up a note and prize from the Papi Fairy (Chris is shopping for the prize & I'm in charge of the card!).

She did amazingly well with the whole getting rid of process. It went almost too well. We thought we could be in for a long night as it's not unusual for her to wake up in the middle of the night calling out for papi. During our bedtime prayers, she made a shout out to papi twice but that was it. We bundled her up in her 'blank' and tucked her in with her favorite bedtime animal 'Lambey'. From the beginning, Lambey and papi have been inseparable – when she has one, she's always had the other. It was time to cut the ties between them and show her that Lambey can survive on his own! She whimpered a few times during the night but never once screamed out for her device.

Wednesday: After work, CNB secretly 'planted' the Tinkerbell wrapped package from Lily the Papi Fairy in our mailbox. We got out the video camera and took BEB for a stroll down to check the mail. Retrieved the package, came back in, tried reading the card from Lily (she wouldn't let me finish!) and watched her slowly tear the Tinkerbell wrapping paper. Inside she found a beautiful, blue barbie-like-doll Fairy (we named) Lily.

She's had fun playing with Lily the last few days and when she mentions papi now she quickly follows it up by saying 'kids' indicating she's well aware of where her beloved papi has gone.

You better believe we thought about a back-up plan! We kept one papi on-hand – just in case!

For those parents out there - if your kid needs to let go of something, you might want to try our technique. It's a little like telling them about the Tooth Fairy - they give up something to get a little treat. Successful so far - but we're only on day 3!

15 April 2007

Ladies: Do you ever feel like a Potato Head?

Me vs. the plastic potato....

We bought BEB a Mrs. Potato Head for her birthday. She came fully equipped with glasses, shoes, big eyeballs, a sun visor, green hoop earrings, a red purse, large pink ears, lanky white arms, plump red lips and a round nose. A frumpy looking lady, to say the least. BEB loves to rearrange her parts - some days, you'll find Frumpy PH lying around the house with an arm coming out of her head, lips for an ear and eyes in her mouth. My sister also gave her a package with beautiful Princess Potato Head accessories. When Princess PH is all put together, she's crowned with a tall, veiled hat, bright eyes with lashes, full lips, pink high heels, one hand on her hip and a green frog perched in the other. She's a gorgeous sight!

Some days, I feel like a frumpy, plain, 30-year-old. On days like this, I feel like somethings literally sticking out of my head! These are the challenging, hard moments in life when reality stares me in the face.

And on other days, I feel like a beautiful princess. When all seems well....joys overshadow the darker things and I feel confident and secure.

I never thought I'd have so much in common with a plastic potato!

10 April 2007

I'm a genius!

We've been anticipating this day for a few weeks now. BEB has had over 14 ear infections in less than a year and a half so today she got tubes put in both ears.

We quietly woke her up early this morning and rushed her into the van so she wouldn't have time to think about breakfast or milk. No juice or food until after the surgery! The ride to Baptist, time in the waiting room, pre-op, the surgery and recovery couldn't have gone any smoother. CNB and I were on edge but BEB was calm, cool and collected. Nurse Lori loved on her and gave her a stuffed bunny Daddy named Johnny! BEB told the nurse "I'm a genius!" and the next thing we knew, all the nurses and doctors came around asking to meet the genius! Her reputation preceded her.

We're praising the Lord for such a great day! BEB hasn't missed a beat - you'd never know the genius had surgery this morning!