Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Week of Weird

My findings while doing laundry on Sunday should have been an indication of just how bizarre some of this week's events would be.

After washing several pens, packs of bubble gum and flash drives (among other things that ruin clothing), I've learned to check pockets before throwing clothes into the washing machine. While searching through a pair of pants that Zak wore on his weekend camping trip I found two bullets. A cause for concern? Possibly. Weird? Not until Zak told me what they were for. They're apparently used as ear plugs when firing rifles. I kicked into mom mode and was preparing the standard "never, ever stick anything in your ears" lecture but then thought better of it. It sounded like a guy thing that I wouldn't understand.

With the bullets properly disposed of I then went to put the clean clothes in Zak's room. I was stopped short by the bag of Poise bladder control pads on his bedroom floor. This was just downright disturbing. I couldn't help but ask for an explanation on this one. Apparently they were used for some kind of prank. Whatever.

Sunday was followed by a memorable day at work. I should explain that I work in an outpatient mental health clinic and I try to maintain a high level of compassion for our patients suffering from mental illnesses and personality disorders. Abnormal behavior is often the norm in our office. There's abnormal and then there's just plain bizarre. Like Monday morning when an incoming patient informed us that another patient was pulling up the azaleas in our gardens and putting them in the trunk of her car. Our doctor went out to confront the patient who thought this was perfectly acceptable. Apparently she needed some plants for her garden.

Then later that day another patient became so enraged and distraught over having missed her appointment she began hitting herself in the head with a clipboard and spewing profanities left and right. The end of the day could not come quickly enough.

Finally today. Caroline called to inform me that something dead was in Zak's car and it smelled awful. Upon further investigation Zak, his friend, and Alex found and removed a rather large cat from behind the engine block of the jeep. They disposed of the cat the only way my boys know how. I don't want to be graphic so I'll just type the words gasoline and fire pit. You get the picture. And I've spent the better part of the evening trying to explain to Maria where the body of this cat went.

To top off the evening we think Caroline's guinea pig may have lost one of her front teeth and is having trouble eating. I do not want to find out what the cost is for guinea pig dentistry.

Simply stated: Truth really is stranger than fiction.

Monday, March 9, 2009

And the survey says...

Is saw this post on a few of the blogs that I follow and decided to try it for myself. Seeing yourself through the eyes of your child can sometimes be dangerous but I think I came out fairly unscathed.

This is mommy according to her words.

1. What is something mom always says to you? I love you

2. What makes mom happy? That I don't lie to you.

3. What makes mom sad? When I say bad things to her.

4. How does your mom make you laugh? By tickling me.

5. What was your mom like as a child? A little girl.

6. How old is your mom? Umm, Umm, 25.

7. How tall is your mom? Big

8. What is her favorite thing to do? Hug me.

9. What does your mom do when you're not around? Watch TV.

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for? Making lunches.

11. What is your mom really good at? Giving money.

12. What is your mom not very good at? Doing cartwheels.

13. What does your mom do for her job? Help people.

14. What is your mom's favorite food? Peas

15. What makes you proud of your mom? She helps us get some food.

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be? Sleeping Beauty.

17. What do you and your mom do together? Cuddle

18. How are you and your mom the same? Hmm. That our hands look the same.

19. How are you and your mom different? That she has brown eyes and I have black eyes.

20. How do you know your mom loves you? She hugs me and kisses me.

Simply stated: Kinda makes me go "hmmm."

Sunday, February 8, 2009


I like to think that my home is clean. I dust and vacuum, windex and scrub freqeuntly. Now that I'm working full-time I even have someone helping me keep the house as clean as possible. It's not that I WANT to clean. It's really more of a compulsion.

Maybe I've watched one too many of those 20/20 specials where they go through a room with a blacklight and expose all the nastiness. Don't even get me started on hotel rooms. I'll save my germaphobia for another post. Suffice to say, it's rather remarkable that I leave my house at all.

Anyway. If I catch sight of a wayward dustball or offending smudge it is hard for me to concentrate on anything else until I get rid of it. Sometimes it's even hard to sleep. It's not unusual to find me vacuumming at midnight or 6:00 a.m. I know. It's an illness.

If I see it, I need to clean it. If I don't see it, I'm ok. This is one of the main reason I don't often venture into the "man cave" downstairs or Zak's bedroom.

Inevitably, when I'm beginning to feel assured regarding the condition of my home, the brilliant morning sun shines through the wall of windows in the back of our house. And my smugness bites me in the butt. What's revealed are the places that I've forgotten. Even worse are the areas that I thought I'd cleaned thoroughly that remain smudged and soiled. Dust particles permeate the sun-streaked air taunting me as they land on floors and furniture.

I can work myself into a frenzy trying to clean what the intense sunlight reveals. The task is overwhelming. Mercifully, the sun will soon disappear above the rooftop and with it the light of its harsh scrunity.

And so it is with my life. I can keep myself and my character well-groomed and coiffured. At a glance, my life could at times appear squeaky clean. But in those moments when I get real with myself and allow for introspection under the light of the Son, my life is not nearly as antiseptic. Attitudes and motives, selfishness and laziness, all manifest themselves in the Sonlight. Areas that I've neglected are exposed. Weaknesses that I thought I'd taken care of become apparent.

On my own, I can't clean the mess. My heart finds comfort in claiming God's promise to me that it's not by works but by faith that I am saved. That I'm washed clean. From this gratitude arises a new commitment and resolve to do better. To be better. To live a life that brings honor to the One who saved me.

Simply stated: Jesus -- Mr. Clean for the soul.

Friday, January 9, 2009

My recent addiction to interest in Facebook has caused me to reflect quite a bit on high school and the years immediately following. I graduated in 1983. I'll save you from doing the math. I'm 43.

I've found several classmates on facebook it's been fun to reconnect with my past.

Tonight I pulled out my yearbook to assist me in my stroll down memory lane. I showed it to Zak who is one of the yearbook editors for his school. I told him this was the way they did yearbooks back in the "day". He wasn't impressed.

Sadly, as I flipped through the pages of my past, I was reminded anew that I hated high school.

For those of you who know me now as the outgoing women who can carry on a conversation with a tree and has never met a stranger, you might be surprised to know that I had very few friends in high school. And by very few...I mean none.

There were a few people who signed my yearbook with generic sentiments such as "stay sweet" and "best of luck" but nothing more. Most of my lunch hours during high school were spent walking between the library and my locker "looking" like I had places to go and people to see. I didn't attend a single party. Only a handful of football games. I wanted friends. I guess I was too insecure to reach out.

I couldn't wait to graduate and have never looked back.

I think this is why I try to encourage Caroline to get involved at school. I'm trying to help her realize that to have friends you have to be a friend. It's taken a long time to learn these lessons.

On a positive note, I read my goals that were listed by my senior picture. "Go to college, graduate, and be happy"

Simply stated: I did and I am.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Journey

In 1999 Don and I attended a one day FamilyLife marriage conference called I Still Do. As much as the conference impacted us that day, only God knew how it would begin a chain of events that would impact one little life for eternity.

From attending the event we moved on to leading HomeBuilders Bible studies and volunteering at the conference the following year. This led to us hearing and, in an uncharacteristic moment of obedience, following God's call on our lives to leave Maryland, raise our own financial support and move to Little Rock, Arkansas and work with the ministry of FamilyLife for 5 years.

During our time with FamilyLife I felt led to participated in a FamilyLife sponsored mission trip to Guatemala where I visited orphanages and my heart was quite literally broken for the 100 million orphans in our world.

This led to the beginning of our adoption journey. A journey that would stretch our faith and finances and take us to the very limits of ourselves. As we waited the 3 1/2 years to bring our precious Maria home, watching her grow up in pictures without her family, we often questioned God's purposes. I don't think we will ever know the why for our wait.

During one of the lowest points of our wait, plagued by concerns of whether or not her adoption could be completed, someone asked what would be the worst outcome from this experience. Without hesitation I answered that Maria would never come home. I pondered and prayed over my answer and realized the worst that could happen would be if Maria never met her Savior and spent eternity separated from him. From then on my attitude changed and I began praying first for Maria's salvation and secondly that we would be blessed to be the family that would lead her to Him.

It's been 17 months since Maria joined our family and today our prayers were answered with Maria's baptism. Not only will we have the blessing of sharing this life with her, but eternity as well.

9 years of putting plans into motion, a move halfway across the United States, thousands of dollars, 4 trips to Guatemala, a family changed forever. The list goes.

I'm in awe of a God who loves so deeply that He would go to such great lengths for one life. That before Maria's life even began God knew that this would be her story. That we would be her family. That she would be His child.

I'm blessed that He would use someone as flawed as me as His tool.

I'm sobered by the thought that we could have disobeyed.

Simply Stated: The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9