Friday, December 27, 2013

Jesus is not a wuss

I've watched all the uproar over Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson with interest. I've read the interview in GQ and about every article and blog response I've come across. Christians for and against. Members of the LGBT for and against. People chastising him for his "hate" speech. People supporting his right to free speech. People supporting his right to free speech but A&E's right to fire or suspend him.

Boy we like our drama, don't we?

I have an opinion. Of course I do. I'm pretty black and white on things (this is not a racial comment, lol). If the Bible says something is a sin, I believe it's sin. I don't look deeper or translate from the original Greek, Hebrew or Aramaic. I don't parse verbs. I read it and believe it.

I don't know if this is rare or not, but I'm one of those people who gets what a wretched sinner I am. I actually tend to believe my sin is worse than yours. Let's talk some time.

Gossip? Check - just tonight for the record
Gluttony? Check - again, tonight. should've stopped a scoop or two earlier on the ice cream
Pride? Check - Just read this post. I'm a bigger sinner than you.
Sexual immorality? Check - not gonna list those, too ugly and don't want them in print for posterity. Also, I don't want you to know how bad I am.
Theft? Check - I've been given too much change and not taken it back. For whatever reason, too busy, too far from the store, too lazy, the list is endless. Also, there have been days where I didn't work quite like I was working for Jesus, to put it in the best light possible.
Hate, bitterness, anger? Check, Check and Check.

So here's the deal. I can call my sin SIN and confess and make it right (and stumble and fall and start back over to do right). No excuses. And if asked or in a position that I need to call something sin, wrong, I will do so.

What has really fascinated me with all this media drama is the people who say things about Jesus.

We are making him into what we want him to be, not what he is. We are making him light and fluffy. We are putting our words in his mouth. I think this is dangerous.

Yes, Jesus loves us. Yes, he forgives us and shows us mercy and grace and forgiveness. He is longsuffering. But he is not a wuss.

He is righteous and just and holy. And the Bible says that there is a day of judgment coming. And we will stand before him. And it says that he will take the place at the head of his army. And bring judgment to the earth.

We seem to forget this side of Jesus.

It's made me think about how I view Jesus. It's made me think my life and what sin in my life I need to root out.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

50 Years Ago

My parents celebrated 50 years of marriage today. We had an open house for them and friends and family came by. It was a really sweet evening. My dad told the story of when they met.

He was in the navy. And he was a hooligan. But one of his shipmates shared the story of Jesus with him and it changed his life. He gave up his sinful lifestyle to live for Jesus. He had been writing to his girlfriend back home in Turon, Kansas, but when she found out he "got religion" she didn't want anything to do with him. My mom told her to give him her address because she was a Christian also.

My dad and mom had a letter writing relationship that turned into love.

My dad says that she had sent him her senior picture from high school. She was two days from 19 when they got married. He says that she was wearing glasses and the picture was really formal and black and white.

When he got home and went to her house to meet her and she came out he said that he thought it was her younger sister because she looked so much younger than the picture she sent. And he said "and she was a knockout".

I know it's life. I was there once a long time ago. When young people get married and they think they have it all figured out. They know what love is and theirs is going to be different. Perfect. And maybe it will be. I certainly hope so.

But love is not the perfect proposal or the perfect wedding with the pictures artfully posed with water profiles and the staged "first time he saw me in my dress", etc. Love is not sharing every moment on facebook so every one knows how awesome your life is. (I once asked Steve if we went out for a great evening and didn't share it on social media, did it really happen?) Love isn't what people see publically. If it is, my parents don't have love. They don't have a computer or facebook. I have the only two pictures of them from their wedding - and I put them up and don't know where I put them. Simple. Sweet.

And love looks different for everyone and every marriage. But it's the same thing. It's putting someone else ahead of you. It's choosing to love them. For better, for worse. I've seen this in my parents. They both really know how to love people. Not just each other, it spills over.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

Check out these cuties!

We had all these little rascals (except Zoey, but she's just so dang cute!) on Christmas Eve. Children really make the holidays fun.

Papa got Anneshia a razor scooter and she rode it through the house the rest of the night. Except for when she was wrestling with Nate.

Mia never quits moving. And when I say never quits moving, she jumps, she dances, she runs, she is all energy all the time. And completely and utterly adorable telling everyone "Merry Christmas" and hugging the boys goodbye. Not the girls, just boys.

Steven doesn't need toys. He doesn't care about toys. All he does is chase his sister, his cousin and the dog.

Justin just wanted to sleep. And eat pie.

And Zoey is with her most wonderful family in California celebrating. Right where she belongs.

I learned this Christmas Eve that armor all wipes will take sharpie off of a dining room table, nail polish remover will take sharpie off of sunglasses, toddlers will drink out of the dogs water bowl (twice), toddlers do not know the difference in a razor and a comb - stopped that one before it was disastrous.

We had a wonderful Christmas at my house.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Conversations with Whitney

She finished high school yesterday. Starts college January 21. She is 17 years, 4 months and 10 days old. It's kind of hard to know how I feel about this. She won't technically graduate till May. She'll attend the senior breakfast, walk across the stage and get her diploma all after finishing her first semester of college. We'll do a graduation party then, but I feel like we should do something now too.

I'm not surprised, she's done most everything early her whole life. Came into the world 10 days before her due date. Took ballet lessons till she learned the dance, well before the rest of her class and then she was done. So many examples I can give.

I love this girl and her outlook on life. I had the rare blessing of having her and Steve both at the grocery store with me last week. We are in the meat section and she picks up "smart chicken" and tells us she's pretty sure that's why she did so good in school, was she connected with the "smart chicken" at the grocery store.

A little back story, she was in fourth or fifth grade, in the grocery store she holds the chicken up to her forehead and says "what is the square root of 16" looks at me and says, "what? It's a smart chicken".

I'm not ready for her to be grown up. I'm not ready for her to face life on her own. But it doesn't really matter whether I'm ready or not, because apparently it's here.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

So this is Christmas

I'm pretty much done with my Christmas shopping. I have a couple of things left to pick up, some stocking stuffers, some cash to hand out.

We are at the point in life that we buy for the grand babies and a gift for our kids, but mostly it's cash.

I have a beautiful Christmas tree I put up and decorate. And I am the stereotypical mom that gets teary eyed over the puzzle piece reindeers and popsicle stick nativities and hand painted snowmen.

I put out the stockings and make the fudge (and eat the fudge).

I go to the Christmas dinners and spend time with my family.

I try to hold on to one or two traditions.

But life changes. Kids grow up and have families of their own and make their own family traditions.

Finding Christmas in your heart can be tough sometimes. Maybe you get it right every year. But sometimes I have to dig deep.

This year I've been looking for extra ways to do kind acts. I've found some, and when I have the opportunity I take it.

This weekend I really found my Christmas spirit. Steve took me to Salina, Kansas to an old fashioned theater for the Michael W. Smith Christmas Tour Concert. We've both always been fans. And his Christmas show was great. There were some lights, some wreaths, some trees, 6 band members and 3 back ground singers, and Michael at the piano. Christmas songs and some that were just instrumental.

And he told the Christmas story. Very quick and concise, birth of baby Jesus to death on the cross.

It was beautiful and I really felt Christmassy. And was certain I was going to hold on to that.

And two days later as I washed my car outside in almost 60 degree weather Christmas is a little bit further from my mind...

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Does that make me crazy?

Whitney picked out some new towels for the house. They are striped short ways instead of long ways.

Every time I use one when I get out of the shower I have brief moment of confusion.

Monday, December 16, 2013


This week I had the opportunity to read a blog by a young husband who's wife is a stay at home mom of two young children. He made the comment to a woman he works with that his wife would love to have a "coffee break" and that she works really hard.

From all the working moms in the world, I need to say this.

If you are a stay at home mom and you can't find time for a ten minute coffee break in your day, you are doing it wrong. I realize there will be days where your kids won't take naps at the same time, or nap at all. But it won't stunt their life if you put on a veggie tale video and you sit down with a cup of coffee and enjoy Bob and Larry for ten minutes.

I don't discount being a stay at home mom is hard. I was a full time mom. I just went to work in during the day. And it was hard. It's hard to leave sick babies, even with grandma, and go to work. It's even harder to go to a stressful job after no sleep because you have a teething baby. Just because I didn't stay home didn't mean my heart and most of my mind wasn't with my children at every moment.

I hate the comparisons. I hate the "my life is harder/better/more difficult than yours".

I hate the home school vs public school vs Christian school wars.

I hate comparison.

So why do I do it to myself? Why do women especially do it?

I don't near as much anymore. It's going to sound really sad to say it this way, but I quit because my best is typically at the back of the pack or at the very least, mediocre. And always being last and comparing yourself to the front runners is a real downer.

But did you get that? MY BEST! That's all I have to work with. I was the best mom I could be, best wife I could be. And that's what I'm responsible for. The success of my children as they turn into adults becomes their responsibility, theirs to do their best. How my husband behaves is his to answer for. I am only responsible for my behavior, my efforts, my utilization of my gifts.

I don't compare myself to other runners (anymore??? or I try not to) because I have to start with what I was given genetically. And that is not fast. It's stubborn, mentally and physically tough, but not fast. I don't compare myself to people sitting on the couch either. If I have to say I'm lapping someone sitting on the couch I've sunk to a new level of low in comparison.

I try to do what I like to do, what I have to do, what I love to do, and do it to the best I can. And if that typically puts me at an average or mediocre level, I know I did my best.

I realize I'm different.

My life is different.

As I continue to push away from comparison and accept my best is exactly that, I realize that I accept me as enough. And that's all I can do.

I also continue to challenge myself to encourage other women in the goals and dreams and compliment them for their victories and good hair days. Because it's a tough brutal negative world we live in.

Sunday, December 15, 2013


No picture because how do you take a picture of cold? And dark? Daylight savings is killing me!

Anyway, heat wave of 50 degree weather this week and then two weeks off for the Christmas season, I'm very excited.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Conversations with Whitney

I should really keep up with this thread, as this girl is awesome.

"who needs dog sweaters"

Belle outgrew her puppy sweater and she was cold, so Whitney put one of her hoodies on the dog. Best part, Belle didn't care.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


This Thanksgiving weekend I had reason to pray and trust God. One of those things that all the worrying in the world wouldn't change, so why do it? I spent a little time being upset and yes, worrying, then I talked to Steve and was calmed down and then I realized what I was worrying about wasn't an issue.

Made me think about something my momma always said, "it's one thing to have faith, it's another to jump off a cliff and yell 'God save me'".

I see this so much. One of the benefits??? of social media is people share too much. And you get front row seats to stupidity. Bad decisions. Wrong decisions. And then you get to see all the "God gives his hardest battles to his strongest soldiers", "If God brings you to it, he will bring you through it", etc. This is pure unadulterated crap.

One of the lessons I learned from David Jeremiah many years ago that has always stuck with me is if it's an act of sin, God isn't in it. Upon confession and repentance God will work mightily in your life. But there are consequences of actions, there are repercussions from sin that cannot be undone. Lessons can be learned. Lives can be changed.

Just a few examples, if you don't show up to work for a few weeks and get fired and then say God is testing you financially, you are fooling yourself. If you show up faithfully to work, work hard, have a good attitude and get downsized, that may be a test. (It also is just life, but you can see the difference).

If you are involved in a bad/wrong/sinful relationship and pray for God to honor it and give you a lifetime with someone that you shouldn't be with and it doesn't work out, it's not a God wanted me to learn and grow from knowing that person. GOD WANTED YOU OUT OF THAT RELATIONSHIP.

These are both true life examples of people I know.

I believe whole heartedly in miracles and prayer and the goodness of God and the love Jesus and his heart for his people.

But I also believe there are consequences to our actions. And calling the results of our bad decisions tests from God and getting all spiritual in the hard times and ignoring him when things are good is not the way it works.

I do believe God rescues us from bad decisions and can make good things happen and bless us through them. But when that happens, I know it's his mercy and grace.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Training update

Yesterday's 10.65 miles was painful. Went by fast, but it wasn't easy. I didn't think I'd see anything on this run that would be picture worthy. But 2.5 miles from home these two cuties in their K-State cheerleading uniforms crossed the street heading to the park. And they picked up trash all along the sidewalk and put it in a dumpster behind the dentist office right before the park.

It was the sweetest thing.