Friday, August 17, 2012

I Blinked

I've done this before; it's no big deal. 

I peeled back her polka dot covers and whispered in her ear, "First day of school!" She jerked straight up, grinning with sleepy eyes. "Today?!" she squeaked. "Today." I smoothed her hair and told her I had muffins.

We walked the two blocks to the school, her eyes shining, full of wonder and anticipation all the way. We dropped off big brother and then moved toward her building. I parked the stroller, scooped up Caleb, and we walked through the two doors. Her classroom painted in red was happy and pulled us into the swarming of young ones and their picture-snapping parents. We saw "KATE" on the table with a fresh sheet of white paper, waiting to be decorated. Though she wanted to play first, she finally resigned to scribble first. For a moment, I wondered how it'd turn out--she looked a few seconds away from tears. But my big girl took a pink crayon and didn't miss a beat.

The sting didn't wait for me to get outside; it hit as I stood up to let her stay. I shuffled back to the stroller and asked why this was hard. I've done this before; it's no big deal. How did she get here already? Wasn't she only two just last year? Didn't she just learn to use the potty and brush her teeth on her own?

I blinked.

Back to the quiet house with just the baby. I'm watching the minute hand for when I can be with her again. I know that the next day will be easier, and by the tenth day, I'll be thankful for the quiet time and the chance to wash dishes, grade papers, fold laundry.

But on this first day, my heart misses my baby girl.

Peace of Christ to you,

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Reason to GRIN

Remember this? And this?

God has a sense of humor. He must be cackling over us because sweet Abigail took 10 years to show up--and less than 10 months after her debut, she's getting a sibling!! I am so squeaky excited! I am finally allowed to tell everyone in tarnation about it, so here I am!

Won't you grin a little with me? ;)

 Peace of Christ to you,

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Desperation of Need

Today has been one of those days. And it's not even 3:00.

So many things are whirling around me, so many deadlines, due dates, obligations, meetings, payments. "Hurry up and do this so you can sit and wait" pretty well sums our life up right now! We have found a house to call our own for as long as God allows, and it is about 30 minutes away from where we currently are. So, quick trips down to the new-to-us house are not quite so "quick." I can count three days this week that I will make the drive with my three kids!

This morning I knew we had to go in order to get the kids pre-enrolled in the elementary school so that after we close on the house, they'll be ready to start there. I rounded up the kids, remembered my phone, my keys, the contract on our house, their files with birth certificates and shot records, and of miraculously all three kids! The drive takes me about 40 minutes because I have what you may affectionately call a little case of "road fear." Traffic makes me sweat. My heart pounds. My breathing sky-rockets. My sweet mommy voice evaporates into that snappy, quick-tongued mother. You know the one? Anyway, we pulled into the school parking lot (after a 40 minute drive, remember) and I looked down between the seats to grab my purse.

Wait a minute. Where's my purse?!! 

No amount of "just take a deep breath" was going to fix this one. I had driven the entire way with no driver's license, and--in my opinion what was WORSE--was that the school required my DL to enroll the kids. The final drawing for Pre-K is tomorrow, and the last day to get a name in that drawing was today. 9-11 and 1-3. It was 10:40. I ushered the kids inside and filled out all the incredibly redundant paper work. They made copies of everything and said I had to bring the DL back before she could be placed in the drawing. Perfect.

When I got back in the van, I realized I was low on gas. No, I mean really low. As in the gas light was ON. I drove on, "what if"ing us closer and closer toward our destination. I was angry. At myself mostly. But I have to admit, I was also a little frustrated at the Lord. I know it was not at all His fault; after all, I'm the idiot who couldn't get my act together. I felt like a 14 year old who needed a permission slip to go to the mall. I imagined us on the side of the road, out of gas. No money. Husband at work. Hot August day. Perfect.

Every mile, I breathed out a plea that He would somehow make the van perform a miracle and just make it. But with every stop sign, around every turn--I disbelieved Him. I didn't think He would really do it. The tears fell down my cheeks as I waited for the moment when all hope would flee.
I found myself truly surprised when we rolled up along the curb in front of our house. And even so, I got out of the van, and as I ran inside to retrieve my purse, my steps said, "Oh, you made it to the house, but you won't make it to a gas station now."

You won't make it.
He doesn't care.
He won't pull you out of this one.

 When my tires reached the pavement of the closest station, my heart leaped. But then it just as quickly fell again as I saw the sign on the pump: "Cash Only." Are you kidding me? My "Thank you, Jesus" praises only five seconds ago had already turned into, "Oh, I should've known." It does turn out that they took my debit card, with a 90 cent fee, of course. But I was too desperate to think about how odd that was.

I needed gas.

Now that it's later in the day, and I'm safely at home with my toddler snoozing away in his crib and my older two catching up on some seriously needed movie time (for me anyway!), I can see how desperate I was. I had one thing to hold onto, and that's it. There would be no other savior. There would be no other way for us to get home. I had nothing to offer anyone.

What a vulnerable place. All I could do was constantly and without ceasing shout out my plea to God. He HAD to hear me and He HAD to come through, or I knew we'd be in so much trouble.

And He did. I wish I had trusted Him more. But I didn't. I doubted Him every single turn of the wheel. I asked Him if He loved us; I asked if He cared. I'm so thankful for His patience with me.

Because this trip isn't just what happened to us today.

It's unfortunately how I live my life. 

Doubt. 
Fear.
Disbelief.
Waiting for the next bad thing.

I know that even if we had run out of gas, He would still have been good. I probably would not have told Him so in the moment! But still, He would have been good. And He would have sent someone to help us. Because He does love us. He loves you. He is in all the moments.

Two days ago, my hands raised to praise Him, and He was there. And today when my hands raised to question Him, He was there.

I'm so glad.
Peace of Christ to you,

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Meeting ANGIE SMITH!!

So, today was basically the best birthday I've ever had! My amazing husband sent me to the Women of Faith conference here in the city because we heard that my favorite author would be there. I was excited simply about being in the same arena with her and only dreamed of actually meeting her. I'll admit that I asked God a few times to let me get a chance to see her! ;) Oh, how He delivered!

I actually had to leave her talk session a few minutes early so that I could go stand in line to wait for her signing time (ironic, I know, but I was not about to miss this!). She has meant so much to me in my walk with the Lord for the past 4 years. She always seems to say what it is I was just too afraid to say. She always points to the Savior, never exalting herself, and this is truly what I adore about her (among so many other things, of course). So, I sat myself down on the tile floor against the wall where she'd be signing later, and I waited.

Oh how it was worth it.

I was sweating as she walked to the little round table where she'd be signing, and she looked up toward me, giving her "all clear" to come get my book signed. The first thing I said to her was, "So, I feel like I'm you and you're David Crowder." I knew she'd get it. (If you don't, it's something she shared a few years ago about her chance to meet her favorite singer and chickening out! She immediately laughed and said, "Shut up. Do you have sweaty pits and everything?!" I said I sure did and she said to give her a hug! Of course I had to tell her it was my birthday also, which evoked another awesome expression from her (I seriously love her personality)! She started signing my book, and in the middle asked if my name was spelled with a K or a C. She had spelled it with a K and when I said it's a C, she tossed my book down and said that wouldn't do--that she wanted to do it right. She asked a security guy to go grab another book for her to sign for me. Seriously! She was THAT nice. And genuine. And exactly what I hoped she would be. Real. So, I got to hang out right there and wait for them to bring another book. Well, the one I had brought was not one they were selling (I Will Carry You), so they didn't know what to do. She told them to take me to the book counter and pick out what I wanted and bring it back to get signed. I'm still amazed at the way God did this, to give me a precious gift, and of all days, but my 30th birthday!

When I walked over to the counter, I could hardly believe what I saw. I didn't know her new book was out yet, and they handed it to me to have signed. So here I was getting her brand new book that I in no way expected, and I was getting it signed! So, they ushered me to the front of the signing line where I got a book signed again and saw and talked to her again. She said she was sorry that she messed my book up, and I beamed, "I'm not!"

I walked away laughing out loud at the ridiculous gift God had just handed me! I asked for a brief signing chance with her, crossed my fingers for a picture, and God gave me this. For me, this was bigger than just getting to see my favorite author.

It was God whispering to me, "I do care. I am still here. I do love you deeply. Let me show you."

I still can't stop smiling.




Peace of Christ to you,