Saturday, October 22, 2011

Christmas in October?

It is late. Very late here in Humphrey.

And sweet husband and littles are sleeping unaware of the many thoughts keeping me up at such and hour of the night….. er morning.

Tonight I decided to wind down by watching a movie. I am not even sure how we acquired it to tell you the truth, but it was brought in from the garage and I thought I’d dust the jacket off and give it a whirl while I wound down tonight.

It was “The Nativity Story”

I flipped through the opening credits with my usual, “trying to recreate Bible stories” cynicism and thought I would stick in out a half hour and then turn it off.

It seems lately I am pleasantly surprised.

Now if you know me I love history and especially delight in getting a peek into life, home life of any era far removed from my own and if you REALLY know me, than you know that I would scrap my Kitchen Aid and front loader for a mortar and pestle and threshing my own wheat.

I know, but that is me.

I guess I am a purest???

I digress….

When not caught up in the goat’s milk cheese making and olive harvesting, I began to await the moment when the angel appeared to Mary.

I figured that it would go right along with the cheese making….


And to my amazement the angel had short hair and wasn’t strung up by tight rope wire.

And from that moment on I was hooked into the story.

And silly as it was, I secretly wanted Mary to stay with her Cousin Elizabeth.

I knew that it would be hard for Mary, no one would understand and Joseph…. Whew what would he say and worse yet, what kind of a look would her parents give her?????

And crazy as it is, and knowing the end of the story as I do, I still felt this way and squirmed in my bed watching it unfold.

And then it hits me.


MARY. A woman chosen by God and practically forgotten by us.

And by “us” I mean, “anyone not professing themselves to be Catholic.”

And in leaning so far away from worshiping her, we have plum forgotten her and all that she endured to bring to pass God’s greatest gift to man.

And I felt sorry for her.

I felt sorry that I had forgotten.

And then the tears began to fall with each taunting look or mention of the law and what it required for such a woman in such a position.

And in my forgetfulness of the story I watch and in my mind beg God to somehow spare her.

And Joseph receives confirmation and my heart can begin beating again.

I roll over forgetting the late hour and losing myself in this incredible journey.

The look in his eyes for a woman not even touched by him just melts me.

And they journey over 100 miles in her last stages of expectancy.

And I am on the edge of my bed and my one arm keeps falling asleep and I keep getting closer and closer to the computer screen half afraid I will miss something and half not wanting to wake my sweet husband oblivious to my late hour supposed “winding down.”

I see the Magi meet with Harrod…… my stomach knots. HE WILL GET HIM. He will get Jesus, I just know it. Why on earth did they give him such information, I fume!

And Jesus is born and shepherds hear a message and come and see him and I just want them all to leave her alone so I can just stare at this scene for a while.

And there it is. The Christmas card scene in full splendor.

Wasn’t it just today (now YESTERDAY) that I was looking at prospective Christmas card ideas? Liking some and wanting to get a move on so as to send them out EARLY this year and shock everyone? Wasn’t I just bemoaning the fact that the really nice ones just cost so much and we have too many friends and not enough stamps and I will just have to save for better ones at a later time?

And there it was right in front of me, and I felt shameful that I tried to put a price tag on God becoming flesh for all mankind.

(and yes I wrote that fast but then stopped and read it again still unable to wrap my little brain around that…)

And there are no crazy renditions of “Mary did you know?” thankfully.

There are just shepherds and magi and all of them looking at this baby like I am and the lot of us are all tearing up.

And my heart is caught in my throat and I knew I should have left the box of Kleenex upstairs and I wipe my nose on my sleeve like I do when something really moves me and I loose all sense of lady-like-ness.

And almost to my shock, the Magi decided not to tell Harrod, and the angel moves Joseph to move his family away and all is well.

And it ends and I am half relieved and half wanting a movie for everyday of Christ’s life to just watch and glean from .

And it hits me that I have 6 sleeping littles that need to hear this story.

Not the Christmas story book, not a cute poem from their English books, and not from someone else’s Christmas card who was too cheap to buy the good ones and send them to us.

They need to hear it, in their hearts, feel it, grab onto it and never let it go.

That God left heaven for them and became flesh for them and died for them and ever lives to intercede for them.

They need to weep and see how hard it was for Mary and how Joseph trusted and how God protected and how wise men believed and were moved and how shepherds rejoiced….

Because someone had come to save them.

Because someone has come to save my littles.

And I cannot hardly wait on the sunrise to meet them and tell them, and cry and hug them and give them the same, “it is almost like He JUST came” feeling that I have right now at two in the morning, under the stars on the couch.

It is more than a story.

It is our story.

It’s personal.

And it breathes hope into my weary soul on a Saturday morning in October.

Good morning friends.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Tonight we had a date.

Joel and I.

A sweet lady in our church, our neighbor, offered to take the kids for the day.


And we decided to send them to her after lunch.

Joel was away since breakfast getting trained for a part time job and he called to ask me to meet him in town for and early dinner date.

I thought about it all day.

Meeting him.

And when I sent the kids to our neighbors and prepared to go to town early to do all my weekly grocery shopping before meeting Joel, something happened.

A something I was not expecting.

A something I was pleasantly surprised to find.

It was butterflies.

Yep. Butterflies.

In my stomach that is.

And instead of leaving the minute the last cute little toddler shoe crossed the threshold, I stayed and spent way too much time on my hair and makeup.

I sewed the tear in my favorite shirt and scrapped the tennis shoes for my favorite brown Clarks.


Like, first date wonderfully excitedly nervous.

To meet my husband…….of 12 years.


I laughed at myself trying to pick out the cutest dangly earrings I had.

Four fifteen.

He was to be done with training and meet me at Walmart at four fifteen.

Yes, Walmart

I mean does it get any more romantic than that?

Well it WAS a SUPER Walmart.

But the wonderful thing is that it COULD have been the front of Maggiannos in Chicago for the anticipation I had.

I sat in my jumbo van and stole looks for him out my dented car door window.

I played with my keys, searched for something on the radio, turned the van on and off checking the time in two minute increments all the while half laughing at the knot in my stomach.

And then he drove in.

Big smile.

He didn’t see me. He drove a bit and would you believe I was half too nervous to even get out of the van?

I gave him five minutes and then decided to go and see where he went to look for me.

I was parked on the side and as I came around the front there he was.

Big smile from me,

Big smile from him.

And then I saw it.

In his face.

He felt the same way I did!

He pulled me close and we walked hip to hip back to the van because walking side by side isn’t close enough, mumbling something about which vehicle had the most gas in it to take and where do you want to eat, half laughing at ourselves and you look lovely and nervous grins.

We got in the van still smiling like we were running off on our honeymoon and decided on a restaurant.

He ran to open my door and my mind kept telling me, “twelve years???? Already?”

We asked for a booth with a view.

Our waitress commented that we snuck out without the kids. We were amazed that she remembered us from a store we frequent. She was a cashier there.

She left to bring get us our water and we sighed.

Even she was tickled that we were out together.

And she smiled when she came to take our order and noticed that we had decided to sit together in the booth instead of across from one another.

I leaned into him, and just as I was enjoying my wonderful twelve years of living, he said it.

“I’m glad I married you.”

I smiled.

He had been thinking the same thing I had all afternoon.

How we had been married twelve years.

Twelve years of fights, misunderstandings, of knowing the other better each year, of first borns, tight spaces, hope deferred, and financial mishaps.

Twelve years of bad haircuts, car accidents, feast and famine, dinner flops and discipline dilemmas.

Twelve years of “I’m sorry’s, you shouldn’t have, I thought you knew that, why didn’t you , you’d better! And too many sighs to count.

Twelve years of pursed lips in rebellion, exploding diapers, no clean whites, forgetting special days, yelling at each other for being sick too long or cutting themselves, or burning themselves or forgetting a coat, a hat, proper shoes or gloves.

Twelve years.

And an unexpected date……

And butterflies.


We share dessert and fight over trying to give the last bite to the other for them to savor.

“I’m glad you married me too.”

And I persuade him to enjoy the last bite,

And I savor this moment.

The last twelve years of last bites of dessert that are my life.

O taste and see that the Lord IS GOOD.

And we head to the van, hip to hip to go home and gather our little band of blessings.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Picture Post

Things I love:

Laughing....... A LOT!

Being able to capture sweetness for years to come.....

Spending time apart to remember all the reasons we still say, "I do."Align Center

Coming together as a family.

Missing It......

Come spend time with me, a little voice said to me.

And I WANTED to.

It had been a while since we spent time just us, together.

But the day was just beginning and I was busy.

Yet I thought and thought and thought about that voice.

I said to myself, “Well he knows my heart.”

And yet I still thought and thought and felt just awful.

How could I just turn away from him?

The sun was bright on my face and it would have been the perfect time,

If it were not for ME complaining that it was not the right time for ME.

And then I thought, what if he stops asking?

What if he grows tired of me putting him off with a thousand “laters?”

Or “tomorrow, I promise,” or “how about we talk while I do the dishes or fold laundry?”

After all something is better than nothing, I reasoned, though I would never accept that kind of “quality time” from Joel in place of us being alone and spending time together.

But I would accept that with him.

Should I have told him I loved him when he asked me to spend time with him?

Would he have believed me by my actions and not just my words?


And I knew I had blown it, like eating brownies after the kids have gone to bed, blown it.


Because my flesh is weak. It has been allowed to feast without restraint. It is lazy and hence I am lazy.

And another little voice, this one different comes now and sweetly asks me if she can have breakfast.

Now, instead of getting out of bed when I was sweetly asked by my Lord, who wanted to spend the quiet of the day with just me alone, I roll out to feed my littles.

And I will feed them, but how much more could I feed them of that food that will last after yet another bowl of oatmeal has gone.


And I pour oatmeal and sigh, and begin another day, knowing I had missed out on something sweet.

Because I was lazy.

And I am not saying that if you miss your appointment with the Lord in the wee hours of the morning you are sinning.

I AM saying that when He calls and you put him off, you are missing it.

Missing what is really important.

More important than your sewing project, your one hour of good morning sleep, your book, or and early dinner.

I know that the Lord is grieved when we do not spend time with him, just you and him.

He IS jealous over us with a godly jealousy.

And I think of Joel eating out with his friends and how long it has been since we have gone anywhere alone.

Just us enjoying being together.

I miss him.

Do I miss the Lord?

Do I treat him like a friend who left us a message wanting to “catch up” and we put off that phone call, not because we do not like the friend, but there is JUST SO MUCH to do and SO MUCH catching up to do.

It is easier to just try to see if it will magically go away?


And I wash oatmeal bowls, and I make shopping lists,

And I am sorry.

And I say, “Lord, I am yours. I am your servant. You bought me. YOU lifted my feet out of the miry clay. YOU know my dowsitting my uprising, and you alone understand my thought afar off. Meet again with me today. I love you. I love you more than anything and more than anyone.”

And the sun hits my Bible just so on the chair in the living room and I know I need to get some of that “living water” and pile some littles on my lap….

Do you have a date with God friends?