Friday, December 30, 2011

I'm Usually not this Sassy

Today I ended the afternoon sassy. Not the kind of sassy I have when my girlfriend complements me when I stroll into a circle of girls wearing a fashionable outfit, make up, and high heels. This sassy is the kind of sassy which results in apologies and sulking in regret.

Five days after Christmas and the kids are still asking for things. That makes me sassy. How about you give me back all of your presents and I will trade you for a twenty dollar bill?

The lunch bill tipped the scale at sixty dollars for six people. That makes me sassy. Can't we all just share a meal and drink water?

The youngest didn't feel like taking my daughter's photography seriously and kept smiling like a goof ball. That makes me sassy. He also needed a piggyback ride because he was tired of walking. Sassy.

The dogs stopped too many times to pee. I get really sassy when that happens.

Pictures make me look old so I get sassy. Who am I kidding? Do I really think that I look 30?

My oldest boy takes none of my suggestions which frustrates me and brings out my inner sassy.

My daughter doesn't like the way that I take pictures with her camera. Give me my sassy.

We had a great day. I have so much for which to be thankful. I shouldn't be sassy.

Monday, December 19, 2011

'Tis the Season to be Disappointed

In light of all the celebration and ambiance of the Christmas season, unfortunately, being disappointed is a common feeling around this time. In addition to the disappointment with unexpected gifts, lack of parking availability at the mall, pushy people seeking handouts, and department stores lacking in vast selection of the clothing sizes I need, the end of another year brings to light disappointments with life.

I'm not where I thought I would be in my career. I'm driving the same 15 year old car I thought we would have sold by now. Offers I have pursued failed. Friendships I have promised to keep kindled I haven't. In addition, change for which I have been praying for over a year has not occurred and doesn't seem to be occurring any time soon, and persistence with writing has been stifled with busyness and bad excuses.

Although my disappointment is embarrassing because of the fact that I am so blessed, I'm glad that God is not surprised with my disappointment.

I was reminded this weekend through Pastor Tom Holladay, that my disappointments are God's plan, which again, is disappointing. I also was reminded that God has not lost sight of the purpose He has for my life, which is encouraging.

Joseph and Mary were bombarded with disappointment and this is what I can learn from them:
I need to wait. I need to continue to wait, and wait, and wait. God's timing is perfect. Mary and Joseph had to wait, and it paid off in the end by her giving birth to Jesus.

I need to obey. Joseph and Mary obeyed God and I need to obey God in this season of disappointment.

I need to give gifts to others and encourage people who are doing what they love to do, and who are in a state of contentment and perfect joy. Giving gifts always changes my attitude and helps me to refocus on Christ. Encouraging others has the same effect.

I need to share God's good news. My disappointment by no means gives me an excuse for not sharing what God has done in my life. Satan wants to use my bad attitude to steer me away, but I need to draw even closer to Jesus.

I love what happens in Mark chapter 9 verse 19. The disciples are trying to drive out a demon from a possessed boy and they are unable. When they ask Jesus why they could not perform the exorcism Jesus replies, "You unbelieving generation. How long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me." Even the disciples were disappointed with the outcome of their ministry. However, Jesus knew that their disappointed outcome was a direct reflection of their lack of belief.

When I learn fully to rest in God's faithfulness, my disappointment with dissipate. When I learn to trust in His timing, joy will cover my discontent. When I earnestly seek Him and believe, not for a moment but for the long haul, my bitterness will turn to joy.

I'm grateful that God doesn't get tired of teaching me. I am blessed with His reminders. I am waiting and obeying knowing that freedom and release will come as long as I continue to concentrate on Jesus Christ.

I just need to reminded every now and again.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Her Birthday is Officially Over

There will be no more special dinners or nights out. We will not succumb to her every whim. The gift giving has ceased. Normalcy had returned with a vengeance. Maddi's birthday is officially over, but I love her dearly and would not have changed anything.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Maddi Rose

She's 18. She was just 3 and now she is 18. She has been a dream of a teenager to raise, is a godly girl, loves church, is grounded in her faith, is an amazing artist and photographer, hard worker, and she is 18.

I love watching her interact with her 15 year old brother as they talk music and do homework together. I love watching her confidently sit behind the steering wheel of her grandma's car and drive away to vocal practice. I love hearing about her day and what is happening at work. I love her fashion and artistic style. I love her laugh and the way she attacks difficult situations. I love her passion for serving Christ in foreign countries. I love the way she has grown and developed into a beautiful woman of God.

Though her ID signifies that she is old enough to live on her own, buy cigarettes, partake in purchasing lottery tickets, attend doctor's office visits confidentially, enlist in the armed forces, drop out of school with her GED, get her own checking account and apply for a credit card, she doesn't attempt to do any of those.

She still lives with us and asks that I "tuck her in" and pray with her at night. I drive her to the doctor and listen while they ask her personal questions. I cook her dinner and pour her orange juice. I wash and dry her clothes. I take her shopping and pay the tab. I like that part.

We like each other. We love each other. We understand each other. She is my girl. She is my only girl. She is 18.

Although she is officially an adult she is still my baby girl and that will never change.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Senior Year

The past three years of high school have been a challenge for our oldest, only, girl. The adjustment from a small private school to a large public school proved to be more that she could shoulder and she pressed constantly for us to homeschool her or send her to a smaller institution with opportunities for online education. Her desire for change wavered and we clung to the sides of a boisterous boat in a sea of fluctuating requests.

This, her senior year, was going to be the one that stuck. Her freshman brother was entering which gave her anticipation for change, her friendship circle began to expand, and she finally began to chip away at the wall she had built around herself for three years. She began to embrace her high school. She also realized that there are good people, there are interested teachers, and that she could have fun. Making a go of school from a social standpoint was going to take some motivation.

Attending her first varsity football game in four years was the first step. Spending time with school friends outside of school was the second step. Attending senior activities was the third step, and recently she was voted “most unique” which after some convincing, she realized the honor in this title. No one wants to be exactly like the person sitting next to them in econ.

The pace quickened. She was going to Disneyland with Stephanie from her art class, and became friends with a supportive girl named Autumn. She was talking more and more about school activities and people who she knew, and, after attending two dances at other schools she was going to make her first attempt to attend a dance and her own school. We were thrilled.

Our frustration mounted though, as our daughter returned from school with the information that the third boy she asked to Winter Formal was unable to attend. He too had other plans just like the rest of them and I began to wonder why God seemed to intentionally create a barrier for my girl.

She then appeared with cupcake mix and a plan, and we prayed. Would her persistence pay off? She was going to try one more time. This boy was the one.

She made a plate of cupcakes, frosted them, and creatively stuck silly photos of herself taped to toothpicks inside each confection. One cupcake held a sign which read, “Sure would be sweet if you went to Winter Formal with me.” We prayed some more. I begged God, and we waited.

The next day arrived and she texted me, “He said ‘Yes!’” They are excited. Victory after defeat. Success after failure. God knew. He had a plan. His plan didn’t match ours, but He knew.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Be Specific

Tis the season for asking, although I really don't mind. I figure that I would rather my kids ask for something that they really want as opposed to my purchasing something for them that they really didn't want for Christmas.

On and on goes the Christmas list for the little boys with requests for Legos, MLB Pillow Pets, gift cards, along with a myriad of toys and games. The bigger kids are different. One wants an iPad which he isn't getting, or a unicycle. Really? What happened to clothes, skateboards, and little stuff?

Our girl is undecided. She always does well with cash and then complains that she has no presents under the tree. I cannot win.

I like to make a list for Christmas. Mystery gifts are never fun. My husband is great about filling the requests on my list. I try to be very specific and have been know to cut out magazine photos or summons our daughter to clarify certain products.

Did you know that God loves when we ask? He not only loves when we talk to Him through prayer, but He asks us to be specific in our thanksgiving, adoration, and even in our requests. I love Him.

I have prayed for lost things to be found and they have been found. I have asked specifically for my daughter to get the same driver's permit test that she was studying from at home, and she did. These are just a few examples, I have tons.

What do you need to ask God for right now? Be specific. He likes that, a lot.