Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Lights, Camera, Christmas

The front porch with our family of 6 reindeer.


The tree through our front window.

The back porch.

The tree.

Sunday, November 27, 2005


After two ENTIRE days (with one break last night for a family dinner) of staying up until 2AM....the decorating is finished! I'll post pictures tomorrow night. :)

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with Son#1 and even had an extremely pleasant visit at my parents' home where we stayed overnight on Wednesday.

Here's a quote from a new friend I've made (and now met!) because of this blog.
I stand in awe at the power of God to heal, change, and restore. I trust our new and dear friend will not mind my use of his words here.

"One of the key things of the Christian faith is responding to God in faithfulness even when our lives have been riddled with faithlessness over long periods of time. To see God turn lives right-side-up, change hearts, and perform miracles that are clearly not of man's doing is amazing."

I'm so blessed and thankful for the community and relationship we can share as brothers and sisters in Him.


Friday, November 25, 2005

Let the Madness Ensue

And.....we're off! The Holiday madness is fully upon us....again.

Tdub(i really hate that moniker for him...makes him sound somewhat redneck when, in actuality, he's the poster boy for metrosexual)is in earthly heaven right now. Has all three of the younger boys outside helping "light" the house. He manages to purchase at least one new thing each year it seems. I'm thinking we'll hit the peak of good taste this year with all this (crap) beautiful decorating. At some point, more becomes tasteless, don't you agree? I'm counting on Tdub's sense of good taste at this point. That, and hoping the 120 yr. old electrical wiring of our house can sustain the addition of a family of 6 mechanized, lighted deer. Those things have finally been out long enough for the price to drop, making it possible for us to afford the entire family. Nothing less would ever do, you see. I'd say that Tdub's heavenly home will surely be fully lit with Christmas lights, but then, that would rob him the joy of doing it himself. So, I'm just assuming God will provide Tdub a nice big ladder and an unlimited supply of lights.

Thanksgiving was really great. I'm going to write more about that later. For now, I really should get out there and enjoy the madness.


Monday, November 21, 2005


I received an email a few weeks ago from a guy who's thinking of starting a blog in response to the Ex-GayWatch blog. He's not sure what he'll call it and I wouldn't feel good about divulging any of his ideas here. He emailed me just wanting to start a dialogue, I think, to gain some insight, and to ultimately see if I might be interested in helping out with his efforts to start a blog. I'm not sure in what capacity I'd be of any help to him but as our dialouge continued and I uncovered what sounds like the nature of what he's wanting to do, this was my response to him:

I have to be honest with you here. I'm probably not interested in participating in a blog of the type you are describing. I rarely ever look at the ex-gay watch site. I know you've read my blog, or I assume you have. I have a real problem with all the fighting and politicizing that goes on surrounding not only this issue but other "hot" issues in our culture. I believe in individual responsibility. I also believe that we WILL be persecuted for our beliefs and we should expect that. Jesus promised it. The thing to do, as I see it, is not to join in and "persecute" the opposite side right back. The answer lies in loving one another and continuing (for the Christian) to seek Christ and His ways above all else.

That said, I can honestly say that I've never once felt "persecuted" on this blog by anyone who's taken the time to comment. I appreciate the gentleness with which those of you who are gay have commented about things I've said that I know must be difficult for you or at the very least stir up some defensive emotions. I trust that it's my gentleness of delivery and respect for you as individuals that causes this to occur.


Sunday, November 20, 2005

The Way of Love

If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don't love, I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.
If I speak God's Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, "Jump," and it jumps, but I don't love, I'm nothing.
If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love.
ICorinthians 13:1-3 (the Message)

"I'm not sure God wants us to be happy. I think he wants us to love, and be loved." -- C.S. Lewis

Saturday, November 19, 2005

When To Speak

It seems obvious to me that Jesus didn't say everything that ran through his head out loud. There's so much wisdom in understanding that so much of the time we just need to let the words spoken TO us or ABOUT us just rest, lie there, and speak for themselves. Our human tendancy is to engage at all costs to save face, or make a point, or something, I'm not sure. Sometimes we just need to shut up, step back and consider the big picture, and let things go. So many of the things people spend time, effort, and energy arguing or engaging others about just don't amount to a hill a beans when it's all said and done.


Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Things need to slow down. This week has been a scheduling nightmare at our house and it appears this craziness will continue for at least the next month. Just TOO much going on.

I facilitated the completion of 6th grader's 5ft.X3ft. mural project depicting an Iroquois village.

I had to write and illustrate a companion paragraph to 5th grader's writing assignment this week about a chore for which you are thankful. What are those teachers thinking????!!! ;)

Just finished the 6th grade musical program last night for which I decorated the set with student Egyptian artwork to resemble the inside of a pyramid. Also managed the backstage student crew AND had a child IN the program. (had to miss all but the last quarter of freshman son's very first high school basketball game because of this! augh!)

The ladies in the office at school want me to help them complete a faux fireplace with mantle and chimney using cardboard, butcher paper, and paint. It will make the office festive and cozy for the holidays.

All three of the little guys are (as of this week) on different basketball teams with practices and games on different nights/days/times.

We have Children's Christmas Musical rehearsal every week and will begin planning/assembling costumes and sets for that post haste.

School is chaotic as my students are working on artwork for the Fort Worth Stock Show Art Contest. The deadline is fast approaching (Dec.3) and we have the entire week off next week! Our school won a BIG BLUE RIBBON (and a check) in the show last year so I'm feeling pressure to repeat....and of course I WANT to win!! :)

Son #1 is definitely coming back to Texas for the Spring semester. He's survived academically but socially is just not settling in and doesn't really care to. I want him to get to know his freshman class so I've agreed to let him transfer at semester. This all requires extra coorespondence and coordination back and forth to get the whole moving/transfer of credit thing accomplished.

I truly am thankful for all of the above because each hectic peice of my life is a reminder of God's blessings. I'm so blessed I can hardly stand it!


Sunday, November 13, 2005

Apocalyptic Scripture, Teenagers, and Flat Irons

The retreat was awesome just as expected. Didn't even get the chance to crack open "Blue Like Jazz" which is a good thing because it means I spent every waking moment interacting and not isolating. Sometimes I do that.

The lessons on apocalyptic scripture were challenging and enlightening. A very strong case was made for the fact that the "Left Behind" scenario is way off base. I'd been coming to that conclusion for a while now. To sum it up, the basic premise of the teaching is that we are not waiting to escape to heaven but that heaven is coming to us. The concept of escaping earth to go to heaven was not a part of Jewish writing or teaching. God will set things right and establish his kingdom on earth. Jehovah will be our king and we will all be set free from the bondage and oppression of this present age just as He's done time and time again throughout scripture for His people. Only this time, it will be final. He also did a great job of helping the kids understand that this present state we are in is "less real" than the physical newness that we'll experience in the age to come. He brought to our attention the way Jesus kept appearing after his resurrection and seemed to walk through walls. His point was that Jesus was able to do that not because he was "ghost-like" but because this world was "ghost-like" to him. He had become "more real" than anything here on this earth.

The teenagers were awesome. Here's the thing about teenagers. They do live in their own worlds and are, for the most part, incredibly self-centered. But, if you take the time to relate to them, understand them, take them seriously and care about them, they not only teach you things, but they, without even trying, will affirm you as well. They are also fun to be around and hilarious. Their energy is contagious. My favorite activity of the weekend was this...groups of 4 to 6 were handed lyrics to songs from the 80's. Things like, "Total Eclipse of the Heart", "West End Girls", and "Down Under" to name a few. The groups had to make up a tune and perform the songs. So many of them turned 80's pop tunes into Gangsta Rap. Then we'd play the real thing and they'd perform again, lip-syncing. I can't remember when I've laughed harder.

I also made an important personal discovery this weekend. Curling irons are OUT, flatirons are IN. Not one girl there had a curling iron but every one of them had a flatiron. I gotta get one.


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Thursday, November 10, 2005


We're going on the annual Fall High School Retreat this weekend. This will be our thrid year running to be the parents in attendance. I love it! The boys camp outside in tents and "us girls" take the extra house that's on the church member's property we stay on. The land backs up to a river. My main purpose is preparing the meals for the weekend. I love hanging out with the kids and I usually get to spend quite a bit of time reading. I fully intend to start and finish "Blue Like Jazz" this weekend.

Our youth minister (who is an AMAZING teacher) will present lessons on apocolyptic scriptures. Can't wait, can't wait, can't wait.

Have a great weekend!


Saturday, November 05, 2005

The House of Sexual Struggle

From my experience I've found it seems to be a bit offputting to gays that those of us who deal with same sex attraction use the term "struggler" when referring to those like my husband, Ben, Rob, and Randy to name a few. Thinking along that line, I was struck by a thought this morning. My household currently is, at the very least, half full of persons involved in sexual struggle. I'm able to say this quite confidently because of the sheer fact that it's a house full of males.

We all know about Tdub's issues, which, while not at a level of impairment to the marriage (we have an awesome and fullfilling sex life...which IS a postitive change and a testament to the God's healing) still exist at some level. I am not of the opinion, as it seems some are, that in order to say one has changed orientation one needs to be completely free of any battles with attraction to the same sex. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that a certain level of the battle is a healthy reminder of healing, God's grace, and the constant need to rely on Him above all else. In fact, I believe that any married woman who is foolish enough to believe that her husband does not struggle with sexual attractions of SOME kind at some level, is just in denial. I happen to have the "benefit" of being more aware of my husband's struggle than most women.

The other strugglers in our house are the 18 yr. old and the 14 yr. old. I don't doubt for one moment that they struggle with heterosexuality or opposite sex attraction. I know it is a battle for them to resist sexual impurity. How do I know this? Because they are physically healthy males.

My point is two-fold. First, sexual desire is part of the way God designed us. Any sex outside of marriage is sin. Which, yes, I understand makes a point for gay marriage. But, in all honesty, do we really believe that marriage is going to make gay people more chaste? It hasn't worked with heterosexuals. Truthfully, I've almost convinced myself that we indeed should go ahead and allow gay marriage in the off chance that maybe it would motivate gays to be more chaste.

Secondly, I tend to believe that the reason the gay lifestyle (and I include closeted married men) is "typically" more promiscuous than the heterosexual lifestyle is because being gay involves men only. And men typically have less self-control and stronger drives when it comes to sex in general.

I know that sexual struggle is a problem with women as well. But, not at the same level as with men. As rampant as heterosexual sex outside of marriage is, I think the one factor that keeps it more in check than with gays has to do with women who, as a general rule, aren't as promiscuous as men.

I don't know. Maybe I'm just totally nutso with this line of thinking. I guess I'm just trying to be realistic about what it means to be Christian. For me, it means we struggle, all of us. But not only does Christ make us whole, over time, but most importantly He makes us presentable to a God who is to sin as lightness is to dark.

I'll end with a quote.

"A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is... A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness. They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in." C.S. Lewis

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