Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Birthday Parties

Tdub and I have alot in common, and yet, there are several key ways that we complement one another. Our opposing approaches to certain issues, if woven together correctly to bring the best of each forward, make one really great person in many ways.

We differ greatly in our approach to significant, sentimental sorts of "events". Birthdays would be the most common example. The first year we were married, Tdub threw me this very nice "surprise" birthday party. I was turning 36 years old. It was a very sweet, wonderful thing for him to do....and yet....I was a bit taken aback at the lengths and time he went to, and expected my friends to go to, in order to attend and/or make it special for me. I know how busy my friends are and I actually felt guilty that he expected them to take a school night (most of them are teachers), dress somewhat nicely (it was at one of our best local restaurants) procure a gift (they didn't have to, but of course they did), and show up there to go on and on about me in ways that I should be going on and on about them. It wasn't a "milestone" birthday. It was just another birthday. There were a few other factors which I know affected his decision to celebrate me that me, it was just overkill. Later, I commented something like this to him, "I hope you're not planning on doing that sort of thing every year! I mean, it's not like I'm SIX or something!" I probably hurt his feelings by saying that....even though I DID and still do appreciate his efforts. But, things like that are important to him. He likes to mark significant moments with much pomp and circumstance. And yes, he continued to throw parties of one fashion or another the first few years we were married. augh! Kinda drove me crazy! He finally stopped the year I turned 40...thank the LORD.

The thing is, I believe it's more important to attempt to treat each other in a somewhat celebratory way all year long. To me, it's not how awesome you can make that one day, hour, or event.....but how well you do at serving and submitting to one another ALL YEAR LONG.

Now....I have a very dear friend, KB, who fusses at me for giving Tdub a hard time about his desire to celebrate my birthday. She thinks it's the sweetest thing ever and such a wonderful example to the 4 boys of how they should honor their mother. I know she's right. And I know that it's important to Tdub to do these sorts of things. It's just one of the ways we are innately different. Which is okay.

The good news is this. Even though I've never been a big "party thrower"...(even for the's sad, really....we have parties for them...but...I just don't get that into it... go ahead and deduct points from my mother-of-the-year tally sheet) anyway, the good news is....Tdub has not yet turned 40. HeHe! So....I. CAN. NOT. WAIT. until the day that I throw the most humongously extravagant and outrageous BirthdayPartyOfALifetime for him. We still have 2 years to get it together....and you're all invited. Mark it down.


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Monday, March 27, 2006

What About Hell?

I'm pretty sure I won't be able to finish what I'm starting here in this one fact, I'll tell you right now....I won't finish this. Ever. Not in this life.

I'm asking questions right now. What about hell? Why should the concept of hell even be considered in my desire to be more like Christ? Should it?

Honestly, I walked down the little aisle in my Assembly of God (there's something "new" revealed about me!) children's worship service and accepted Jesus as my escape HELL. I mean, who wouldn't???? But, honestly, for me, I was sincere. I really did love Jesus and feel compelled that He'd redeemed me from a life of pitiful, meaningless six-year-old sinfulness when I accepted Him as my Savior. For real. For me, all six-year-olds in the pit of despair that I was in deserved nothing less than the devil and his torment for all eternity. He brought me out of that pit that day....when I walked that ailse and confessed Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I was immersed in baptism some six years later (despite the fact that we filled and warmed our baptistry once a year) at the point at which I decided it was important to follow Jesus in baptism...being obedient to Him.

All of the above gives you a tiny glimpse of the sort of "doctrine" I grew up in. I'm not going to argue any of the above doctrines. I've belonged to Jesus since I was 6 years old....actually, thanks to my parents, my ENTIRE life. I've made bad decisions and choices and there have been times when I didn't even know for sure that God cared about me personally. And yet, I've been His child. His GRACE has been MORE than sufficient for me.

But what about hell????? I'm not sure what I think about hell....except boys have all been told by me...."Do NOT make Jesus the Lord of your life because you don't want to go to hell. That is not the right reason."


Maybe I'm wrong to tell them such. I tell them other things. This is not ALL I tell them. But....what do we do with hell? Where do we put it in our belief or motivations toward heaven? Do we consider it? Should we?

Just asking questions for today. I'm just so relieved that if there IS indeed a lake of physical burning fire....ME or YOU are not the ones deciding who goes there. That's about the only thing I can know for sure at this point.


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Friday, March 24, 2006


It's been one heck of a week.

Right now I'm just weary. Tired of schedules and places to be and things to do. I'm an introvert at heart (even though I can fake a good extrovert in a crowd) so the business of life tends to drag me down. And what a busy life we have. I'm not gonna sit here and list it out. Too tired for such.

OH darn....I literally cannot finish writing this because #2 just called letting me know he's ready to be picked up. Which is fine. I mean, I love #2 and I'm so blessed to have 4 sons and to have a car and to be able to pick them up....he's in regular school, he's not in a wheelchair or doesn't need extra help to get by in any way mentally or physically. This is a BLESSING. Furthermore, he just informed me that some kid FOUND his IPOD Nano that we'd given up for "stolen" (wondering about the whole thing at this point) and he has it back after it's been missing for at least FOUR WEEKS!!! I go. Will finish this later. Thanks for stopping by.


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Monday, March 20, 2006

And Your Point Is?

*whew* long day getting back into the swing of things after Spring Break....

I had a little email exchange over the weekend that reminded me of this little saying....which I've used from time to time as a bit of a humorous "aside" of sorts when talking with friends.

"If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck......chances's a duck."

There's a lot of truth to that statement. In fact, used wisely, and with GRACE, it can be a helpful admonition. However, used like a blanket, as if every night were a cold one in a home lacking heat, it becomes suffocating and limiting.

Lest my point get lost under the covers of my blankets here...I'm going to give a real life example.

I meet tons of ducks as a teacher. All shapes and sizes. On two specific occasions that I can think of, I've encountered a duck that looked, walked, and quacked as if it had little or no sense whatsoever. The particular ducks I'm speaking of were not part of my homeroom class. (I've been on both sides of this sort of duck scenario) Basically, I've gone to inquire as to how I can relate to such an obviously "bird-brained" duck only to discover that said duck has an IQ of the sort that invents vaccines or finds cures for cancer. This is actually a smart duck. A real smart duck. And yet, it appeared to me, to be a stupid duck. I learned quickly how to be more successful with the duck just by reinterpreting his quacks and responding accordingly.

I think my point might be....that we are all ducks of some sort. And we all make judgments about each other based on our preconceived notions. For me, I'm learning to let the cute little duck statement be just that...a funny little aside that says more about ME than the person I'm looking at or judging. It's a beginning place for me to get to know the REAL duck that's underneath the one I've labeled based on my own biases. I may find that I was entirely correct in my labeling...but...more often, I'll probably learn that there's a lot more to that duck than could be summed up in my cute and funny phrase.

Christine said this in my comments in regards to the fact that she is not typically labeled gay by the way she looks, talks, or acts....
So maybe what's needed is to look at why me being, looking or acting "feminine" is culturally viewed as incompatible with being gay...instead of insisting that I must be straight because I look it, walk it, quack like it...

I could turn that very statement around....and talk about how many "feminine" qualities like creative expression and emotional sensitivity in men are often viewed as being incompatible with being straight.....

I'm tired. Enough of the ducks already. *quack* quack*quack*!


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Sunday, March 19, 2006

Ducks and Labels

I don't have time to write what I'm thinking of writing at this moment. Duties at my church building beckon me. However....I do have this idea...brewing....based on this saying that I jokingly, and yet not so much jokingly, use from time to time.

Are you familiar with this?

If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck.......chances's a duck.

That's all I have time for right now. But I'll try and get back to this later tonight or tomorrow.


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Thursday, March 16, 2006


In an effort to inject some mirth into this downtrodden, painful existence I seem to be describing of is an example of the sort of thing you have to laugh at, lest you cry, when living in a home full of boys....who no doubt someday will be able to demonstrate the fierce love they actually have for one another...

Here's the sort of thing I overhear, frequently, from the other room....

#2: Stop it, idiot!
#3: I'm not doing anything!
#2: Whatever (thud, slap, or crashing sound is heard at this point)
#3: Idiot!
#2: Weirdo!
#3: Your mom's a weirdo!
#4: Shut up...I can't hear the freakin' movie!

There's more.....I usually allow it to go on a bit longer in hopes it will resolve itself and quiet movie watching will resume....sometimes that happens....sometimes not and I have to call "jump ball" and figure out which one got sent to their room the last time and send the other one this time. One of those little arrow thingies they use at the games would be helpful to me....although I'm sure they'd find a way to corrupt which way the arrow was pointing, thus starting an entirely NEW argument.

Are you laughing yet? I'm hysterical. *geez*


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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Wayward Son

I'm not doing very well this week. It's great to be off to rest and relax, and yet, I've found that rest and relaxation were not really what God had in mind for me. I'm writing this post in much grief and with great anguish.

Son #1, the 18 yr.old, is struggling. I don't even know how to tell about it or if I even should. I doubt that I've done anything helpful for him at all, and yet I know that is the enemy's attempt to drag me into a pit so that I will wallow in self-pity....which is just pride wrapped up in grief. If I've learned anything in the past 6 years, it is not allow the enemy the stronghold of doubt and self-pity.

And so, in writing this out, I've discovered how to ask you to pray for me. Pray that I will remain strong in my faith, and unflinching in my belief that Jesus is LORD. And pray that I will be so keyed-in to the Holy Spirit, that I will not waste any opportunity to do or say what needs to be said or done as things progress.

He (my son) belongs to Christ already. He just doesn't recognize his worth in God's kingdom or his value as a child of God. If he did, he'd not be struggling now as he is. He's not been raised in the most nuclear of family situations. (duh!) And yet, his experiences and trials are going to serve him well once he does take up residence in the Kingdom of which he's a citizen.

My prayer is that this time will come sooner than later. I don't doubt for a moment that it will come.


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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The Ultimate Paradox

"To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
2 Cor 12:7-10

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Monday, March 13, 2006

The Power of Sin

I've been advising a friend a bit about his decision to date someone seriously. Seriously enough that he wants to share his struggle with her. I'd share some of the more humorous aspects of our conversations but they probably wouldn't sound funny in print. I do believe that the blessing of humor is one of God's most wonderful acts of grace that He's bestowed upon us. Almost makes me want to tear up and's so awesome. How ironic is that?

Anyway, back to my point. Within these conversations we've talked a great deal about submission to one another within God's kingdom and how being transparent and honest about our struggles is one of the keys to living an overcoming, virtuous, Christ-centered life. When I undergird this particular struggle with the belief that it is nothing more than a sort of "twist" that's been crafted by the dark side to yet again screw up God's original intent/design for our well-being (which is all that ANY sin is, really) then, like any other sin, one of the keys is in getting it out of the dark places and into the glorious light of Christ. That's only done by sharing it with others. And yet, for guys like my friend, and Tdub, this involves a huge amount of risk, moreso than your more "garden-variety" sins.

My friend keeps saying "poor girl, I feel so sorry for her." He says this because he knows he's about to face her with something that has the potential to "whither her desires into nothingness". He will not be able to honestly tell her that he will never struggle sexually in this way. No more than any truly honest always-hetero man could say the same to his potential wife about his sexual desires. She will be faced with the fact that she is setting herself up to fall in love with a man who is broken and will more than likely never be entirely whole. Barring some miracle, or the resurrection, there are chinks and cracks. And for me, herein lies a blessing. This struggle blesses me by keeping me and my husband wholly dependent on Christ for our goodness. You see, I've learned that I am not ONE iota better off than he is as I face down my own demons and struggles. We, left to our own devices, have done horrible, rotten, unspeakable things to one another. Furthermore, I can say with certainty that if we didn't keep our focus on Christ, we'd probably repeat most of it. The children of Israel seem so stupid in those stories when they keep turning away from God again and again, and yet, I do the exact same thing if I don't SUBMIT to Him daily. That's why he says this.

Submission is difficult, particularly in the beginning of it. But whoa....once you persevere through a valley or two or eighteen (ha!) it actually becomes pleasant to submit. It totally takes the heat (literally and figuratively) off of ME and allows me to live in a freedom and peace of mind that defies comprehension. If I'm not really in charge of anything, then I can't screw up, can I? It's beautiful. I'm not saying I've, no. If I ever DO say such a thing it would mean I had become very far from God indeed! But I am saying that my walk with Christ has begun to become less awkward.

And all because of sin. Hmmm.


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Friday, March 10, 2006


When the last bell rings at 2:45 today I will, for the next week, become the woman I'm destined to be. Waking up at 9:00 (or so), drinking coffee, surfing a bit (no comments, tdub!), possibly cleaning up and going for lunch with a friend, or staying grungy and puttering about in the yard working on flowerbeds, maybe painting a picture, then whipping up a delightful dinner for Tdub and the four numbered children, blogging about my "charmed" life, then retiring with a good book or more likely catching up on blog reading. All the while knowing that I'll still be receiving a paycheck in a few weeks.

I love Spring Break.


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Saturday, March 04, 2006

Engaging the Culture

I read Ex-Gay Watch occasionally. Not often, mind you. I probably check in over there about once a week and if I feel so inclined, I'll comment. There are some posts, like this one, last month which tend to invite my perspective on things. I've been able to conduct civil and meaningful conversations with the folks over there. They've even linked to my blog under the category "in the middle", which I guess is fine with me. I think it's interesting that I have made no bones about my beliefs that homosexuality is not God's plan or design, homosexual acts are sinful, and "change" in attractions is possible, and yet, I'm still accepted and even affirmed at such a place.

What gives?

Some people who read my blog may think it's ME who "gives" and not in a good way. I may at times appear to be "soft on sin". Is being listed as "in the middle" like being "lukewarm" in the spiritual sense? We all know what happens to lukewarm Christians. In truth, those are thoughts that I've wrestled with. Worrying that these things may be true, I've spent a little time communicating with some folks who I consider to be wise. This man, this man, and a few others for whom I have no links. They all assure me that this is not the perception they have of me from reading my blog.

After thinking about it for some time (imagine that) I'm ready to articulate some reasons I think I'm able to communicate not only pleasantly but in a sense of community with the folks at Ex-Gay Watch. It is this.

I speak only for myself and from my own experience when I talk to them. I can't say for sure that all men who desire sexual encounters with other men can make the switch and desire the same thing with women. In my personal experiences, this is the case. I believe holiness should be the goal, not having sex with the opposite gender. Some may have to give that part of themselves over to God to the point that they don't care if they ever have sex again, as long as they are right with Him. That level of dedication to God is tough stuff. But it's what I believe and I'm honest about it. While I've not made that exact statement at Ex-Gay Watch, that core belief drives much of what I communicate. I've stated plainly that a complete, 100% switch in orientation is not the goal, and furthermore, a remnant of struggle is not a bad thing for humans who tend to become prideful and lazy if not reminded from "whence they came". In other words, I become prideful and lazy if not slapped up side the head occasionally with how wretched I truly am.

I'm also careful to be considerate of the sorts of verbiage that offends gay folks and to literally humble myself at the feet of Jesus before I say anything there. I can't imagine conversing with them (after publicly claiming their orientation's behaviors to be sinful) without taking into account my own tendency to sin and my own dire need of forgiveness. I've learned from the folks at Ex-Gay Watch that saying "change is possible" is a particularly charged comment to them. I'm not saying you were gay and now you are straight. I'm saying, my struggle with sin (any sin) decreases as I journey closer to God, take the risks He calls me to take, and submit my will to His will. Still another thing I've learned and attempt to incorporate into my communication with those who are gay is that they don't appreciate being referred to as "homosexuals". They are gay. I call them gay. They also don't consider their orientation to be a "lifestyle" anymore than I consider myself to be living the lifestyle of a woman. It wasn't a choice they made to be gay. When I put this in the context of my own Christianity I recognize that I didn't get to choose my struggles. My sinful nature chose me, I certainly didn't choose it. God has revealed to me some of the reasons I desire things that aren't part of His plan. I struggle to continue to submit my will to His.

The bottom line is to maintain a humble spirit and Christ-like attitude even when others may not be doing so. It's important not to jump at the chance to argue every single point you don't necessarily agree with but to keep your eyes on the big picture. And what is the big picture? Reflecting Christ who glorifies our Father in Heaven.


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Wednesday, March 01, 2006


#3 is going to be baptized this evening after classes! Tdub will have the honors. :)
He's been talking about it off and on for over 2 years now. But this time, it's the real deal. He is 12 and in the 6th grade. He has communicated to us that he wants to be baptized not just because he believes that Jesus is God's son who died for our sins....but because he is a sinner and he needs Jesus to forgive him of his sins.

And so we celebrate this new LIFE in Christ. Baptism, in our faith, represents one's statement of faith in Jesus as the Lord of ALL and a commitment to allowing Jesus to be the Lord of your life. It's a beginning, not an end. It's a time of declaring "come what may" and "nevertheless". Jesus is Lord. I am saved.


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