Friday, April 28, 2006

The thing with Art

I love it when those little "chuckle out loud" moments happen at school.

I had 4th graders sorting through painted coil pots that have been displayed for a few months. It's that time of year when we begin taking everything down and sending it home.

One little girl looked and looked....not seeming to find the pot she'd obviously labored diligently over, forming then painting with great care just a few months before. She looked and looked to no avail, not finding hers. Then, very casually she remarked, "You know, that's the thing with art, you can't ever remember what yours looks like."


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Thursday, April 27, 2006

Stumbling Towards Faithfulness

A very dear friend of ours used this phrase in an email of encouragement today.

I believe this perfectly describes me as I stumble onward. This is one reason I'm so sickened and saddened by the self-righteous attitudes of those who believe that shaming others is somehow the correct action to take. The way I see it, even in our most PRISTINE moments, at our very FINEST of efforts (i'm talking billy graham/john piper/max lucado/insert the modern day Christian role model of your choice here) we are still just stumbling along toward an immense holiness that we don't even really begin to comprehend. And yet, we think (so much of the time) we have it all figured out.

When are we going to "wake up" and recognize that if Jesus loved us WHILE WE WERE STILL SINNERS....and gave HIS LIFE for us.....that we, in turn, are being called to do the same for others. We are being called to lay down our very lives for the sake of those who may never accept the message, the way of Christ. That's what He did.

Laying down my life doesn't mean I've come to preach a gospel of condemnation and shame. I've come to declare freedom in Christ! So.....what if someone came to Christ, believed He was God's son and had died for the sins of mankind....yet....didn't believe that homosexual acts were sin? What would I do with that? What have I done with that?

I'll tell you what I've done. I've befriended those who claim Christ, as Christians, but been honest with them about my beliefs that homosexual acts are sin. And I'm letting God deal with the rest of it....recognizing that I have sin in my own life....and that as I submit to Christ I continue to be called to greater and greater depths of holiness. I've had to give up things. It didn't happen all at once. In fact, I'm certain that there are areas of sinfulness in my life even now. As I journey onward He will reveal those things to me. I'm taking it one step at a time and trusting in Him. I have complete FAITH in God, and the power of the Holy Spirit, to work out the things that I cannot. Stumbling towards faithfulness. I love that.


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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

T-shirt controversy

Here's a link to the news story about the kid who wore a t-shirt to school that said "Homosexuality is shameful".

As always, I'm going to speak to this controversy from my own perspective. No one else's. As I've said before, I'm only telling my/our story here. But, since Tdub and I are best friends and "in sync" on this particular issue, I'll go ahead and speak for him as well.

The wearing of that shirt is shameful. I'm thinking that the kid who wore it does not, like Tdub, struggle with unwanted same sex attraction (HOMOSEXUALITY....ah...the big BAD "H" word)
I can't help but think that Jesus would take that boy out to a big sandy spot and start writing all of his sins there in the sand. Maybe a modern day version of that would be a can of spray paint and graffiti on the school walls.

Here's the deal. There's just NO CONTEXT that makes wearing a shirt like that a good and right thing to do. There are MANY other sins that are of just as "dire" consequence to the body of Christ as this ONE. These sins don't need protests, parades, or lobbyists to exist freely in our country....they just DO. And many of them are MORE detrimental to the body of Christ than this ONE. I'm convinced that the Christian "right" has been taken in hook, line, and sinker by the lies of the evil one regarding this issue. We don't trust our own God enough to work His plan....we don't rely on the power within us through His Holy Spirit. We turn to tactics like this? We react and respond in kind to what is done to us? This is not scriptural. This is not truth in love. This is craziness.


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Monday, April 24, 2006

We Can't Do Everything

One thing I hope my boys are able to learn, that I'm still learning, is that you can't do everything. Tdub and I tend to overextend ourselves much of the time because there are many things we like doing and want done well, and because we still have difficulty saying no to things. Most of the things we do are things we really WANT to do. The past two weekends have been FULL of STUFF. Next weekend we are going to help my parents make a move. In between all that we have baseball games and now (again) basketball games. I did manage to get my Sunday nap yesterday but that was because we skipped a family event that was going on at our church.

For the first time since we've been married Tdub actually said the words out loud, "We can't do everything." This was literally like music to my ears. This is progress.

In other news, it looks like I'm going to be making the move to the middle school where #3 and #4 will be going next year. Yippee! I'm excited. I'll be giving up my art gig for a go at teaching 7th grade English/Writing. One of the perks I enjoy in teaching is the flexibility it provides. I've been able to move around and try different things. I thrive on changes and fresh challenges.

Not much else to report at the moment. Hope all is well with all of you! :)


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Thursday, April 20, 2006

More Birthdays

Our second oldest turns 15 today. This is Tdub's firstborn. I know he's a bit emotional about it...and not just because it means he's pretty much officially "old". :) It is a bit "weird" when you're a blended family and these birthdays come up. Not in a bad way, but, just somewhat odd. Everytime one of these boys has a birthday, two histories once again collide for just a moment. There's the family we are NOW, and the family we each used to be at the time of that particular birth.

Even I, the less sentimental of the two of us, think about the day of birth of each of my own birth children on their birthday. There are recollections of the beginning of labor, the trip to the hospital, the PAIN, the weird and stupid things that came out of my mouth during the event, and then of course, that first moment I laid eyes on my heavenly gift.

I don't write much here about the whole blended family thing. We make it work pretty well for the most part. But it's still affects us in significant ways. For me, I'm just so very blessed to have two "stepsons" (i hesitate to even call them that) who are as dear to me as "real" sons. I can't imagine how they could be more "real" to me. I even have a surrogate sort of love for their biological mother based on the fact that she gave birth to these two people that I know and love so dearly.

Birthdays are a time of reflection, just like any event or milestone. This is mine, today.


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Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Thanks for the comments, calls, and emails. As I write Tdub is out in the shed unpacking the winder younits.


I love it when submission works my way. ;)


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Monday, April 17, 2006

500 degrees

It's not really quite that hot where I live today.....but it feels like it. Particularly since this is supposed to be SPRING. ugh.

I'm mainly writing this post for Tdub who has this "no air-conditioning-until-May" rule which is about the stupidest thing I've ever heard of. Don't you all agree???

It got up to freakin' 99 degrees today! Tdub will be utterly appalled that I'm sharing's the truth. We use window units. (or, as we affectionately call them, winder younits) I've mentioned the fact that we live in an unrenovated house that's over 100 years old before. Before central heat and air. And, since Tdub INSISTS on taking the things out and packing them up nicely in storage every winter, we have to wait for him to get them back out when it turns hot again. So. This, I guess, is my first official post of protest against my husband! I've made it a loooooong time don't you think??? And, it should be noted that the root of the problem is my own personal comfort. That, and the fact that the children are going to have to forage for pop tarts or whatever else they can find since I'm not cooking in this heat! ugh. ugh. ugh. Which again, ties back to my own personal comfort.

Ok....I expect the sympathy to come pouring in now. And the "winder younits" to be installed ASAP!

Being married to a guy who struggles with same sex attraction....that I can take.....this way! :)


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Thursday, April 13, 2006

God's Not Mad at Me

Last Sunday morning one of my best friends came to sit by me during worship. She usually does, for at least a little while, then she goes back to her parents. She's just turned 4. I've never been one to discriminate friendships based on age. There's so much to learn from everyone.

During the sermon she opened her pink purse Bible that folds over, snaps closed and has a handy little removable strap (when she can keep up with it). She placed the Bible in my lap and began turning the pages gently, one at a time. The pages made that soft-pitched crumpling sound that only Bible pages make when turned, and she whispered that she was going to show me the pictures. I nodded and smiled. We'd done this before. In a split second, her attention was diverted by some random sound one of her brothers was making in the row ahead, and she turned her head quickly. She inadvertently jerked not only her head around, but also her hand, holding the fragile Bible page between two of her chubby little fingers. A tiny Bible-page tearing sound was heard. She quickly turned around. Her eyes widened in shock and horror as she viewed the torn page. It was still attached by about 2 inches at the top. She pushed at the page a few times, quite frantically, as if she'd surely be able to get the torn part to re-attach itself. After it became obvious that this miracle wasn't going to happen, she looked up at me, and, in a tone that was part reassuring, part questioning she whispered, "God's not mad at me." I replied, "No, no, baby, of course He's not."

I feel like I've been having that same little exchange of conversation, over and over again lately, with so many different people.


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Tuesday, April 04, 2006


It's ironic to me that so many Christians get caught up in holding gay folks (moreso than any others or themselves) accountable for their sin. I know many gay folks as well as many like my husband whose same sex attractions are unwanted. One of the truest stereotypes I've come across about gays and strugglers is this. They are, by and large, very intelligent people. In fact, I honestly don't think I've ever met a stupid gay person. They are usually quick-witted, insightful, and intellectually challenging to talk to. I'm pretty sure that my belief that homosexual acts are not part of God's original intent or design (sin) got through to them the very first time they read it here on this blog. I don't need to restate it, repost it using different analogies or references, or shove it down their throats once a month just so they don't forget where I really stand on the issue. In fact, if they're like me, they probably even struggle with other sins, not just that one...actual sins that we'd agree were sins. Maybe we should start with some of the "lesser" sins and work our way up. (that was sarcasm)

The irony of this situation is, that because I claim Christ, I am going to be held accountable for the way I've treated them. It would be crazy, would it not, for someone to "sin" against the very ones they were attempting to "save". And yet, that's what I see happening over and over again in the way that some Christians deal with this one issue. I'm being judgemental here, so I have to be careful. I realize that. I've just had some conversations, been in some prayer times, and done some reading lately that have reaffirmed my comittment to LOVE.


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Sunday, April 02, 2006

1 John 4:7,8 NIV
"Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love."

1 John 4:7,8 The MESSAGE
My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn't know the first thing about God, because God is love--so you can't know him if you don't love.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 The MESSAGE
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
Love doesn't strut,
Doesn't have a swelled head,
Doesn't force itself on others,
Isn't always "me first,"
Doesn't fly off the handle,
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn't revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

I remember a time when the above verses made me feel all good inside. Now, they challenge me to the very CORE of my being. I have found that there is absolutely NO WAY to do any of that stuff written up there without relying on God's Holy Spirit to guide and direct me. I am just flat not capable of loving on my own.


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