Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Code Word Is Charlotte

Every other weekend X and I meet halfway for his visitation. It's 5 hours of driving on those Fridays and another on Sundays. Whew! The last hour home is fierce; my kiddies have had it.

Today I employed a ruse and brought my parents' dog Cosmo with. Let me be the first to pass out high fives because he totally did the trick. For the first time no one was whining lemme out of this car!

On a semi related topic (hang in here with me), tonight I saw an update from my Australian pal's blog called Pigs Dust & Spiders. I warily opened her page because I'm very arachnophobic... (coast was clear, it was really cute) but it made me think of what I wrote last fall.

Here is an edited version of The Code Word is Charlotte...
On our last 5 hour road trip I had to make an important call. I find that I emit a pheromone when I'm on the phone, especially so in a moving car, that prompts my children to howl like wolves and hyenas. They're so charming sometimes.

I'm talking and every few seconds I get a, "mom, Mom, MOM!" to which I reply, "could you just hold on one second, don't you see I'm on the phone with your father?" This went on and as usual, ended when my call did. "What?! what was so important?" and then my son said it, "I saw a spider in the car."


Stay calm, do NOT panic. (I'm so panicking) Ok. Deep breaths.
Where is it?
I don't know anymore.
Well I saw it walking around on the ceiling but it's not there now.
Where did it go? Better yet, why didn't you tell me??
I tried but you said to wait cause you were on the phone.
Uh-oh, this is totally my fault.
I'm sorry I didn't listen to you. I'm sorry for shushing you sugar pie. Now, tell me exactly, where did it go?
Well it crawled around on the ceiling but I lost it when it got to your door.
Now is a good time to panic!

I have jumped off a 2 story balcony and undergone professional treatment for arachnopobia (which by the way made it worse); it's fierce. So I start praying and sent my son hunting with his shoe. He couldn't find it. Praise Jesus it never found me.

However. Should the situation arise in the future, the code word is Charlotte. If you ever, see anything, with more than 4 legs, Kill it and yell Charlotte! Friends, I drove like I had Terets. I twitched, brushed and randomly hollered for the rest of the drive.

Talk about learning to listen to my children. Luke 7:35 says Wisdom is proved right by her children. ...and never in all my life have I been so grateful to get out of the car.

On second thought, maybe next time I should bring the cat.

On the Road Again,

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Rockin' the Boat

Bedtime is a zoo.

You know that wind down period, when you're listening to your kiddies settle themselves in for the night? I've got a front row seat for mine. My daughter sleeps with me and the boys sleep in bunkbeds at the end of the big bed. Left to their own wiles they'd be up all night, so I always go to bed with them. And by go to bed I mean use my laptop as their nightlight and stay up way too late. Ahem.

Where was I? Zoo. Right. Inevitably someone gets the giggles... it's just like laughing in church, which we all know is contagious. Wrong. Contagious. Once they get going, it's hard to stop. (As a matter of fact my sister and I, to this day, cannot sit next to each other in church because we laugh ourselves silly; it's embarrassing!)

As soon as I get it together I put my Mom face on and give them "the look." My boys are just like the movie What About Bob, "I'll be quiet. ...I'll be peace." This just sets us off again! Last night everyone was riled up and I said (loudly) sit down, sit down, sit down, sit down, sit down you're rockin' the boat!

It reminded me of Sunday's message on Luke 8: 22-25. One day Jesus said to his disciples, "Let's go over to the other side of the lake." So they got into a boat and set out. As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger. The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Master, Master, we're going to drown!" He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. "Where is your faith?" he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, "Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him."

Did Jesus not say they were going to the other side of the lake? When He's mapping out your route, trust Him. Most importantly, Pastor Londa pointed out that even these professional fishermen, who had Jesus in their boat, thought this storm was going to claim them. The Bible says rain will fall on the just and unjust alike. We will all have storms, but when Jesus is in your boat, you'll never sink.

Now, if I could just get my crew calmed down enough to impart such wisdom.

On a Boat to Heaven,

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Hot Leaves

Everywhere I look, the leaves are changing and falling. I positively adore autumn in the Midwest.

Last year my sons and I were watching the leaves fall outside our living room window and my youngest said, "why did God made some of the leaves hot Mama?" They're not hot baby, they're turning colors before they fall off the trees, I said. Of course he wanted to know why they needed to get off the tree and my oldest piped in, "that's easy, so God can make room for new ones to grow in their next season." From the mouths of babes I tell ya.

God does turn the heat on to make room for new growth. ...I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, 'they are my people' and they will say 'the Lord is our God." (Zechariah 13:9) Just so you know, if I was the betting kind, I'd bet we're going to be shiny when we come through. Downright blinding, because He doesn't do anything halfhearted.

There is progress in the pain of His heat. Think of it this way; when you put flour, sugar, raw eggs, salt and baking soda in a bowl it's not something you want to eat. You can mix everything together, still... notsomuch. It's not ready until you turn on the heat. After time in the oven that mess is cake! You know how I feel about cake... Turn it up!

It's Gettin' Hot In Here,

Monday, September 21, 2009


You and I have prayed for the last 300 days for what arrived in the mail today. Ladies and Gentlemen - CHILD SUPPORT!!!

Ecclesiastes 4:3 says there is a time to mourn, a time to laugh and a time to dance. Care to join me in a happy dance?

I don't know if words can convey my relief. I bought my daughter socks tonight. Put gas in the car. Let my children celebrate with sundaes - and I didn't pay in change.

The test is not over, it will take time to plan and save for a place of our own, but I can see it now. As down to the ground grateful as I am to my Dad and Stepmom for taking us in, I'm anxious to try live again on my own. But had it happened sooner, could I have stood up under it? Would I have rushed it and failed? I'm still learning.

Nearly everything we own has been in storage since December. My 3 children and I have shared 1 room for 9 months. And while painful at times, it has blessed me.

...I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:11-13)

Yes, I miss my stuff. But I'm living without it. He who has the most toys does not in fact win. Yes, I long for 5 minutes of quiet in my own room... but I will ache to hear my babies sleep around me again. Yes there has been unrest in the village, but I love my family like crazy. My children and I have bonds of super glue and a solid foundation beneath us. Everything's gonna be alright.

I am so grateful for your prayers; they are never wasted on my children.

I Praise You Jesus,

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Childhood Cancer Awareness

Did you know September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month? Cancer remains the #1 disease killer of America's children - more than Cystic Fibrosis, Muscular Dystrophy, Asthma and AIDS combined. Statistically speaking, there are 7 children with Cancer in America that will not live out this day.

I followed and prayed for Coleman Scott on carepages last year; he was an incredibly brave 5 year old boy who left behind a twin brother. His mother wrote:

*On average 12,500 children and teens will be diagnosed with some form of cancer each year in this country; one in 330 children will develop cancer by age 20.
*Although the 5 year survival rate is steadily increasing, one quarter of children will die 5 years from the time of diagnosis. In the US almost 3,000 children do not survive cancer each year.
*Over the past 2 decades, only ONE new cancer drug has been approved for Pediatric use. Currently there are between 30-40,000 children undergoing cancer treatment in the US.
*As a nation, we spend over $14 Billion per year on the space program, but only $35 million on Childhood Cancer Research each year.
*There are 15 children diagnosed with cancer for every 1 child diagnosed with pediatric AIDS. Yet, the US invests approximately $95,000 for reasearch per victim of pediatric AIDS and only $20,000 for each victim of childhood cancer.
*Research funds are scarce as most money is diverted to well publicized adult forms of cancer, such as breast and prostate.

Please pray for a cure. Pray for grace and mercy on these families! As Coleman's mother said, "if it were your child, your baby, you would want someone to help you." The blogosphere has watched Tuesday's family suffer. Each one is one family too many.

Chili's Restaurant is donating 100% of their profits on September 28th. They've made a commitment to raise $50 million over 1o years on behalf of St. Jude's. Take this as the best excuse all year to go out to eat. Spread the word! You can make a difference.

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. (Colossians 1:9)


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Pearls of Wisdom

Have you heard about the movement to stop complaining? Reverand Will Bowen had divine guidance when he rolled this one out.

Scientists say it takes people 21 days to form a new habit. His idea is to wear a bracelet as a physical reminder to stop complaining. If you do complain, you move the bracelet to your other wrist, until you have gone 21 days without moving it.

The average person complains 15-30 times a day! Reverend Bowen says 6 million people, in more than 80 countries have already requested their bracelets. 6 million times 20 (complaints per day) = 120 million complaints thwarted. Wowza. Not as easy as it sounds, it took him 3 1/2 months to get 21 consecutive days of non-complaining; it has taken others up to 7 months. But the progress is in the effort.

Withholding complaints is not a new concept. Do everything without complaining or arguing (Phillipians 2:14). Words have power. Speak life! If I say, "I will forget my complaint, I will change my expression and smile." (Job 9:27)

I have an aversion to laytex, so I'm wearing a stretchy pearl bracelet instead of the free purple ones but the groundwork remains the same. Are there circumstances in my life to complain about? Yep. But His grace exceeds them! I said in the beginning of my do over that I didn't intend to waste it. Just eat your brownie, remember? Complaining, itself, is a waste.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (Ephesians 4:29) Those, my friends, are true pearls of wisdom.

Day 1,

Monday, September 14, 2009

Nobody Puts Baby in the Corner

Did I ever tell you my favorite movie is Dirty Dancing? I saw it in the theater when I was eight. I was responsible for sending our VCR to the shop not once, but twice, because I got the tape stuck from rewinding the final dance so often.
DIRTY DANCING- Final Dance - Watch more Videos at Vodpod.

I'm a fan; I've had a spot in my heart for Patrick Swayze ever since. "Ga-gung... it's a feeling; a heartbeat." Tonight I'm aware not only of his unmeasurable talent as a dancer, actor and songwriter, but that he was a husband, a brother, a son. And a fighter.

At Stand Up to Cancer in September 2008 he said to a standing ovation "I dream that the word 'cure' will no longer be followed by the words 'it's impossible'. Together, we can make a world where cancer no longer means living with fear, without hope, or worse."

Praying for his family tonight and keenly aware the world has lost a treasure, but he will not be forgotten.

Nobody Puts Baby in the Corner.


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Go Big Red!

"So you all want to buy a tv, right?" he said. And we laughed, the 30+ of us standing around the television in Costco, watching the last 25 seconds of the Badger game's 4th quarter this afternoon.There was a collective groan as Fresno state tied the game, and a rush to the checkout lines. We tuned the radio into the game driving home - collective cheer as the Badgers won 34-31 in double overtime - Woot!

Go! Big! Red!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Eight Years Later

I Remember.
God bless the victims, the families, the rescuers.
God Bless the USA.

By the Numbers

Me + My 3 = 4
on MN weekends for the briefest of moments 4 + X = 5
then 5 - 4 = Me

It's still a process, the recovery of divorce, for me and my 3. Just today I met with my son's Kindergarten teacher... he's that child in her class, they're less than 3 weeks into the year and we're having emergency planning meetings. I wanted a partner in it. My partner. But that's not how it is. So I will talk to X about it tomorrow, but it's very different from talking with him.

We are not 5. We are each 1 that share 3.

It still holds me by the throat sometimes.

This morning as I took it to God I tried to Be Still and Know - but I couldn't, I was Running to the Mercy Seat.

He said that I could come into His presence without fear; into the holy place where His mercy hovers near - I'm runnin' to the mercy seat. Where Jesus is callin' He said His grace would cover me. His blood will flow freely, it will provide the healin', come runnin' to the mercy seat. (Mercy Seat - Vicki Yohe)

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)

Please pray for my son. He's been through a lot. But he is smart. He is able. And he is loved.

Jude 1:2,

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

All Over the World

When Jesus said, "Go make disciples of all nations..." (Matthew 28:35) it's hard to believe He knew there would be a blogosphere. But He did.

There's a map in my sidebar that asks, "Where in the World Are You?" I am astonished to see someone on every continent has sat under the Willow Tree with me. It reports each of these 38 countries have visited:
















Korea, Republic of


Libyan Arab Jamahiriya









Russian Federation



South Africa






United Arab Emirates

United Kingdom

United States

Well hello great big world! I'm blessed you've come to sit awhile with me.

Bénédiction, Siunaukset, Ευλογία, ברכת, Benedizione, 祝福, 축복, Bendición, Błogosławieństwo, Binecuvântările, Благословения, Благослов, ให้ศีลให้พร, ...Blessings,

Thursday, September 3, 2009

While I'm Waiting

Spending the weekend with God renewed my hope in waiting. Because as I learned, there is nothing idle about the meaning of wait.

I passed multitudes of wildflowers on the highway in my 13 hours of driving. So many in fact, I wondered why God continued to show them to me. Half as often, I saw corn fields. I love that the Creator bends near to show me Heavenly things in small pictures I can wrap my head around. The difference between the two, was how I'm trying to live, and how He wants me to.

The corn was lined up like soldiers. Neat and orderly, it knew were it started, where it stopped, where the breaks were. That corn had it's act together. But those flowers. A riot of color, shapes and sizes, tangled together; faces up. They bloomed where He planted them, not of their own choosing, nor any elses. Right next to the highway! They withstood the wind of cars flying by at 75 miles an hour. And thrived.

Perhaps because they intimately know their creator, the one that can rebuke the wind, with a word.

"Come" He said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," He said, "why did you doubt?" (Matthew 14:29-31) Why do we still doubt? Did you see, He calls us to Him. We're supposed to be moving in His direction, not the other way around. Second, Peter didn't sink until he took his eyes off the Lord. And yet there's grace. Always Grace. He knows we fail. He asks us to try.

While I'm waiting, I will be hopeful. Though it's painful, patiently I will wait. I will move ahead, bold and confident, taking every step in obedience. While I'm waiting, I will serve Him, I will worship Him. I will not faint, I'll be running the race, even while I wait. (While I'm Waiting, John Waller)

It doesn't hurt less, the waiting. It just means more. Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him. (Psalm 126: 5-6) It is my deepest prayer that in the waiting, I will be sowing wildflowers. I have thought for months that I will sing when it's over. I was wrong... I'm singing now.

For His Worship,

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

LPL Greenbay

Living Proof Live - Simulcast - Green Bay WI from Rich Kalonick on Vimeo.

Watch this! I've got Holy Spirit goosebumps! (can you find me? 2:16)
From Beth's blog, The Commissioning at the end of LPL Greenbay:
My Dear Sister

God has not overlooked you
He has not ignored you
He hears every petition
And intimately knows
The heart beneath it.
Give Him full access
To all your longings
Pray every single day
To become a person who delights in Him.
When it seems to disappear
Remember to check your JAW
Are you Jealous?
Are you Angry?
Are you Worried?
Roll it all on Jesus
He's strong enough to carry it
Big enough to handle it.
Trust God with all your heart
Now leave this place
And go into the world
And do some GOOD.