Saturday, May 30, 2009

Finding My Flip-Flops

Anyone that knows Carson knows that he is not a lover of shoes. Unless they are his sister's. Of course, he is fascinated with Josie's shoes. Which she obligingly leaves all over the house. This morning he repeatedly brought me one of her pink flip-flops. I couldn't figure out what he wanted until he threw it at his foot. Then I realized that he wanted me to put it on him. I tried to talk him out of it. It isn't that I care if he tries to wear them but he had on footed pajamas! He was insistent. I put the shoe on. Sure enough, he took two steps before it fell off. Back to me so I could put it on again. Needless to say, with a 1 year-old, we repeated this scene about 4 times. I tried to persuade him that they weren't his size, not his color, and he doesn't like shoes anyway! Finally, after he would not give up, I took off his pajamas. We put on both shoes and still, no success. He couldn't walk. I am sure that in his little mind, those flip-flops looked pretty exciting. They are hot pink, they are easy to put on and the biggest plus: they belong to Josie and anything that is her's is instantly attractive. I couldn't explain to him that they weren't meant for him, he just knew that he wanted what belonged to his sister.

I got out his shoes. No go, not what he wanted. His own shoes are adorable. They fit his chubby little feet and he can walk in them.But, they are his. He only wanted what wasn't his. He only wanted what belonged to somebody else. It didn't matter that they weren't meant for him, that they would never be the same on him as they are on Josie. He didn't even care that his Dad would be appalled by his fascination with hot pink footwear. He just knew he wanted them.

Since I am getting to be known for finding spiritual correlations in the strangest things it shouldn't surprise anyone that I started thinking about all the times I feel that way. All the times that I have wanted someone else's pink flip-flops and pouted when they didn't look as good on me. Or, I couldn't afford them. Or, they didn't fit my feet. Like when I wish my husband had someone else's job. Or I had their clothes. Or their abilities. Those aren't my flip-flops! It would be like me trying to wear skinny jeans- ha! Sometimes I just need to appreciate how great their flip-flops look on them. I have my own shoes, and if I let them they look just as good on me.

I just think it must make God sad when I don't appreciate my own shoes. He tries to convince me that what He gave me is just perfect- for me. Wanting what someone else has only leads to falls and disappointments. I don't have to settle for what I have. I can be content knowing my Father knows what is best for me. My flip-flops are just right.:)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

8 Thankful Things

I am thankful today, and I thought if I wrote it down it would help me to remember the next time I am crabby. So, today I am thankful that:

1. Joel was able to Skype with us! It is truly a modern miracle to be able to see his face and hear his voice from so far away!

2. The sun is shining. I love "Mr. Golden Sun" and though the rain has been great I love sunshine!

3. My grass is growing! (See above!)

4. Payday is Friday. Yay for Payday, the best two days of any month!:)

5. Joel has been gone almost 9 months. Too bad this is not a pregnancy, or it would be almost over. (Okay, well that is probably a good thing that it is not, but that's a whole other post!) I have a lot less time to wait than I did when we started all this. Very exciting!

6. I purchased my dad's Father's Day card yesterday. Now if I could just think of a spectacular gift... but this is a post on thankfulness, and I will keep it that way.

7. I have a wonderful new car that always starts. God is so good to me...

8. God is good. I don't think I can ever be thankful enough for that.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Construction Ahead

I've discovered that spending time on the road offers me many opportunities for contemplation and reflection. My kids are contained, and being fairly familiar with the roads, I can enter "the zone". I was driving home the other night and had been pondering a number of things when I saw the dreaded orange signs: ROAD WORK AHEAD. Yuck! It was late at night and there were few other cars on the road. I hoped secretly that it was day time construction, but alas, night time work is becoming increasingly popular here (I think the companies have figured out there are fewer vehicles, too. Dang it!)

I suppose I should have just taken it in stride. It wasn't like I was going to be late for an appointment. I was tired but not exhausted. However, it was bridge work which caused me to have to exit the highway and stop at a light to cross over the street to go back up the ramp. Grrr! Probably, I still would not have been bothered, but since we have moved here there has been a non-stop construction party. Joel and I swore for a time that the Interstate was being used as orange barrel storage. Obviously tha had to be the case, due to the enormous numbers of them for no apparent purpose other than closing perfectly good lanes for miles the state must have just needed a place to put them! First, it was a main road near two of the gates, then it was each gate in turn (still working on those!),and the interstate has been under construction the entire time we have lived here. It just gets a little- no, a lot- frustrating. I mean, who are they to de-rail my plans? I have places to go, people to see. No time to stop for the flag-person, no time to slow for the crews. Besides, they are doing construction again on areas they have "fixed" already! What?!

So, anyway, I proceed back on to the highway. Thinking about how I was so frustrated by the delay. Even though it had only been a minor inconvenience it reminded me of all the times it had been significantly worse. Why don't I have any patience? After all, isn't this for my long-term benefit? Even though I can't necessarily see what is being fixed, even if I think the problem doesn't affect me. Hmmm, sound familiar?

I know the Lord does road construction in my life. I know there are some potholes He is working to fix right now, some bridges that need their supports shored up, some lines that need re-painting. More often than not, I need to see those ugly orange signs, cones and barrels. They remind me to pay closer attention, be alert for cops on the prowl for speeders, and to see the cars around me and the scenery, too. Maybe there are temptations that I am not aware of, maybe there are people around me who I am missing in my constant rush. Maybe I have forgotten my boundaries because they have become too familiar. Maybe I will never see the results in this life of what is being repaired but I know it is for my good. I am glad I am not the head of the construction crew. I just hope I will be patient enough to let Him do His job.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day Fav 5

In the spirit of the "favorites" lists that have been popping up I decided to list my 5 favorite things this Mother's Day:

1. Josie giving me a little chocolate bar and beautiful picture she had drawn in Sunday School while exclaiming, " Happy Mudder's Day, Mudder!" (For some inexplicable reason she has decided to call me "Mother", it is a little weird!)

2. Carson feeding himself with a spoon for the first time! Yeah! He likes to do special things for holidays, I guess. (Like learning to sit up on Christmas Eve)

3. Playing "Pretty Princess" with Jocelyn. Just one of those sweet, fun memories. And who doesn't love wearing a crown, necklace, bracelet, ring and earrings all made from coordinating plastic?

4. Having a tasty lunch at Chipotle. I love, love, love their new soft corn tortillas. Yummy chicken tacos are a perfect Mother's Day lunch- and I didn't have to cook!

5.The best part: getting to celebrate Mother's Day as the mom of two terrific kids who are the smartest, sweetest, cutest, funniest and all around best 3 year-old girl and 1 year-old boy a mom could want! (I am a little biased...)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Cupcakes for Christ

I FINALLY introduced myself to one of my new neighbors on Monday. Not really something to be proud of, since she had moved here in November! I really don't have a valid excuse for not doing it before now. I was gone most of November, all of December and part of January and then part of February. But I was home all of March and April and didn't do it. Anyway, she was kind of funny when I went over there (I took homemade cupcakes) and said, "Yeah, I was talking to my husband and I thought it was kind of funny that no one had come over to welcome us." That made me laugh inside because when you are in the military everyone is always new. So why didn't she introduce herself to anyone?

Anyway, that is beside the point. I don't know why I felt drawn to this particular neighbor. During November I acquired three new neighbors and the one of the other ones has two girls (so maybe if I would get my act together Jocelyn might have a little friend). But, I am hoping we can start a relationship. I never cease to be amazed by the isolation, loneliness and sadness in so many Army wives. Now, I don't necessarily know that this is the case with this woman, we didn't talk for that long. I am just hoping that even with my slow start that the Lord can use me to be a light for Him. I just get so scared. I always worry that people don't like me, and there are good reasons for that! It really takes me a long time to garner my courage. I had been talking to myself almost every day for a week about introducing myself. Yes, I do think that qualifies me as a basket case. But I am discovering that just seeing me in my church clothes on Sunday morning isn't an invitation to ask me how to find Christ. It is in the cupcakes, in the replacing of garbage totes, shoveling of sidewalks and lunches at McDonald's that introductions to Him are made. I am just praying that I will grow bolder with every opportunity-and not burn the cupcakes...:)

Monday, May 4, 2009

I Lift Up My Eyes

It has been a typical spring in Colorado. Which means the weather has been anything but spring! It has been cool and rainy the past couple of days-Joel's absolute favorite climate. However, since he has so recently left it has somewhat compounded my sorrow. I must say, however, that one thing I wouldn't trade about living here for anything in the world is the mountains. People that are natives (or wish they were) always go on and on about the wonderful view we have of the Rockies. They are the most majestic thing; true, constant reminders of God's love and faithfulness. I have been doing Beth Moore's "Stepping Up", a study on the Psalm of Ascents.
They are a collection of Psalms that were recited on the steps of the Temple during festival occasions. One in particular (the one assigned to us to memorize) is really meaningful to me.

Psalm 121 begins,

" I lift up my eyes to the hills,
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth."

I can't help but hear that every time I drive home, or look out my back door for that matter. The photos are of my view everyday. Not quite as beautiful as other parts that you can see just driving around Colorado Springs, but not bad for government housing! I know it is really more of a hill, but the verse talks about hills so it works for me. Anyway, as I mentioned above, the weather here has been really disagreeable. I was driving home, missing Joel and looked for the mountains to comfort me. They were gone, covered by a blanket of fog so thick I may as well been living in Kansas. That made me crabby. How was I supposed to look for my help if it was hiding? I stewed over this for a few minutes, grumpy that both my husband and my mountains were removed from my view. Then I realized something. Just like our amazing God, the mountains were still there. I just couldn't see them because of MY position. If I got closer to them, they would appear. I know faith can move a mountain, but I sincerely doubt these guys are going anywhere. They hadn't changed; what was between me and them had.

Now, I can't control the weather (good thing because it would be a boring sunny and 75 for a long, long time!) but I can control what I allow to drift between me and my Lord. If I have trouble in my life, or sadness, that is when I have to get closer to Him so I don't have a wall of clouds in my way. It is so easy for me to want to blame the obstructed view on God. I want to whine, "Why does He seem so far away?". What? Hebrews 13:8 says,

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."

Definitely not Him.

Verse 5 says, "God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'"

Yep, gotta be me.

So, now whether I can see my beloved mountains or not, I just have to remember that God is always there, always the same. I just have to decide what I want to do about where I am.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

R & R Update

Since it has been three WEEKS since I last posted and I am quickly in danger of becoming one of "those people" (you know, the post-once-every-year ones?), I better think of something-and quick! I don't have too much to say, R & R is one of those things that is in some ways just as hard as it is happy. I was sooo excited to get to see my honey, but even from the very beginning I knew he would have to go back so I had to keep pushing that out of my mind. It is also hard to explain to a three year-old why her daddy is only "visiting". But, even though we didn't do anything too crazy it was a good visit. We decided not to plan anything major because it is enough to try to put a dad back into a family he hasn't seen in 7 1/2 months! We did have buy a car (yeah!yeah!yeah!), and get new cell phones. Those were both major check-marks on my list and things I definitely did not want to do without Joel (no way was I picking out a cell phone for him!). We got to go out THREE times by ourselves- very exciting because we have only gotten to do that a handful of times since we have had kids! We took Josie to Chuck E. Cheese and "Glow Golfing" (the price was right!) and she also got "stickers" for her walls in lieu of the paint she had been promised. Carson just enjoyed being a boy with his dad- they were goofing off at every chance! I, of course, just enjoyed being part of a team rather. Being a geographical single mom is hard work. I am extremely thankful that is not my permanent position in life. God is gracious. Anyway, we also applied for our passports! No promises that we will actually use them, but I figured they would be impossible to use if didn't have them at all! I am sad that he had to go back to work, but I am really trying to focus on the fact that we are at least 2/3 of the way done. I hope! There are no promises in the Army. Anyway, hopefully I will get back in the groove and be posting more regularly!


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