Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Anyhoo, I got a little stir crazy this week because we had been inside for 3 days with the croup, had a 2 day respite, and then had almost 3 days of rain. I personally was sick and tired of playing with the same toddler toys, making up the same toddler games, and watching the same toddler videos. I could tell Miss Emmy K was also because her behavior was rapidly deteriorating and I had caught her (twice!) standing on the table and dumping out the salt.
I found this great website, and since I know a lot of you are former teachers, these activities might appeal to you too. I am a sucker for "teacher/mommy" made materials. I personally think that God gave us everything we need in creation to "teach" our preschoolers about life and the world around them. Why buy it when you can make it? So, maybe you won't find this helpful, but some of you might. So enjoy!
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Now to my point... I have been reading Jerry Bridges book, Trusting God, along with my daily dose of Spurgeon's Morning and Evening. From Bridges:
And then from Spurgeon (again on the topic of prayer):
Scarcely ever did a great mercy come to this world unheralded byu supplication. Prayer is always the preface to blessing. If we had the blessings without asking for them, we should think them common things; but prayer makes our mercies more precious than diamonds. The things we ask for are precious, but we do not realize their preciousness until we have sought for them earnestly.
I share these things as something that has been a huge encouragement to me. I've been in a season of feeling as though the doors of heaven were closed to my prayers and these two excerpts, stragely enough, give me hope and open my eyes a little more to what God desires of and for me. Hope is blesse some of you as well.
And on a lighter note, the next installment will be far more light hearted. We have some great pictures of our little one indulging herself in the dirt!
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Eric (#2) and I began dating in August 2004, a little over a month after my divorce was legally final. We had become friends during the summer of 2004, via Aimee, Felder, and ultimate frisbee. Incidentally, neither one of us knew that the other was interested, we just "happened" to always stay until the wee hours of the morning after dinner at the Davises on Thursday nights. I'm sure this made for some great conversational fodder for Felder and Aimee, since neither Eric or I told either one of them we were interested until July. We'd started hanging out in May. But I digress...
Many of you know about the car accident that Eric's mom was in that landed he and I in
Pensecola together for the weekend while we were "just friends". Why Pensecola? Only God knows, but that is also where the Life Flight helicopter took my mother after her car accident in Evergreen 5 months prior. BTW... Eric's mom's accident was in Evergreen, too. So, I was with Eric because I knew exactly how to get to where he was headed and he did not. And I was company for a really crummy car ride down.
So, a week after his mother's accident, I go down to visit and he sits me down for a DTR which included the following basic ideas: I think you're great, been watching you interact with others so I know you care about people, I know you love God, your ex is nuts for letting you go, I intend to marry you (Yes, he really said that before our first date!), and the infamous statement which ended his speech "Plus, I think you're pretty freakin' hot!". Well, who wouldn't go out with this guy. And he had started this speech with, "Well, I guess you know I kind of like you."
So we dated for 5 months, and it was not easy for me in the least. Anyone who was around during that time knows how hard it was for me to even contemplate giving my heart to another. So, I stayed very reserved emotionally and wouldn't even say those 3 little words. Even though I did, love him that is. But he did say it and often. And he pursued me hard, letting me know I wasn't going to be allowed to get away. Which, as God knows, is exactly what I needed. I needed a man to fight for me and not be willing to abandon me at the first sign of trouble.
All was well until one night mid-January when, as my Prince Charming was leaving, I let it slip! And then kind of freaked out and hyperventilated a little, and had to be talked down from a ledge. So, then we enjoyed the freedom of saying those 3 little words and often. And then, after 2 weeks, I got nervous again and began to freak out a little. I mean, come on, is this guy going to keep stringing me along or does he ever intend to pop the question? Keep in mind it had only been 5 months. But to someone who was taking a major step getting involved again (and so soon!) this seemed like a completely rationale argument. So, I take myself over to Aimee's house to gripe and talk through my inclination to get out once again becasue I don't want to waste my time on someone who doesn't want me. Already learned that lesson, ain't lookin to repeat that grade.
Well, Aimee knows something that I don't. As we sat in her kitchen discussing my next move in this relationship (jump ship or hand on a little longer), I can only imagine what was going throguh her head. She knew that I would be the recipient of a wonderful proposal in just a few hours! She did manage to convince me that I was being a mite bipolar - I love you, I love you not - and told me to give the guy a little more time. So, I agreed to go eat Mexican with him that night, in my ratty t-shirt, and hair pulled back in a ponytail. We had reached that point where getting all pretty wasn't necessary for every dinner out.
While we are at dinner, Eric's stomache begins to bother him and he has to excuse himself to the facilities. The wierdo decides to take his jacket to the bathroom with him (ring and cellphone are in the pocket, unbenownst to me) and we actually have a conversation where I try to convince him that his jacket won't be necessary in the bathroom, honestly! He still takes it with him, in case he gets cold. It's not lookin good at this point and I'm try to dredge up all the good advice and wisdom Aimee imparted earlier that day. So, he comes back and tells me that we will have to cancel our after dinner plans and go hang out at my apartment because he needs to be close to a bathroom. GREAT! I lived in a tiny 2-bed, 1-bath apartment built in the 1940's (so it was really cool, but small) and I have a hang up about bathroom visits.
We get to my building and begin to walk up the stairs to my front door when I smell something familiar. No, it is not someone's tummy troubles haunting us, it smelled like a candle I owned. I even commented to Eric that someone was burning a candle that smelled just like one I had. I unlock the door and it swings open to reveal at least 20 flickering candles, a tub of water, and a letter on my favorite chair. Instead of being enlightened to his intentions I begin to freak out as to what kind of wierdo intruder would do such a thing. Eric led me to the chair, told me to sit down and shut up, and asked me to read the letter while he washed my feet.
The letter held a lot of the same info as our DTR and ended up the phrase "I love you, I need you, I want you, I choose you!" (which he still uses to sign cards). He then pulled out the ring and popped the question. Want to know what I said? I actually replied, "Are you serious?" To which he answered, "I don't buy these for everybody." So I said, "Of course, you're my best friend." The he slipped the ring on my finger and I kissed him and then said "I think I am going to throw up." No, I did not share in his tummy affliction (there was none by the way), I think I was just reeling from the surprise of it all. The best part of the proposal was that it was a complete surprise. God knew exactly how to mend my heart and to restore what the locusts destroyed. My former proposal was greatly lacking in style, class, and everything else it should have had.
So, there you have it. And this might just be the longest post ever!
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Now for the funny kids stuff... Since we stayed home from church today so as not to spread the love, Emory got to witness thunder for the first time this morning. I really can't remember if she's ever heard it, or if she did it didn't seem to impact her. This morning's shower got quite frisky at our house and after a particularly deep rumble of thunder her eyes got really big and she looked at me wide-eyed. When I asked her, "What was that?" She grinned and said, "Dada, home." Any of you who have ever heard the little red truck approaching know how apt that description is!
And, my good friend Robin and her little girl Katie come to see us for a bit this weekend. Katie is 2 months younger than Emory, which puts her in the category of "baby" which Emory happily reminded Katie of every chance she got. It was really cute. Robin is one of those great friends I can go months without seeing and then when we do get to see each other, we pick right back up where we left off. It was fun being pregnant with her and having girls so close together (they even have the exact same initials!). Sad for me, she is more dilligent than I in adding arrows to her quiver. However, we can't wait to meet Baby Stevens #3 this fall. Who knows, maybe we'll even "catch up"! Robin is always so good for my perspective as a mother, wife, woman. Being the most incredibly laid back person I know, she keeps me from taking life way too seriously. Got to love a friend who can remind you to cool it! I used to enjoy my pre-married sleepovers in Starkville when Robin and I would share the bed she normally shared with her husband. We would stay up way too late, getting to know each other, hearing great stories about my hubby-to-be, and just being silly.
Hope everyone's Sabbath rest was just that - rest. If I get any more rest, I might just go stark raving mad. Cabin fever's a settin in! Next post - just for you, Renie - how Mr. Wonderful proposed.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Anyhoo, we were married after 10 years of dating, so, like I said, I REALLY should have seen this coming. Although the marriage was miserable, I was devastated when he "initially" left (there was a BRIEF reconciliation attempt). Devastated because co-dependents stick (bury is more like it) their heads in the sand when it comes to their object of desire. I really think this can be a spouse, child, parent, etc... However, the point is, I was convinced that my self worth was tied up in this man's acceptance. I know, completely ridiculous, especially if you happen to know the guy.
If I ever meet that woman, I'll just have to hug her neck because she has done me a huge favor. And, like my friend Beth says, I'm sure she's loving her choice right now! Nothing like a man who was unfaithful to his wife to make you feel secure, huh? During our seperation/reconciliation, I was blessed to begin some new friendships, all of which continue to this day. God used those friendships to show me that I was worth more than I was being "allowed" to think. I say allowed because I put way too much stock in this man's opinion of me. And I was the one not doing the allowing because I was the one giving him the power he had over me.
As I began to explore what these friends were telling me about myself, the scales began to fall off my eyes somewhat. I realized that I was a precious child of God and no one had the right to make me feel poorly about myself. God had created me and God don't make junk! I realized I had a treasure far greater than this man's favor, I had the favor of God! Not because of my own merit, but because when God looks at me He sees Jesus. And to top it all of, I get eternal life in paradise. With this new perspective, colors were brighter, God's word more beautiful, and my interest in this man began to greatly wane. So much so, that I was thrilled (sorry, but i's true) when news of further deceit came to light and I was no longer required to stay married to him. And, when thoughts that I had been rejected by one who had supposedly chosen me for his bride, I was comforted by thoughts that I had been chosen by One much greater. Not by my own merits, but still chosen nonetheless.
There are several songs that I mark as instrumental in putting into words what I couldn't on my own. One of them is "Hold Me Now" by Jennifer Knapp. I think I used to listen to this song every afternoon at work when things would slow down and I was alone with my thoughts. Here are the words that were a "balm to my soul":
And, I did happen upon a guy during the separation/reconciliation attempt that I desperately prayed my husband would begin to immulate. It was the guy our elders at church found for my husband to live with before he came home (which never happened). I figured since they were living together, something good might rub off. Well, what do you know? That guy that I wanted my former husband to become like? We'll have been married 3 years in May.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Monday, February 11, 2008
"We not only have the promises of God, we also have the God of the promises."
(Alan Carter, during this week's sunday sermon)
"It is only in being broken that we are made whole again."
(Pam Caldwell, my Bible study leader)
"Anger is not a sin. It is what we do with our anger that is sinful."
(Aimee Davis, paraphrasing R.C. Sproul)
Saturday, February 9, 2008
Does anyone have a theory on the "extra" plane that was found on the floor of the ocean? And who are the "Oceanic 6"? Eric thinks that the plane that was found on the ocean floor is a dummy plane placed by the "others". Cuz, remember the plane actually landed, in pieces, mind you (far, far from each other to boot) on the island. So, how is it all of the sudden on the floor of the ocean in two pieces that are pretty close together? And, do you think that the "Oceanic 6" are those who survived? What happens to all the other original survivors like Bernard and Claire?
So far we know that Jack, Kate, and Hurley make it back to civilization. I think the other 3 are Claire, Sawyer, and Sied (how do you spell his name?). What do you think?
BTW... I really like how they are flashing forward to the future now, do you?
Thursday, February 7, 2008
To top it off, I woke up not feeling quite like myself either. I'd overslept and not gotten a chance to either run or read my Bible. Both of which I desperately need to get my days started well. I always feel slightly off balanced when I sleep through my alarm. And, Jackson was coming to play today. Don't get me wrong. I was not dreading this. I was just worried about the Emory factor. She gets grumpy when people touch her stuff and I could tell she was not in the mood to be gracious.
So, yes, true to my inkling, before Jackson even arrived, we'd had a time-out and a couple of show-downs. All of which threatened my blood pressure. I found myself crying out to God that He could not do this to me today. "I can not be left in this mood, so change me!" is how I began my prayers. Yeah, really effective, huh? As Eric left for work, I begged him to pray for my attitude today so that my daughter might survive until lunchtime, which is when we would see daddy again.
And, God was gracious. The morning passed without major incident. Emory was still grumpy, but I was able to handle her behavior and only get irritated and not out and out angry with her. Naptime came and went, and I must have stopped praying somewhere in that time because the bottem fell out when Emory awoke. And we like to have never recovered. After sweet Jackson (who was a model child today!) left for home, things really got ugly. A series of events so unlovely that I will not subject you to them, finally culminated in my jerking the paci out of my daughter's mouth, looking her square in the eyes, and saying in a more "firm" than normal tone, "That is enough!" I tossed the paci in the crib and was finally jerked back to my senses by my daughter's howl, which had taken on a drastically different tone. Instead of the "I'm cranky and don't really know what I want." she had begun crying in an "Somebody save me from her." fashion. Bad, bad mommy!
So, we plopped down in her rocking chair. With hearts breaking and both of us crying we prayed. My sweet daughter even folded her hands and spoke along with me (I wonder what she was praying?!). How did it get so out of hand this afternoon? Why did it take hurting my daughter's feelings before I thought to pray with her? Why is it always after the fact that I think: we could have sung a hymn, we could have walked outside, we could have prayed, we could have....?
Since "the epsiode" I have been singing Before the Throne of God to myself and sang it to Emory before laying her down tonight. It is my prayer, and has been for a while, that in those intense moments of need that I would be more quick to run to God in prayer or in song. Here are the words to Before the Throne: