Saturday, April 30, 2011

More Aydenisms

Time for more recent quotes from Ayden.....

As Luke got out the Bible after dinner:
"Mama, shhh, readin' Bible Jesus"


Me: "Ayden, I can't pull you fast in the wagon because I have an owie on my foot."
Ayden: "I go inside get medicine (for) mama."
(Upon returning from his bedroom with his hands full of something invisible)
Luke: "Ayden, what is that?"
Ayden" "Chocolate!!!"


Ayden: "Mama, what's that?"
Me: "That's Mama's ice cream."
Ayden: "Oh! No touching Mama's ice cream."


Ayden's great-grandparents were arriving and I told him to go to the front porch to see them. Soon I hear:
"I help you, Granny"
Reputedly, he then reached out his hand to take hers while she went up the last few steps.


Overheard while I was in the bathroom and Judah was crying:
"It's ok, Judah. Mama goin' potty. She be RIGHT BACK."
Judah stopped crying.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


I haven't heard or sung this song in years, probably since high school. But it is pressing deeply on my heart tonight:

Holy Father 
As we stand before Your throne 
As we look upon Your face
We confess Your matchless grace
Lord and Savior
We are nothing without You
There is nothing we can do  
But to serve and follow You
And surrender, And surrender
To surrender, All our dreams 
All we are
All that we are to become 
All of our love 
(Words & Music by Bruce Chollar & Larry James Copyright © 1986 Larry James)

Holy Father, as I stand before Your throne, as I look upon Your face, I confess Your matchless grace.
God's grace is so strong! It has redeemed me from the depths of despair. It has redeemed me from myself. Looking at God brings to light how small I am compared to Him. And yet, though I don't deserve it, He has given me so much!

Lord and Savior, I am nothing without You, there is nothing I can do, but to serve and follow You.
When I try to do things on my own, I am so weak. This isn't to say that I am not a capable person, but whatever I might do in my own strength pales in comparison to what He does. Why do I even try to go my own way? There truly is no other choice but to follow Him. Life is simply empty and irrelevant without His hand in it. 

And surrender all my dreams 
I have so many hopes and dreams and ideas of what my life should look like. But God has even better ideas and dreams. He has a better future for me than I could ever imagine. I cannot have both. I must give up my own and grasp the mystery of His. 

And surrender all I am and all that I am to become 
I have so many identities that I hold onto and that I want for myself. Mother. Wife. Missionary. Friend. Leader. The list is nearly endless. God knows who He wants me to be right now and who He wants to mold me into. It is only in giving in to His desire for me that I will truly be ME.

To surrender all of my love 

What do I love? My family, my security, my church, my friends. God must be at the top of that list, for it is only in my love for Him that I can truly love others.

A wise teacher recently said:
Sometimes following God feels like death. You look at what He calls you to do and think, "God, doing this will KILL me!!" But be assured, there is freedom and joy in following Him.

Yes, death. Surrendering my dreams and hopes and identity and love feels like death. God may be calling me to things that look very different than what I have in mind for my life. To follow feels like more than I can bear. It's one thing to follow God when you think you know what the future holds (but who really does?!?!). It's a whole 'nother thing to follow blindly, surrendering to whatever He may bring, wherever He may lead. To picture what I want least and love least and choose that even that would be ok, if it was where God had lead me.

And in that death and surrender is where I will find life. I must take up my cross, and the shame and torture that it brings, and follow Him. Yet His yolk is light, and I won't be burdened by it. It is easier to endure the death of surrender than to go my own way. What a joyful and true paradox that is! I have seen it to be true so many times in my life. May it be true again.

Monday, April 18, 2011

God Is Good

Luke just sent this to me in an email, and wants you to know that he didn't write it to be a fancy pants blogger--it was just supposed to be an email to me. In all seriousness, it's really good and true.  


God is being good to us right now.  He's using us, he's giving us some peace, we have two fun kids, we love each other.

I'm writing mostly because sometimes I feel like I'm responsible for it.  Like I've worked really hard or been particularly clever to bring it about.  I know that's not true even when I feel like it is.  

He's been so gracious to us.  

I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall
I well remember them and my soul is downcast within me
but this I call to mind and therefore I have hope
because of the Lord's unfailing love we are not consumed
for his mercies never cease
they are new every morning
Great is your faithfulness!
I have said to myself, "the Lord is my portion"
Therefore I will wait for Him.  
(Lam. 3:19-24)

Monday, April 4, 2011

"Oh My God"

The following song is by Jars of Clay. I love it. I could listen to it all day on repeat. I don't love the video, but it was the only recording I could find online. I pasted the lyrics below. Listen to it a few times.

Oh my God, look around this place,
Your fingers reach around the bone,
you set the break and set the tone
For flights of grace, and future falls
In present pain all fools say, "Oh my God."

Oh my God, why are we so afraid?
we make it worse when we don't bleed,
there is no cure for our disease.
Turn a phrase and rise again,
or fake your death and only tell your closest friends,
Oh My God.

Oh my God, can I complain?
You take away my firm belief and graft my soul upon your grief.
Weddings, boats, and alibis,
All drift away, and a mother cries...

Liars and fools, sons and failures, theives will always say..
Lost and found, ailing wanderers, healers always say..
Whores and angels, men with problems, leavers always say..
Broken hearted, separated, orphans always say..
War creators, racial haters, preachers always say..
Distant fathers, fallen warriors, givers always say..
Pilgrim saints, lonely widows, users always say..
Fearful mothers, watchful doubters, Saviors always say..

Sometimes I can not forgive
and these days mercy cuts so deep,
If the world was how it should be, maybe I could get some sleep.
While I lay, I'd dream we're better, scales were gone and faces lighter,
When we wake we hate our brother, we still move to hurt each other,
Sometimes I can close my eyes and all the fear the keeps me silent,
Falls below my heavy breathing, what makes me so badly bent?
We all have a chance to murder, we all have the need for wonder.
We still want to be reminded that the pain is worth the plunder.

Sometimes when I lose my grip, I wonder what to make of heaven,
All the times I thought to reach up, all the times I had to give up.
Babies underneath their beds, in hospitals that cannot treat them.
All the wounds that money causes, all the comforts of cathedrals,
All the cries of thirsty children, this is our inheritance,
All the rage of watching mothers, this is our greatest offense
Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh my God.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Thoughts from Today

I can't think any more clearly than bullet points, but feel the need to process....
  • I have a headache. I've had it all day. That doesn't really relate to anything else that I'm about to say. 
  • Luke has a HUGE test tomorrow. It's 6 hours of essays. On theology. It determines if he graduates or not. Stress levels are pretty high in our house right now!
  • Because of said test, I've been on my own a lot more this week. Not only have I had less help from Luke with the kids, but all of our talking has been focussed on him, not me. 
  • I have such great people in my life right now. My kids have been cared for, my house has been cleaned, and I've been able to have some really good conversations this week. I feel like God's hand is so strongly working in my life, and it is evident by the countless people who have stepped up to help me out when I've asked. 
  • I'm thinking a lot lately about discipline and raising children who know God, not just follow morality. I'd love to have the time to read about it, blog about it, talk to people about it, etc. Coming Soon
  • Today has been rough. I really struggled to make it to the end. The circumstances were ripe for a bad day. A few weeks or months ago, I probably would have crumbled. Today I survived. I was able to assess what I needed to make it through, then make sure I had that. This bullet point is really good.
  • Tomorrow begs to be rougher. I'm taking the night/morning shift with the boys (usually Luke's job) so he can get some good rest before his test. Then I have the whole day with the kids. And this is after a rough day. I'm prepared to call in more favors if I need them. <-----That is the key right now.
  • God is good. He has provided so much. He has been faithful, even when I have not. His redemption is beautiful and powerful. I could write every day about it and still not capture it all. Maybe I'll try anyway. Coming Soon
  • My head still hurts, I'm tired, tomorrow will be long, and I think the boys are finally sleeping. I think I'll join them. 
  • I'm not taking the time to proofread this before posting. I'd say "sorry" but I really mean "get over it." And I mean that in the nicest possible way. :~D (I just lied--I looked at the "preview." The formatting is screwed up and some of my sentences are unclear. I'm not fixing them.)