Archive for April, 2011
There’s an old proverb I once heard that fits our situation perfectly: “When the cat’s away, the mice will play.”
Okay, so it only works if by “cat” you mean “boys” and by “mice” you mean “girls”, and if by “will play” you mean “go on a road trip to look at bluebonnets.”Â Ah, the nuances of language.
This Saturday was “B-Day”.Â Code name: “Project Bluebonnets.”Â A.K.A. “The Great Bluebonnet Adventure of 2011.”Â Whatever you call it, it was definitely a day we won’t soon forget.
We started off fairly early, packing a picnic lunch and making sure we had our picnic blanket, camera, gas in the car, and a few outdoor games in case we found somewhere to hang around for awhile.Â We drove to Garland to pick up Grandma for a true “Girls’ Day Out.”Â She even had PROPS for our picture-taking.Â Anticipation was high.Â Excitement was in the air.Â And beautiful rainbows of wildflowers – pink, red, yellow, white, blue, violet, and purple – dotted the highway as we sped along on our quest.
By the time we had nearly exhausted our repertoire of car games (I mean, seriously, how many times can YOU go on a picnic and bring apples, bananas, carrots…) we were nearing our exit.Â My plan was to start at the south end of the map and work our way northward.Â We exited onto a 2-lane Texas highway and our spirits soared.Â We couldn’t wait to see what lay beyond us…
Like a horse in a garage, parked next to a car.Â Only in Texas.Â *shakes head*Â (If I hadn’t been driving, I’d have taken a picture.Â You’re just going to have to believe me on this one. )
But as far as bluebonnets?Â Notsomuch.
Trailer homes?Â Yes.Â Lots and lots of them.Â Dotting the hillsides with their redneck beauty.
But bluebonnets?Â Not really.
Cows and horses, standing in stock ponds to drink, or nibbling on dry grasses and hay?Â Yep.Â We saw ‘em.Â Â And our mouths watered for Bar-b-cue.
But bluebonnets?Â Nope.
Finally, in desperation, we pulled into a gas station to ask for help.Â The woman behind the counter directed us to continue along our path about a mile where there would be some parks that “should” have bluebonnets and rangers to provide further assistance.
So we did.Â And we ended up at a nature preserve on the shores of Bardwell Reservoir, which we decided was a perfect place to have a picnic lunch.Â In gale-force winds.
We managed – somehow – to enjoy our lunch without having it all fly into the lake or end up in the treetops.Â And then it was time for some pictures with the little patch of bluebonnets we *did* manage to find.
It’s virtually a requirement in Texas to have at least one picture of your children sitting in a field of bluebonnets.Â I’m so glad I can now cross *that* off my list.
We have learned that contrary to popular lore, it is technically *NOT* illegal to pick bluebonnets.Â But just to be on the safe side, let me assure you that no bluebonnets were picked in the taking of this picture.
We ended our day in the most appropriate way: with a stop on the way home at Dairy Queen.Â A chocolate-dipped cone brightens any day.
Yes, “The Great Bluebonnet Adventure of 2011″ may have left us feeling blue.Â It certainly wasn’t “Great” nor particularly filled with “Bluebonnets”.Â But the memories we created and the fun of our “Adventure” certainly left us tickled pink.
Our church is currently in a series entitled “Movement to Multiply our Heart.”Â As part of that sermon series, we are corporately undergoing a 2-week period of wrestling with God, complete with a period of fasting and seeking God in earnest.Â Matt and I have been in that place of wrestling with God for the past several months.Â Â And we’ve just completed a 21-day fast, complete with a true 24-hour fast and intense prayer.Â So, to be perfectly honest, I wasn’t particularly eager or necessarily willing to engage in yet another “wrestling with God” experience.Â But since we’re committed to our church, we decided to do the study guide together anyway in hopes of perhaps “encountering God” in a new way and seeing how He would speak to us.
It’s no secret that as a result of our personal fast, God has led Matt to open his own firm.Â Â During the course of our 21 day experience, Matt had one particular divine encounter that helped set the stage and truly solidify that this was, truly, the path we were supposed to take.Â Today was the day that Matt was scheduled to meet with a real estate developer to discuss a possible business partnership.
Due to busy schedules we weren’t able to read yesterday’s reading, so we doubled up this morning.Â The passage on Jacob wrestling with God really spoke to us because that is where we are. I can’t speak for Matt, but I have been in that place since probably November.Â There have been days I’ve felt like I’m literally hanging on by my fingernails, clinging desperately to the soles of His feet, grasping the hem of His robe, barely able to hold on, but absolutely certain that the one thing I cannot do is let go.Â Literally.Â So real that there are days I am physically exhausted from the effort.
And all the while, I’m crying out the only thing I can:Â “I WILL NOT let go…Bless this obedience!Â Reward this faithfulness!!Â Be the God you are!!”Â Sometimes it’s in anger.Â Other times it’s pure desperation.Â Always in faith.Â Always believing God CAN and WILL do this.
And in those moments when I’m quiet and still enough to hear, the reply comes:Â “My daughter…my precious child…wait.Â Wait for the blessing.Â It’s coming.”
So then we moved on to today’s reading, Exodus 3.Â A passage that is near and dear to Matt’s heart.Â As someone who struggles with a speech impediment, he can relate to Moses.Â He knows the fear Moses felt inside at being asked to go in front of the most powerful leader of the world to make an outrageous request.Â He understands Moses’ hesitation.Â Being married to someone who is comfortable speaking in public and is gifted with words, he identifies with Moses’ request to have Aaron go and speak on his behalf.
And as I prayed over Matt today, it hit me.Â God descended with His presence in a mighty way at our breakfast table and I was completely overwhelmed at the thought: Just as I AM – Yahweh, Jehovah God – sent Moses and told him ‘I will be with you…I will tell you what to say…I will speak for you”, I AM is still here today.Â I AM is sending Matt.Â I AM will be with him and give him the words to say and speak for him.Â Just go.Â Obey.Â Follow My call.Â My promise is just as true for you as it was for my friend, Moses. I almost couldn’t even speak.Â Yet I knew this was part of the blessing we had been waiting for.
Matt has said it often over the past couple weeks.Â We’re taking a step of faith that is overwhelming with its scope, frightening with its possibilities, and crazy with its reality.Â But more than that, it’s exciting because we know we are sitting smack-dab in the center of God’s will.Â I AM has brought us here.Â I AM will see us through.
It’s my birthday.Â But I’m not going to tell you how old I am.Â The people at Chili’s told everyone I’m celebrating 21.Â And they’re right.Â This is the 21st celebration of my 21st birthday.Â I promise you, I remember it just like it was yesterday, which I’m truly convinced it was.
In an effort to stay connected to the younger generation, to be “hip” and “cool” and “with it”, I’ve learned how to text.Â It’s lots of fun, but I have to say as a teacher, lover of language, and English minor, some of the acronyms and shortcuts really had me scratching my head trying to figure it all out.Â Thankfully, a Facebook friend who was herselfÂ an English major and therefore smarter than me (and also *older* than me) provided me with this explanation to help me decipher those cryptic messages.
MIDDLE AGE TEXTING CODES:
ATD -at the doctors.
BFF -best friend fell.
BTW -bring the wheelchair.
BYOT -bring your own teeth.
FWIW -forgot where I was.
GGPBL â€“gotta go, pacemaker battery low.
GHA -got heartburn again.
IMHO -is my hearing aid on.
LMDO -laughing my dentures out.
OMMR -on my massage recliner.
OMSG -oh my! sorry, gas.
ROFLACGU -rolling on floor laughing and can’t get up.
TTYL -talk to you louder
See?Â 42 really *is* the answer to life, the universe, and everything.
Once upon a time, there was a little girl who was in Girl Scouts.Â She loved being in Girl Scouts, because she got to hang out with her friends.
The little girl had an older brother who was in Cub Scouts for many years.Â She had always tagged along at his events, like family campouts and hikes and visits to museums…and Pinewood Derbies.Â She longed for the day when she could make and race cars of her own.
Finally, that day came.
The little girl came up with a design all her own, with the help of her dad, to make a car like no other.Â Unlike her brother’s cars, which were build for speed and “coolness”, her car was all about design.Â And her design was all girl.Â Her dad worked hard and she helped him out until the big day arrived.
She proudly took her car to the race where it was registered and impounded until race time.Â The race officials took a picture so everyone could see her amazing car design.
She waited with eager anticipation until finally her number was called!Â It was her turn to race!Â Carefully she carried it to the starting line where the race officials placed in line with the other cars.
On your mark…Get set…GO!!Â And her car raced down the track, not very quickly because as you know, baby carriages are built for safety, not speed.Â Nevertheless, the little girl scampered down to the finish line to make sure her precious cargo arrived – intact – at the end of each heat.
The little girl’s car never did win first place in any of its races, but that was okay with the little girl.Â She was looking forward to the design competition, where she had taken first place as a Daisy Scout with her Hello Kitty pink roller skate car.Â The bar had been set pretty high and she had great big expectations.
The moment finally came when the results were announced:Â she won an Honorable Mention for design for the Brownies!Â Though it didn’t come with a trophy, the little girl was still very proud of her awesome Pink & Purple Baby Carriage car.