Friday, July 29, 2011

so is He there when hearts stop beating?

Mom, can God see into our house?

(doubting Thomas Jacob Daniel)

Through curtains?


Through walls?

Deep thought, wrinkled forehead, trying to come up with a place God can't reach. . .

Through really, really gross, green, dark water?

And the privilege of reminding him that God sees in the uttermost parts of the sea is mine.

He sees.

He knows.

What does He see when our hearts break?

Two thousand years ago, Martha, grieving the sudden death of her brother, cries out to Jesus. . .

Why didn't You come?

You could have healed.

You are big enough to stop this.

You are God, we believe that!

We even know he'll rise again!

But why didn't You come?

And Mary, the one who chose the better part, seconds Martha's cries. . .

Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.

John says that Jesus was troubled and deeply moved in His spirit, standing in the middle of the street where the sisters had stopped Him. . .

He asks them where their brother is, and they lead an ever-present, all-seeing, all-knowing God to a cemetery.

And He weeps.

I wonder, like many others before me, why He wept.

Does He weep for mammas down through the ages who rail at the Heavens why weren't You there?

Did He weep because our earth is so needy and so hurting and because He knew the Road to our Redemption was full of pain and loss for Him?

Did He weep for brave Stephen who chose stones over survival and forgiveness over understandable vindication?

Did He weep for His mother, who would watch her Son die?

Did He weep because they didn't understand the complete irony of taking God to see a grave?  

Did He weep because they don't understand that He was there?

Does He still weep because I don't want to believe that He was there?

Tonight I tell my son precious words that I stored in my heart as a child:

Where can I go from Your Spirit?

Where can I flee from Your presence?

If I go up to the Heavens, You are there.

life is beautiful, You are there

If I make my bed in hell, You are there.

life has crushed me, and You are still there

If I take the wings of the morning

when my heart is strong

or dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea

when I am sinking

even there Your Hand will guide me, Your right Hand will hold me fast.

But do I believe that He can see into my house?

I've cried too, Jesus, why weren't You there?

And isn't that actually so much easier to cry out than the alternative?

Because what if He did see that little bed, what if He did hear my little man's heart stop beating, what if He was there?

Then I am faced with believing exactly what I say I believe, that He is there.

And crying why weren't You there is really denying that He is God, and pretending that God is surprised and caught off guard by small white caskets ignores the reason He came.

My heart shrinks from thinking about these things.

It's deep, and it's hard, and it hurts.

But the longer my heart knows the pain of death, the more I rejoice that He came to free us from this aching loss.

The more it hurts, the deeper I see the need for redemption.

And then I have to say. . .

I am so grateful, Jesus, that You see me.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Bringing Home Bees

So I'm reading Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.  It's a fascinating read, scathingly critical of American parenting and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the book considering the fact that my parenting was insulted on every other page.

I read aloud a line to Daniel:  If a Chinese child brought home a B, there would be a hair pulling explosion.  But then, you just don't bring home a B.

Jacob overhears. I bet I could bring home a *bee* without getting stung.

Hee hee hee. . . I can just hear Amy Chua. . . see, these American children. . . they just don't get it.

In the midst of craziness and stress and life, I choose tonight to just remember some funny stuff from the summer. . .

Me:  Plan A didn't work.  On to plan B.

JD:  There's always plan C, plan D, plan E, plan F, and plan G!

We ran into a dear lady who babysat each of my three little people at one time or another today;  her name is Roberta.  As we walked away, Cambria mused:  I foah-get.  Is her name Root-beard?

Me:  Jacob, you would love this picture dictionary. It has the word for each picture in five different languages.

This is exactly the sort of thing he thrives on and he relaxes with the book.

I glance back at him, proud of my little man's intelligence.  I stop, a little shocked to see him wide eyed, taking in a full page spread of naked bodies. (Of course, with each part explained in five different languages.)

Eh, well, maybe let's not start with that page?  Why on earth is this in the picture dictionary?  To hurdle poor unsuspecting parents into the birds and bees chat?

I sit, squinting at my laptop, trying to check the correct boxes and order the correct workbooks for the upcoming school year.  Jacob, no, I cannot help you right now.  Do not interrupt.

Jacob, crestfallen:  Mom, this is one of the times when you do not make my life fun.

Cambria:  After the jobs, can we dance?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Lemonade Cake

So this lovely photo has been floating around Pinterest and Google Images. . .


and after finding the recipe involved a lot more time than I had,
I went here
and then adapted it {Hayley-style}
until we came up with this:

Oh, my, delish.

My cakes never turn out, so I gotta admit I was really excited.

Lemonade Cake

1 box white cake mix
3 egg whites
just over 1/3 cup oil
1/2 cup lemonade drink mix (I used Countrytime)
1/2 cup water
1 cup sour cream
2 t. vanilla
grated lemon zest

Mix together, pour into greased and sugared bundt / tub pan.  Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.  Cool on wire rack and turn out onto cake plate.  Cool for about 15-20 minutes and then frost while still slightly warm.

1/2 can cream cheese frosting
grated lemon zest
Stir lemon zest into frosting.  Using a spoon, frost only the top. The frosting will drizzle down the sides on it's own.
Top with more lemon zest.

We filled the center with blueberries . . .  Super yum!

Monday, July 11, 2011

real me

the real me is not the one who is kind and beautiful when i have time to prepare myself to be;

the real me is the ugly snarl that escapes my mouth when Daniel does or says something i don't like.

please don't call me 'mom'  (of course i didn't hear that he was talking to JD)

i hate the budget  (wow, just wow)

thanks for slamming the door in my face (do you really think he did?)

quit looking through my texts without telling me. leave my phone alone. (feel the love)

the real me is not the girl who gives hugs and hands kleenex and comforts during the tragedies that have happened this month;

the real me is what comes out

beating heart

shaking hands

angry thoughts

dark looks

when i am at my weakest point, tried by people and circumstances that continually frustrate me.

the real me is what is inside my heart, not what i carefully choose to let out of my heart.

i wanna think that i can control myself, and in a way, i can, if i control my heart. 

but when things happen out of my control,

when people are human and fail,

when people are mean and hurt,

when people are unthinking  and jab a deep knife deeper

that little heart squeeze that happens reveals whats really inside, and it's not pretty.

i am humbled that God still loves me, that He still gives so much grace to my weak little ugly broken heart, that He doesn't give up, that He shows me my sin, that He gives

new days

and new weeks

and new months

and new years.

thankful. . .

that He loves the real me enough to die

that He loves the real me enough to use the broken pieces of my life

that He loves the real me enough to reveal my pride and weakness

that He loves the real me enough to give me eternity and hope and a future.

He's kinda amazing like that.