Thursday, March 20, 2008

New Profile Pic...

Well, I figured it was time I came out of the closet so to speak and showed you the real me. This is more likely how I'll look if you drop by unexpectedly (either that or in my PJ's!)

So, there you have it.

Me, threatening my husband with a rolling pin while he laughs at my "fierce" expression.

Yes, there is flour all over my kitchen. You can't see it but there was a lot of frosting around the place too!

Either this makes you want to live with me or run away screaming.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


We scurried through our morning at church, got all of our details tended to and Pastor Chris drove us In to Seatac for our flight out. Too rushed notice any fear or excitement we dashed through this line and hustled through that one. Finally clear of all the different check points and with my shoes firmly back on my feet, I realized I was famished! Fortunately, the food selections are like hitting an upscale mall food court and we both found something we liked without having to take out a second mortgage on our house. Finding a seat in that crowded area was much more difficult but we did finally manage it. I felt compelled to finish my fish and chips quickly so I could give my chair up to one of the other souls wandering aimlessly with their food tray, hoping for a vacant seat.

We peered in all the little shops and gawked at the planes on the tarmac before finally wandering up to our departure gate. As we sat there waiting for our flight to arrive I couldn't keep my eyes off the little princess who kept dancing around in front of her mom and grandma. She was around my Gracie's age and I think they would have become good friends if that sparkly crown on her head was any indication of her love of all things pink and sparkly. I watched her for awhile, already missing my little chick before my eyes shifted to the older girls who were quite excited to be going to Disneyland. They could barely contain themselves as they heard someone say our plane had arrived. They were traveling with their parents, grandparents and their aunts and uncles. It was quite the production! I became good friends with their little 5 month old cousin. He had the sweetest little round head and drooly grin! I wanted to pluck him from his mommy's arms and squeeze him but that is generally looked down upon if you don't know the person. :)

My personal secretary Kim made the flight arrangements for us and since she loves me I got the window seat. ;) My poor husband was squeezed in the middle and feeling claustrophobic so I scooted over as far as I could to give him some elbow room. It must have been enough because he relaxed and leaned across me to peer out the window too. I never get tired of the view out that postage stamp sized window. As we lifted off and the ground fell away below us all the familiar landmarks grew smaller and smaller. The rivers withdrew until they resembled silvery ribbons strewn haphazardly across the landscape, but it's always the mountains that get me. Suspended there between the earth and sky I peered out at the mountains which now looked like rumpled bedclothes beneath us and I was in awe of my God. My view is usually restricted to what is right in front of my face. I deal with the here and now, day to day stuff and forget there is a bigger picture to be seen. But when you're 30,000 feet up and the usually majestic mountains now look like nothing more than fudgy ripples in a bowl of cake batter your perspective changes.

I realized again how great He is and how small I am. How could One so vast, so amazing see such a tiny little speck in the grand scheme of things? But He does and not only does He see me, He loves me. I was surrounded by people on that flight but for a time I forgot they existed. I was alone with Him as He showed me the beauty etched with His hand. I sat in wonder as He spoke to my spirit of the things to come when I finally see Him face to face.

I can't wait for that day.

"I will extol You, my God, O King;

And I will bless Your name forever and ever.
Every day I will bless You, And I will praise

Your name forever and ever.
Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised;

And His greatness is unsearchable.
One generation shall praise Your works to another,

And shall declare Your mighty acts.
I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty,

And on Your wondrous works.
Men shall speak of the might of Your awesome acts,

And I will declare Your greatness.
They shall utter the memory of Your great goodness,

And shall sing of Your righteousness."

Psalm 145:1-7

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Time for Tea...

As far back as I can remember my grandma had a beautiful collection of dainty teacups. When spring break or Christmas vacation would roll around us kids would be shipped off to her house and I would head straight for those colorful cups and saucers. Over the years she'd given up trying to clean them, the arthritis that curled her fingers in like talons made it nearly impossible to wash one without dropping it. Finally, when I was sixteen and had driven myself to her house I was deemed worthy.

The only thing I've ever washed more carefully than those teacups was my first newborn child.

After my grandma passed away all of us girls split the teacups amongst ourselves. The four that I chose were the beginnings of my own collection. I didn't really plan to have a teacup collection I just loved the four I had, but one day my mom noticed them and gave me two of hers. Then my aunt found out and she gave me one too. My husband, picking up on all my "oohing" and "aahing", began to buy them for Mother's day and birthdays and slowly my collection grew. So did the number of people buying them for me as my friends got in on the act too.

I decided that I had better somehow make note of who gave me what so I went through and labeled the bottom of each saucer (because I am getting old you know!) My grandma never used her teacups and except for our yearly Ladies Christmas Tea at church, neither did I. My daughters were much like me, always admiring from afar but never allowed to touch.

Something changed over the past year though. I have decided there is no point in having beautiful things if you're afraid to use them or share them with the ones you love.


Our church had a time period where we didn't have a youth group. Since my girls are at that early pre-teen/teen age I really wanted to make sure there was something happening for them regularly to focus on their spiritual growth so we came up with "Disciple Night". Originally the girls and I had planned to go to a coffee shop and have some time together praying and doing a book study. We've found that the intimacy of our dining room table creates a far sweeter time for us. We put piano music on the CD player, dim the lights and spend our discussion time in the flickering glow of candles. We drink tea and eat cookies or whatever other sweet confection is on hand and just enjoy the moment.

When we began doing this they used coffee mugs but tonight I told Jessica and Arielle to pick which teacup they wanted to use. The look in their eyes was a hard to describe combination of excitement, love, awe and a touch of reverence; probably the same look I had when I finally got to wash my grandma's teacups.

Jessica chose a gleaming white cup with one large pale blue rose edged with the tiniest bit of pink and accented with lush green leaves. Arielle's selection was a creamy colored cup with tiny rosebuds strewn all around it. The one spray of rosebuds inside the cup sets it apart. I was amused with how clearly their choices reflected their personalities. Jessica prefers understated elegance, feminine but classy. Arielle is a typical girly girl and loves pink and ruffles. I had a hard time choosing but in the end settled on a delicate alabaster white one decorated with small bouquets of roses trailing elegantly around it. I might be a bit of a girly girl myself. :)

We prayed together, read our chapter and discussed it and prayed again. We laughed and giggled, we talked about God and being content with what He's given us. We enjoyed each other immensely and when we were done we washed those cups and carefully put them back in their places.

I look at all those delicate, flowery teacups lining my mantle and covering our entertainment center. Perfectly positioned and placed exactly so; beautiful to look at but mostly unused. But when we washed them and brought them to the table and used them as they were intended, they turned an ordinary moment into something extraordinary.

Most of the women I know are like those teacups; they come in an array of beautiful shapes and colors with every flower imaginable represented. Some are being used in the capacity they were created for and they shine and sparkle with purpose. Others remain on the shelf, unaware of their latent beauty; thinking perhaps they resemble a coffee mug more than a finely detailed work of art. They watch the others; wishing and afraid to hope, not realizing that they too were created by the Master for a purpose.

True beauty isn't revealed by self help books, diets or because we've painted ourselves to look like what we think is acceptable. We will only recognize our worth when we see it revealed by Him. He created us exactly the way He wanted to and He doesn't make mistakes. He made you a beautiful work of art; will you allow Him to wash the dust and grime away to reveal the beauty He placed there?

He is worthy and I promise He won't drop you.