Thursday, March 27, 2008

Pear Season

Fresh out of cosmetology school, Grace brushed the walls of a little cottage with bright green paint, filled it with an eclectic blend of shabby chic furnishings, brought in shampoo bowls and blow dryers, and began the process of making women beautiful one at a time. God nodded in approval as Grace's creation took shape - a hair salon called the Green Pear - named after a fruit she had never tasted.

A myriad of ladies sat in Grace's chair. They shared laughter, family stories, beauty tips, and jokes. At times Grace needed to set them straight - give them a "word" and speak some truth into their lives. At other times she cried and prayed with them or just listened as they told their troubles. It was about so much more than haircuts and was a place to find friendship, a place to get prayer, a place to escape worldly cares (at least for as long as it took highlights to process).

Yesterday Grace worked her magic for the last time at the Pear. As the shampoo bubbles rinsed away and a spritz of hairspray gave finality, Grace moved closer to a new season that the Lord has planned for her in Arizona. For everything there is a season and, for us, Pear season is over. The sweetness will linger for a long time only yielding to the occasional saltiness of tears. The end of a season is never easy even when you trust in the Lord's plans for good.

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,

a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,

a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,

a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,

a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,

a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,

a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,

a time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Whiter than Snow...

Happy Resurrection Day!

View of our backyard this morning. No, this is not the same photo from St. Patrick's Day nor is it the same snow. This fell fresh last night. I was disappointed at first because we bought these cute little Easter shoes for Blue-Eyed Girl yesterday:

But as I looked at the sparkling, pure white snow I remembered:

Psalm 51:7
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.

Isaiah 1:18 "Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool."

Matthew 28:1-7
After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.

It is so appropriate that the Lord chose to blanket us in the pure, white snow this morning! Do you feel clean this morning? Purified and made white by the blood He poured out? If not, take a minute to accept it - accept it for you, believe that He did it for you, ask Him to forgive you and cleanse you again. Spend this Resurrection Day clothed in righteousness and washed whiter than snow by the blood of the Lamb!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A Passion for Three

I was scrolling through my ipod today and noticed that I had three different versions of the worship song "In Christ Alone". I think three is an appropriate quantity for a powerful song like this since three is a significant number to God - a Trinity of three (Father, Son & Spirit), three days in the tomb. As I listened to the triple play, I couldn't help but always lift my hands during the final verse:

No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath.
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand.

As Holy Week comes to a dramatic close I'd like to share the song with you...beautifully arranged with video clips from "The Passion".

Monday, March 17, 2008

Wearin' o' the White

Happy St. Paddy's Day!

The view of our backyard this morning!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Vrooooom! Vrooooom!

This afternoon, Min and I took some time to clean out his dresser drawers. It was a spur of the moment decision brought on by the sight of him trying to cram a T-shirt into an overflowing drawer. After we finished the T-shirt drawer, we moved onto the underwear drawer...and this darling little pair of briefs was kicked to the curb. (Put in the "give away" pile - because Min, he believes in charity.)

I was almost overcome with nostalgia because these little undies once belonged to Max. And there is just nothing cuter than little boy briefs! (I know, call me crazy, but it's a thing that happens to you during pregnancy and childbirth...brain cells are lost and all sense of modesty and decorum go out the window.)

This particular pair is dear to my heart because they feature little race cars and a black & white checkered-flag waistband. Whenever I would see those little black and white checks peeking out, I would snap the elastic and say, "Vrroooomm, Vrrooooom!" or "Oh, you've got your Vrrooom, Vrroooms on today." This was always followed by a tickle and giggles, much rolling of the eyes at my mommy weirdness, and an occasional exasperated "Mo-om!"

Another rite of passage...a child outgrowing race car and cartoon character undies. Going onto the sophistication of solid color briefs. Milestones that only a mother notices amidst the daily tasks of laundry and such.

Vrrooomm! Vrroooom! Life zooms past as my boys grow up into men.

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 1 Corinthians 13:11

Friday, March 14, 2008

Toiletry Triumphs - by Max

Brilliant musings by Max from a Freshman English assignment:

I was recently confronted with a question like I have never heard before. "Do you expect as much out of yourself as you do of your toilet?" As I pondered this tidbit, I had a realization. I always expect optimum performance from my toilet but there are times when I accept less than my best out of myself. Whether it is in the rodeo arena or in writing, I realized that if I expect only the best from myself, I usually get it.

There was one particular memory that kept creeping into the back of my mind, however. I was thinking of the time when I broke my hand. I was so expectant of greatness that day that I finished an entire rodeo with a broken hand (I broke it in the first event of the five that I was entered in). Consequently, I ended up winning a check in two events, which was enough to obtain an all-around title for the day. This was an eye opener that showed me what I could accomplish if I don't accept anything but my best all of the time.

Yet, while it may be true that I can accomplish greatness when I expect it, it is also true that I will not achieve greatness if I don't expect it out of myself. For instance, early on in my rodeo career, I was convinced that I was unable to get off my horse in the goat tying. Crash after crash after crash took place and, for some reason unknown to me, I kept going and crashing again. I found that I wasn't expecting myself to succeed therefore I wasn't. An epiphany hit me; if I believe I can - I do; yet if I have little faith in myself - I fail countless times. Life is all about how you think. Your brain is the most powerful weapon that you are given, and it is also the most destructive.

Now, as I travel back from memory land to real life, I find myself contemplating my toilet. Every time I flush, I remind myself that I should expect greatness of myself. I should operate at optimum performance all of the time.

Max getting off (and not crashing) in the goat tying at the Jr High National Finals!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

My Papa - by Blue-Eyed Girl

A personal narrative from earlier this school year:

My great grandpa's name was Papa Pac. He was my mom's grandpa on her dad's side. He was a farmer his whole life. His real name was Albert but he got his nickname "Pac" because he was kind of a pack-rat. He was always trying to find new uses for old junk.

Papa Pac was very good at making things out of wood. For instance, he made a rocking horse and a bookshelf that I have now.

I was born on Papa Pac's 80th birthday. He was so happy that we shared the same birthday. We also shared the same favorite candy bar which is Snickers.

When I was 4 years old, my great grandpa Pac died. When he died he was 84. He didn't die of cancer. He just died peacefully while watching a Rockies Game.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

A Letter to Santa - by Min

First Grade Creative Writing Assignment - A Letter to Santa:

Dear Santa,
I'm rilly sory wen I axadently smakt my sistr but I hav ben a gud boy this yere.

Can Blogs Grow Mold?

I am definitely not in my "happy blogging space" this week and well...I got nothin'. Nothing profound to say. Nothing funny to say. Just a whole bunch of random thoughts and not the "want-to" to try and organize them. So, while I take a little blogging hiatus, I thought I'd feature some work by my marvelous children.

I keep folders of their schoolwork throughout the year. At the end of the year the folder goes in the appropriate child's plastic tub that is their memoirs. I envision, that as each child leaves the nest, I will haul a Rubbermaid bin filled with construction paper collages, random photographs, and popsicle stick artwork out to their car and say, "Here you go honey, your a box." Because, I believe that I have mentioned, I don't scrapbook. I do, however, fantasize that someday my dear friend, Marci, or my mother (both who scrapbook phenomenally well) will take pity on me and make something beautiful of my bins o'stuff.

So, I'll be going through the folders this week in hopes of posting something that will prevent mold from growing on my blog. Be watching for works of literary brilliance by Min, Max and Blue-Eyed Girl - the best things since penicillin!

Monday, March 3, 2008

A String Around My Finger

Now that I am old, it is becoming more difficult to remember things. I could surround myself with sticky notes (but the clutter is so annoying) or tie a string around my finger (but that would be annoying too) so I've decided to use this blog as a space to put things that I really want to remember, like this quote:

Since you cannot do good to all,
you are to pay special attention to those who,
by the accidents of time, or place, or circumstances,
are brought into closer connection with you.
- St. Augustine of Hippo

I'm not sure if I agree with Mr. Augustine of Hippo about the accidental part...we may think they are accidental but many people we come across are there by divine appointment...we just often miss the appointment