That I surely do love you. I count it an unspeakable privilege to serve you, to laugh with you, to cry with you, and, more than anything else on earth, to chase after Jesus with you. He makes life worth living. Let’s persevere, Sweet Ones.
Archive for December, 2006
The other day on the five o’clock news a Houston television station aired a news breaking story of a crime complete with telling video catching the culprits in the very act. A local family had a huge – I do mean huge – inflatable Frosty the Snowman erected in their front yard for the holidays. Upon arising on several mornings, they found him beaten down and a tad deflated. Since everybody knows he is a jolly happy soul, his benefactors had no choice but to suspect foul play. They did what surely any of us would do. They set up a video camera to catch what they probably surmised would be underage hoodlums playing sick pranks. That’s not what they found. The newscast interviewed the husband who awakened once again to an aired-out soul with a corncob pipe and a button nose and two eyes made of coal. Upon the discovery, he called to his wife (this is my favorite part), “Frosty’s down!” They threw the video in the player and to their great astonishment, the footage rolled upon two grown men punching, socking, pummeling Frosty with angry fists. Why, I ask you? What had Frosty ever done to them? Which brings me to the point. Sometimes the person we’re punching isn’t the one we’re really angry at. – Beth
I just had one of the best Christmases of my whole life. Not perfect, mind you. The Moores are thoroughly imperfect people with a lot of feelings we feel free to share but, thankfully, we’re crazy about each other and crazier about Jesus – which helps tremendously when we’re just plain crazy. Did you get all that? I’d anticipated it as a very special – even once in a lifetime – Christmas because it was our first advent season with a grandchild. Jackson Curtis Jones is a ten month-old blue-eyed bundle of cackling energy on the constant move. Keith, Melissa, and I are drunk with love over the little guy. Amanda and Curt alternate Christmases between his parents in Missouri and our home in Houston and this – Jackson’s first – happened to be our year. I don’t make that remark smugly since I love his other grandmother so much. He’ll be even cuter next year under her tree.
In many ways having this darling grandchild has ushered in a whole new life. I have never experienced a more wonderful season of living. In other ways, I’ve reverted back to one I remember well when some of life’s greatest priorities were teething, immunizations, crawling, and pulling up. When God forbid we miss nap time. Having a baby in the family has made me so nostalgic about the baby girls I held in my own young, inexperienced arms years ago. The nostalgia led to the second reason this was one of my favorite all time Christmases.
About a month ago I crawled to the far side of the attic on a secret mission to retrieve my girls’ baby clothes. Keith was at the hunting lease and it was my first chance to throw myself into a task I’d been planning for weeks. My heart beat with anticipation as I carefully descended the ladder with lawn bags full of memories. With every tiny sleeper and smocked dress that tumbled on the kitchen table, I relived my daughters’ infancies. I washed every garment once and some of them twice. While I starched, ironed and folded them, I was suddenly a mom in my early twenties again, very unsure of my marriage and learning to parent one spell of colic at a time. I loved my baby girls so much. They brought out a desire in me to change, to grow, to be better at life. To know God and teach them to know Him. I laughed and cried with every tender memory and pondered how faithful God had been to such a messed up couple. When Amanda and Melissa would misbehave or fight like they hated each other, my mother always told me, “They’ll be the finest ladies.” And they are.
On Christmas morning, as my grandson squealed with glee from his exer-saucer, I presented his mom and his Aunt Lissy with shadow boxes of childhood memorabilia and long plastic containers each of their baby clothes. Life had come full circle. We have no idea what is ahead. Like all families, we will have sorrows and losses amid daily doses of dirty dishes and dog hair. But when a near-perfect family moment comes, I hope we always choose to take it. To stop long enough to feel it. That’s what I did this year.
This is the recipe for my mom’s Texas sheet cake – our family’s favorite holiday treat. It’s simply amazing and it’s even better the next day. I’m having my second piece tomorrow for breakfast. Merry Christmas!
Beth’s Texas Sheet Cake
Grease a sheet cake pan. Sift:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
Bring to a boil:
2 sticks butter
1 cup water
4 tbsp. cocoa
Pour over dry mixture and mix in:
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
Bake at 400 degrees, 20-25 minutes.
1 stick butter
4 tbsp. cocoa
6 tbsp. milk
Add anywhere from 1/2 to 1 box of powdered sugar to acheive desired consistency (Beth prefers close to 1 box) and 1 cup pecans. Spread on cake while it’s hot.
There are two exceptionally fun days every year at LPM. One is Beth’s birthday. The other is our Christmas party. This year we had a bowling party. We divided into three teams – the Livings, the Proofs, and the Ministries. Beth led us in stretches and in cheers before we began. Yes, she is very sanguine. And we love it. We all received awards according to our bowling performances and attitudes. Diane’s award was “for demonstrating that the way up is down” (as we’ve learned in this fall’s Psalms of Ascent study). She took a little spill but managed to simultaneously acheive a strike. Truly amazing.
Welcome to my second attempt at a blog for Living Proof. The first one was short-lived. Only God knows what this blog will hold in the coming months or if it will actually last. My current vision for this page is to share news about Beth and the ministry as well as reports and pictures from events. Please be aware that this is one among many, many, many blogs that are hosted by blogspot. They host blogs from every slice of life. We have absolutely no control over what you might find if you click “Next Blog.” So if you do it and don’t like what you find, please don’t hold me responsible. And now that I’ve warned you, there’s something that makes you want to do it, isn’t there? In my family we say that it’s the law working in our members. (See Romans 7:23.)