Archive for July, 2009
This is going to be one of those slice-of-life posts.
-I just heard the classic words eventually uttered by every older sibling.
Jackson: (Sitting in a chair in the living room.) Stop bothering me, Annabeth!
Annabeth: (Sitting next to me on the couch, making no noise.) Blink, blink.
Mommy: What is Annabeth doing to bother you?
Jackson: She’s looking at me!
-Yesterday we started Annabeth on cereal.
Here are some pictures of her playing with her spoon this morning while Jackson and I ate our breakfast.
Baby Girl loves her thumb.
Maybe she will grow to love the spoon.
Or figure out how to love both at the same time.
-The kids and I had a crazy week last week. We had fun, but Annabeth’s nap habits went all awry and I could hardly get her to sleep all weekend. She only wanted to sleep when I was trying to feed her. Ugh! This week we’re having Nap Bootcamp. I’ve resolved to go nowhere during the day and focus on getting Annabeth back into a routine. I read somewhere that routines should be like rubber bands – they can be flexible and stretch out a bit, but then they should snap back into place. We had stretched so much that there was no snapping back into place. Hopefully by next week we’ll have a pattern down and be able to enjoy some flexibility.
-Today my mom is in Illinois speaking to a group of people about the new book she’s been writing. This weekend she’ll be at the Deeper Still event in Greensboro, NC, and then she has another out of town speaking engagement early next week. She’s also getting very close to wrapping up this new book. I know she would really appreciate your prayers.
-You have no idea how many tears I cried while I read through the comments on He’s Into the Details. These were a couple of my favorites.
When I read the topic that you posed for discussion I couldn’t help pausing to add my own “God is in the details” story. I was in the midst of my freshman year of college at a university in California, and struggling a bit to say the least. My family had just been transferred to Houston so I was feeling homesick. The ache in my heart kept pushing me to find comfort in a past high school relationship that was both unhealthy and forbidden by my parents. Not wanting to disobey my parents, I rationalized that talking to this person on the phone wasn’t “seeing” them again. One night after a long telephone conversation with this forbidden person I went to bed feeling sick inside. I felt trapped in a hole. I was lonely. I was directly disobeying my parents. I was hiding these secret conversations from my roommate, since knowing my past experiences with this individual she most certainly wouldn’t approve. I desperately wanted to be rescued and freed from the ache I felt inside and the constant pulls of temptation that I felt too weak to rise above. The very next day I struggled through the day and finally called my mom. She said that she had been waiting for me to call her. I began to cry and say that I was struggling and she told me this…
The night before (remember I was in CA and my mom was in TX), she was awakened by a noise in the kitchen. She went out and realized that she heard my voice coming from the answering machine. She went over and listened. She could hear that I was talking to a male, but she couldn’t make out what he was saying. One thing’s for sure, my voice was loud and clear. Confused, she picked up the phone. The answering machine clicked off and there was only a dial tone. While she felt worried, more than anything, she felt the need to pray for me. She spent a long while on her knees praying over me that night. She sensed God telling her that what He had just done was for me, not for her.
When I called the next day, she already knew that I was struggling. As she relayed the story to me I was speechless. My God loved me so much that He would cross telephone wires from CA to TX so that someone would know I was struggling! I still get chill bumps when I recall that miracle. When I returned home later that year for Spring Break I had the chance to listen to the recording. There I was on my parents machine in TX having a conversation on the phone in CA. Needless to say, I could go on and on about all of the changes that resulted from that evening long ago. One thing is for sure, I know without a shadow of a doubt that our God is willing to go to great lengths and weave miraculous details together to remind us of His love.
I was battling a prescription drug addiction that I was able to keep secret from my husband and children. I was falling apart inside and begging God to speak to me, punish me even, and just speak!
I dropped my kids off at Wednesday night church just like every other week and looked down at my feet to walk as quickly as possible out to my car. I walked in hidden shame. Suddenly as loud as a firecracker in my ear I heard this woman’s voice say “I’m talking to you! Do you hear me, are you listening? You, right there, I’m talking to you!” In shock I turned around and peeked into a small room where the voice came from and there was a video on with a cute little blond pointing her finger at me. She said it again “I’m talking to you.” I sat down scared to death. I hear you Lord, what do you want me to hear from this feisty lady?
Turns out a woman named Beth Moore was teaching about breaking free from addiction on a T.V. with no one in the room watching. Wow. I learned a lot that night.
I’m free from that addiction. Thank you for following the call on your life. God used you to heal me. Now, can you do something about my over eating?
Ladies, thank you all so much for sharing your stories. They were incredibly encouraging and faith-building.
“Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the skies.
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
your justice like the great deep.
O LORD, you preserve both man and beast.
How priceless is your unfailing love!
Both high and low among men
find refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house;
you give them drink from your river of delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light.
Continue your love to those who know you,
your righteousness to the upright in heart.”
Psalm 36:5-10 (NIV)
Thank you so much for your help. These were the three most common responses from Friday’s post.
1) I wish I knew why my husband doesn’t help keep the house clean.
You felt very strongly about the dishes and were especially frustrated with his behavior toward them. I was sure one of the anonymous comments was from Amanda. Many mornings she has woken up to a clean kitchen with a single cereal bowl in the sink. I lost count after the 5,556th time she asked me to just put it into the dishwasher. I’m not sure what it is about men that we don’t empty the trash until it’s spilling out onto the floor. Or why we don’t put our dirty clothes into the hamper instead of piling them next to it. Or why we just sweep dirt piles under the refrigerator instead of using the dust pan. (You didn’t know he did that, but he does). It’s probably a chemical reaction in the brain… or laziness. I’m not sure, but a chemical reaction sounds better.
2) I wish I knew why my husband doesn’t listen to me or can’t remember what I told him to do.
If I had asked your husband the same question, his response would have been “I wish I knew why my wife can’t remember not to tell me what to do.”
3) I wish I knew why my husband doesn’t like to communicate his feelings.
Here’s a tip for getting your husband to open up: never ask him the deep questions first. He’s like a first grader at the pool. The deep end is scary and overwhelming. He’ll be more comfortable starting in the shallow end and gradually working his way into deep waters. If you ask him the big questions first, he’ll refuse to open up, but if you let the conversation develop naturally, he’ll open up like an emotional fire hydrant. Maybe not, but he is more likely to share the things you’ve been wanting to hear.
Thanks again for all your help. I won’t try to defend your men. Just know that he doesn’t do these things to frustrate you on purpose. He doesn’t even know why he does them. We are simple, but mysterious creatures. I sincerely apologize on behalf of my gender for leaving the dishes in the sink instead of putting them in the dishwasher and hope you have an amazing conflict free day with your man.
Good Monday morning, my favorite blog community on earth!
Soon you’ll be hearing from Curtis with some insights from your comments on Friday’s post. I’ve been out of town most of the weekend so I haven’t seen them yet but the Moores and Joneses had lunch together yesterday and they said the responses were terrific and some of them pretty eye-opening. You invest continually in the workings of this ministry whether or not you realize it. You equip us constantly to serve the Body of Christ in relevant ways and we are so grateful.
Until you hear from CJ, here’s something that’s been on my mind this weekend based on a wild thing God did on Friday. I awakened that morning with a pressing on my heart to send a certain new friend flowers for absolutely no occasion except that I couldn’t get her out of my mind. The fact that I could even have that clear impression on Friday is in itself a wonder because I was preparing five – count them, FIVE – messages for the Life Today taping we did in Dallas-Fort Worth this weekend. I was also in a tailspin getting all the appropriate wardrobe packed. It made much more sense to wait until Monday to make arrangements for flowers, only I couldn’t let it go.
Come to find out that the flowers came to my new friend on her only child’s birthday, a son she’d raised to young adulthood then lost in a tragic accident. She’d been feeling literally sick at heart with grief as the day approached and had tried not to tell anybody. What’s more, instead of just sending a random bouquet of flowers like I normally would, this time I requested something very specific that just happened to hold extreme significance to my new friend. It was the exact kind of flower and color that her husband sent her for years before his equally untimely death. (No, it wasn’t your basic red.) Needless to say, Blonder-Than-She-Pays-to-Be had absolutely no idea. I sat bug-eyed when I read her response concerning all the things I “could not have known” and marveled over how Christ has gone out of His way to show her His enormous and exquisite love. In fact, He’s chasing her as hard as anybody I’ve ever known. My heart is so tender that He would allow me to be one small part of how He is showing His great affection and tender care to someone.
He is not only a God of the big things. Perhaps what astonishes us most in each of our private journeys with Him is that He is a God of the smallest, most intimate details. A God who does things with personal significance only He and we could have known. So, let’s boast in that very dimension of our God today. Give a one-paragraph story of how He went out of His way and far beyond coincidence to show You His love…OR, used you in some detailed way to demonstrate His love to someone else.
He is SO WORTHY.
Hi ladies! We have a prayer request for you today. My parents are in the Dallas area for the next 24 hours for a Life Today taping. Mom will teach two sessions tonight and 3 sessions tomorrow. These tapings require almost twice as much speaking in about the same amount of time as the Living Proof Live events. They’re so worth it, but very intense. Would you all pray Beth through this weekend? Please pray for: God to anoint her to teach the Word boldly, energy, endurance, focus, a great connection with the studio audience, restorative sleep, and for each message to build up the body of Christ. Thank you so much, siestas!
I also have a message from Curtis:
I need your help with a little research I’m doing. Would those of you who are married please leave a comment finishing this sentence?
I wish I knew why my husband…
It can be serious or lighthearted, but it has to be something you really would like to know about your husband. We won’t post the comments, but if you would feel more comfortable, feel free to leave it anonymously. If you’re interested, I can post a summary of the most common responses. I need as much help as I can get, so please take 5 seconds and let me know what you wish you knew about your husband. Thanks!
*Comments now closed.*
Right after Jackson was born, my dad gave me a really nice digital camera. It’s fast and it takes pretty pictures. With my limited photography skills, I’m unworthy of having such a great camera, but I love it. Scores of parents have learned the hard way that when you’re taking pictures of squirrely kids, slow digital cameras just don’t get the job done. You say “One, two, three, cheese!”, your kid flashes an over the top grin and squints his eyes, and then five more seconds pass before it takes the picture. By then your child is either picking his nose or running to the breakfast room to make another spit drawing on the glass table top. (Not that my child does those things.) The camera my dad gave me has been such a blessing. Melissa just got one for her birthday and I can’t wait to see what she does with it.
There are two drawbacks to my nice camera. One, it’s heavy and not very fun to lug around sometimes. It’s not one that you can just tuck away in your purse in case something cute or funny happens. Two, I miss out on some good picture taking opportunities because I refuse to take it near water or leave it in my pool bag while I play with the kids. If it gets damaged or lost, I can’t replace it.
Those are the times when Mom has my back. She always says, “Honey, take mine!” Hers is a little point and shoot camera. I took her up on the offer last weekend. When I uploaded the images onto my computer, all 256 pictures that she’s never done anything with came right along with the ones I’d taken.
You may be wondering why we had never done anything with these pictures. Well, the cord that connects the camera to the computer got lost long ago and, until a few days ago, Dumb and Dumber didn’t know you could just stick the photo card straight into the computer. (There I go using bad words from my thought closet!) I wasn’t going to share this detail, but Mom insisted I let you know that she didn’t even know how to review her pictures on her camera’s little screen. Bless her heart.
Your faithful Siesta Mama and Siesta Daughter thought you might like to see a sample of the smorgasbord of pictures from the last year and a half. It’s never too late to share, right?
Here’s the back of Melissa’s head when she was doing a wedding hair and makeup trial run.
There’s a story to this but I don’t remember what it was. That was before the puppies came and obliterated the back yard. (Mom just reminded me that this was when Dad asked her if she had gotten a new makeup smock. He had no idea she was going to wear this to work.)
Here’s my dad with his two-year-old cowboy. This was the day we took Jackson to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo for the first time.
I had to include this one because of Sunny.
The miniature Wranglers were just too much.
We ran into one of my best friends, Kay, and her little boy.
We’ll try that one again.
We had a lot of fun watching the baby goats. They’re so naughty.
A carnival ride.
Bibby and Jackson on the carousel.
Mom spending a few minutes in the correspondence office at LPM. The person who sent her those slippers must have just done Daniel.
Starley McFarley as a wee pup!
Bad Dog Geli laying on the furniture. Nowadays she jumps on tables. She’s very goat-like.
A deer feeder at the ranch. There were a ton of beautiful pictures from there, but I think we’ll do a separate post for them.
A view of the sunset from the ranch.
This is a statue of St. Francis of Assisi. Mom took this when Jackson stared at it and said, “Bibby, birds love Jesus.”
Here’s my family on a carriage ride last December. I was sweating in that track suit with my hot chocolate. That’s Houston for you.
Absolutely no idea.
Bibby and Jackson playing some air hockey at our church.
Jackson was making a Popeye face.
You may not know that the Chick-fil-a cow recently visited LPM.
Mom loves Chick-fil-a.
This was my mom’s birthday lunch at P.F. Chang’s. Praise the Lord.
Star on her way to work. Part of me thinks she should be in a 5-point harness.
This is what happened when Mom snubbed the perfectly good milk that had technically reached its expiration date. Dad was terribly offended.
The milk carton says, “For Keith Only” and the drawing is supposed to be a skull and crossbones. Welcome to the family freak show.
(Remember: all comments are meant to come after your gathering or your solo viewing of the video as feedback to the study. Thank you for your cooperation!)
How are my favorite fellow Bible students doing? My small group has gotten so much out of Jennifer’s study, Me, Myself and Lies. Honestly, we can’t stay within our time limit for discussion to save our lives but that’s what tells me the study is getting to us! I hope the Holy Spirit is speaking to you, too. Where on earth would we be without God and His Word? Lord, have mercy. If you’re able to stay on schedule, you should have weeks 3 and 4 of your homework completed and your group discussion will be a reflection of that material. I hope you can watch the video instructions I’ve prepared for you but, just in case you have technical difficulty, here is a list of your four interactives for today’s gathering:
(The first two are from Week 3; The second set is from Week 4.)
1. In our LPM small group discussion, we never made it past the second page of Day One without stopping for discussion. Look at the top of p.57 and note the track Jennifer gave us from emotions to thoughts to actions. Discuss its relevance and any recent examples. At the bottom of that same page, she refers to “THINKING WITH OUR FEELINGS.” Discuss this familiar female propensity as well.
2. Turn to p.65 where we studied the woman with the issue of blood. In the first full paragraph, Jennifer writes, “We often face one defining circumstance that becomes the headwater from which other issues flow.” Would some of you be willing to share what your “one defining circumstance” is and how it tends to affect a number of different areas?
OK, this is not a discussion question but I want to mention it because it was one of my very favorite things and I’ve thought about it a ton since I read it. Take a glance at p.73 where Jennifer shares the story about being stuck on a plane and the little girl near her saying to her daddy, “I spy something good.” Did that speak to you, too?
Now, from Week Four:
3. Based on p.81. where Jennifer discusses what we say to ourselves when we talk to ourselves about sin: What has been your most recurrent conviction lately and what are you doing about it? (If you’re not presently doing anything about it, admitting it to your group is a start!)
Discuss how she ties up the point on p.87 with these words: “Never let the Enemy be more aware of your weaknesses than you are.”
4. Review p.88. Do you have a framework set up in your life for consistent accountability? Do you have at least one person in your life who holds you accountable in your pursuit of God and godliness and doesn’t just help you stay comfortable in your strongholds? Look at Jennifer’s statement: “The Enemy goes after the solitary and the silent.”
Discuss the fears involved in opening up to accountability and the solutions to those fears. What holds us back? Is it time? Exposure? Fear of confidence being betrayed? Talk about fears, solutions, and the importance of taking the chance.
That should keep you busy today and smack in the middle of each other’s business!Thank you so much for participating. Study hard! See you in two weeks and we’ll finish up!
I love you so much.
My Darling Baby Girl, Happy Birthday!
We miss you so much today! I have you know that Colin Fitzpatrick is the only man on earth I’d love and trust enough to move you off indefinitely without a small fight, especially on your birthday in a family where birthdays are king. Not only do all the Moores and Joneses miss you today, all your coworkers feel like confetti with no place to blow. You are the only one on our staff so far away that we don’t get to observe an official LPM annual celebration lunch. But, we’re all grown-ups here so call us the epitome of flexibility and understanding, as long as you rest assured we’re feeling the absence of your infectious and delightfully fun self.
I’ve already sent your wrap-able gifts and they should arrive right on time today so this is a minuscule ring-box of words to set beside them. Just a few things from the last 24 hours of life as we know it that I think might make you smile on your birthday:
A. Annabeth was dressed so cute at church yesterday that I honestly could not bear it. And when I asked your sister where she’d gotten that plaid skirt with suspenders and a white blouse in such a small size, she said “Her Aunt Melissa sent this to her!” Score, Child. Score. You’ve still got it. And I’m relieved since you are missing your two chief shopping cohorts.
B. Jackson was riding in the car with me from church to lunch yesterday like he usually does, but on this occasion he said something for the very first time: “Bibby, turn that up!” It was a praise CD. A monumental moment in a life, if you ask me. When I turned up the volume, I glanced in the rear view mirror and saw those little wheels rolling in his head and his big blue eyes cut over to the side, brows drawn down, trying to figure out whether or not he knew that Tomlin song. He’s starting to sing along with all sorts of different songs and guess who he requests most of all? David Crowder. Isn’t that a kick? You ought to hear him say his name. So precious you can’t stand it. And, by the way, he’s outgrown his shoes AGAIN. His feet are huge. (Jackson’s, not David Crowder’s. I don’t know if David has big feet or not. I’ll glance at them in January at Passion.)
C. We sang “Before the Throne of God Above” yesterday in the worship service. Knowing how much you love it, I could hardly get the words to come out of my mouth. I kept thinking of the lyrics in reference to the genuine trial by fire you’ve had this year with health issues attacking that little frame. Persevere, my sweet, sweet Child. I pray with all my heart that this is only a season and that God is going to bring you out of it twice the warrior that entered it. Please hasten to the finish, Lord Jesus. Restore Your young servant completely and bear such a harvest that she will one day look back on it as a gift in disguise from Your faithful hand.
Just in case you’ve forgotten any of the words:
Before the throne of God above
I have a strong, a perfect plea:
A great High Priest, whose name is Love,
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on his hands,
My name is written on his heart;
I know that while in heaven he stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart
No tongue can bid me thence depart.
When Satan tempts me to despair,
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look, and see him there
Who made an end of all my sin.
Because a sinless Savior died,
My sinful soul is counted free;
For God, the Just, is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me
To look on Him and pardon me
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Praise the One,
Risen Son of God!
Behold him there, the risen Lamb
My perfect, spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I am,
The King of glory and of grace!
One in himself, I cannot die
My soul is purchased by his blood
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ, my Savior and my God
With Christ, my Savior and my God
D. Abigail walked the aisle yesterday with her Mommy and Daddy and gave her heart to Jesus. She came up to me just before the service began and said, “Miss Beth, guess what I’m doing today??” And the rest is history. We had the sweetest baptisms yesterday and, all the while, I watched her and her Daddy elbowing each other with anticipation. You would have loved it. I was about to laugh and sob at the same time. I had a feeling she was on the verge of making this decision. You know what a people watcher I am. Last week we took the Lord’s Supper and Abigail was sitting right in front of me. She stared at that tray so hard when it passed her by that she nearly bored a hole in it. I knew something was up. She will stand in that same baptistery where you and your sister were immersed and right at about the same age. Is there anything like growing up in one church? Would we trade those folks in our section for anything on earth??
E. Mr. Parker finally squeaked up the coyote that’s eaten both of their beloved cats and one of their neighbor’s cats in the last few days. The rabbits are so scared of it that they’re nestling right up next to the houses. Geli stares at one out our front windows constantly. Don’t tell me you don’t miss Texas. Where on earth but here would that happen in a suburban neighborhood?
F. Dad and I made homemade buttermilk pancakes and bacon for supper last night. Yep, from a real live recipe with fresh buttermilk and eggs and baking powder and…well, I don’t remember now…just stuff. No mix, is what I’m getting at. It was so good! Dad even told me not to tell him again that I wasn’t a good cook. I’d dang well proved otherwise. How about that? OK, well, I might as well strut my stuff and share the recipe. I got it off the internet and it wasn’t attributed to anybody. I guess there’s no copyright on pancakes.
Beth’s Best Buttermilk Pancakes
(Oh, that made me so happy. It’s a lie though. They’re not mine.)
Makes nine 6-inch pancakes
The key to fluffy pancakes is not to over-mix the batter; it should not be beaten smooth. If serving these pancakes with bacon, reserve half a teaspoon of bacon drippings to grease the griddle instead of butter.
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups buttermilk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus 1/2 teaspoon for griddle
1. Heat griddle to 375°. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar in a medium bowl. Add eggs, buttermilk, and 4 tablespoons butter; whisk to combine. Batter should have small to medium lumps.
2. Heat oven to 175°. Test griddle by sprinkling a few drops of water on it. If water bounces and spatters off griddle, it is hot enough. Using a pastry brush, brush remaining 1/2 teaspoon of butter or reserved bacon fat onto griddle. Wipe off excess.
3. Using a 4-ounce ladle, about 1/2 cup, pour pancake batter, in pools 2 inches away from one other. When pancakes have bubbles on top and are slightly dry around edges, about 2 1/2 minutes, flip over. Cook until golden on bottom, about 1 minute.
4. Repeat with remaining batter, keeping finished pancakes on a heatproof plate in oven. Serve warm.
G. Dad’s getting new glasses. These are not from Walgreen’s. I helped him pick them out, praise You, Lord. These should actually sit straight on his nose and we will no longer have to tilt our heads to look him in the eye. He is too handsome for $11 spectacles.
H. (This is Amanda now. I get one letter.)
For my sister on her 27th birthday…
Today we will eat cupcakes in your honor.
And be sad you’re not here to share.
We hope you’ll spend the day doing everything that’s fun and nothing that isn’t. Maybe some home redecorating? Fort building?
Don’t stay home. Grab your car keys and go somewhere fun!
I’m thankful for the day you made me a big sister. I was just about Jackson’s age.
Hopefully I was better at holding you than this.
We’re all wild about you, Melissa! We love you more than we could ever say! Have the happiest birthday ever.
Happy Friday, Dear Siestas!