Monday, June 29, 2015

Courting

All these princess and true love's kiss stories have had us reading "The Princess and the Kiss" by Jennie Bishop more often the last few nights. Which always makes me realize that someday, some young man [please, please an age appropriate man ... not a boy and not a man their father's age!!!!] will come calling on our daughters.

What would we do, what would we say, if someone asked to court one of them? Sigh nostalgically and breathe out "how romantic!"? Puff up like the modern woman I sometimes am and mutter something about her choice?

One of our friends always has his son ask Tim's permission to play with Shelby and Victoria. I love it. I hope he is instilled with a respect for the young ladies in his life, and their first love ... praying that will be their Heavenly Father, then perhaps we will be a close second. So I imagine I'd err on the side of a happy fresh breeze fluffing across my face in the glow of a rare jewel.

Or is it? What IS courting? I'm afraid instead of whispering "of course" to said young man with a smile, I'd want to ask him. What is courting? What does that look like? What is the end goal of this courting and how long to you suppose it lasts?

Does courting end at the alter? I'm afraid for even many with the best of intentions (and certainly those with the worst) it does. The excitement and newness wear off. We've seen it, heard it, read about it, and fight it back in our own marriages every day.

Courting should be for a lifetime. In my opinion. I suppose for some very stoic, logical, order-phyllic couples perhaps courting seems a waste of time. But my little romantic heart thinks its just one of those things EVERYONE would like, if only they would let go and try it.

This morning Tim was mowing, and I had the romantic picture in my mind of taking him out a big glass of sweet tea lemonade in a Mason jar. Old fashioned, yes. The stuff of country songs. Many would stop right there and say its silly.

Take me for a ride on your big green tractor ...
But is it? Such a small effort rewarded with such a happy grin. The grin that helped win my heart. Taking that sweating green glass out there as the tractor motor wound down did feel like something you'd see in a country music video. And you know what? It made me feel sexy. And loving. And it made my man smile and almost nothing makes me happier than that.

Continuing to court those we love implies there is always more to know. That they are worth pursuing. That our minds can't be so filled with memories that there is no room for more.

And our God and our Savior wants the same thing. Daily pursuit. A relationship. I don't want to leave my God at the altar anymore than I want to abandon my spouse there! We don't just get saved and walk away, living hum-drum lives, perhaps even serving along side Him, but never casting a sideways glance to catch Him in a smile, to ask what He thinks, to share our triumphs and sorrows.

Never stop chasing those you love. I really think it is always always going to pay off, even if you have to chase them for a while.

Friday, June 12, 2015

At His Feet

Shelby has a giant Bible coloring book, and yesterday morning she was coloring the story of Mary and Martha ... and asked me what happened, "she a mess." Yes Shelby, yes she is.

She's so stressed out she's sweating green ...
In case you aren't familiar with the story of Mary and Martha, its told in Luke 10: 38-42. Its a pretty simple story ... Jesus was visiting these two sisters and Martha was busy preparing a meal and Mary was sitting at Jesus feet, listening to him.

Like all good busy, Type A, first born neat freaks (I'm assuming Martha was the older of the two sisters) Martha asked Jesus to chide her sister for not helping her. That seems pretty Christian doesn't it? To be helping others serve?

And Jesus instead chides Martha, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed ... Mary has chosen what is better and that will not be taken away from her."

Ouch, says the Martha in me. I hate it; but the simple fact is I'm a Martha by nature. Why just have baked potatoes when you can have STUFFED baked potatoes? There is DUST settling on the furniture I just dusted, better dust again!

Meanwhile two precious girls are growing up. What is more important to me; family or dust??? What do I want them to remember, a mom who was really clean or a mom who played, laughed, read, and just was with them? Come on, these are easy answers.

I don't want to ignore the things she wants to show me, she might stop showing me.

I don't want to miss these smiles, before I know it she'll be smiling at me from under a mortar board ... a veil ...

Tori is WALKING now ... I don't want to miss getting to know her expanding personality.
I'm not going to stop cleaning my house, but I'm going to stop stressing about it. And I'm going to sit down and choose what is better; He's promised that won't be taken from me. His yoke is easy and his burden is light ... He has promised rest for my soul. [Matthew 11:28-30]. Stress, worry, busy activity will not bring me closer to the heart of God, or my children.

I love this picture ... He's offering her freedom from that bowl. Crackers and cheese would be fantastic Martha.

Come and sit with me. Rest. This is how we break the chains of worry and find joy. We let Him gently, lovingly loosen them. Come listen. Come see.

God didn't paint these skies for us to toil blindly beneath them ... I want to see His good gifts.

I want to sit at His nail-scarred feet and let Him wash mine. I want to serve together with Him, not try to earn that free gift serving where it is not needed.


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Steve

My cupcakes ended up getting second place! I thought they were pretty dry though. I made them again for Victoria's little family birthday party and used more berry purée in the second batch. I still think they could be better.

Victoria liked them just fine, especially the icing
Poor Victoria was stung by a red wasp on her bicep Sunday night, but thankfully doesn't seem to be having any kind of reaction. It was so strange - a group of half a dozen kids had been playing on this thing for at least and hour, and I was standing right there. I can't believe it waited so long and of all people went for the sweet baby.

Last fall when we moved into the barndominium there was a hawk hanging around with an injured wing. I went as far as to contact a raptor rescue group in Austin to find out what, if anything, he (I don't know the gender but I just refer to the hawk as he and decided to call it Steve ... I don't really agree with the man but naming a hawk brought Steven Hawking to mind) might need. He wasn't injured enough for me to try catching him and I'd seen him catch or scavenge something so I decided to just let nature take its course.

Fast forward to Memorial Day. Steven is healthy and we see him hunting in the pasture in front of the house or out on the county road almost daily. I'm not actually quite sure what type of hawk Steve is ... Just that he's not a red tailed hawk. I'm not sure what kind of peace will work out with Steve when we get chickens and/or ducks ... But I'm hoping we can find a way to all get along. He's really not a big hawk so I'm foolishly hoping he will stick to rodents and snakes.

So Memorial Day. If you didn't know we've been having a lot of rain. And rain. And flooding. And storms. After the drought I'm thankful for all the precitpitation and mud. But it proved to be too much for our two front trees - very old post oaks that I loved to look out at. That filtered the brazen sunlight in the front part of our house.

Just a few days before, you can see them outside

And now they're gone. Well, technically they are still in the yard. Cause they're huge. But they're dead.

I'm anxious to see how old they were
My parents had stopped by to drop of some of my boxes. Dear friends. Especially those of you in  your 20s. If you are ever faced with the "do I want to get rid of this, or store it?" question and the answer isn't immediately obvious (like a full jewelry box) ... give it away. Don't make your poor parents keep it in their garage only so you can open it a decade later and say "What was I thinking?"

They were getting ready to leave when we got several texts from friends in Austin about a tornado near Cameron. What? Tim and my dad went outside to investigate (because that's what you do when a tornado might be coming - run outside!) and us girls were in the classroom. I looked down the county road and watched a wall of wind and rain come slamming toward us.

It hit the house and the trees and I watched the west tree bow under the force, then ease back up ... and up ... and over. In horror I came closer to the window only to see it had taken out the other tree as well.

They don't look big but this is a panoramic picture just to fit them in ...

Which brings us back to Steve. I don't think he lives in either tree, but I didn't see him for several days and feared for the worst. But I finally saw him, happily hunting from our prostrate post oaks.