Sunday, August 31, 2008

Jesus is My Trigger

Lord, help me to be perfect as You, my heavenly Father, are perfect. Help me grow into complete maturity of godliness in mind and character, reaching the proper height of virtue and integrity (Matt 5:48).

Ps 119:150 - There are echoes of thoughts and habits that resound toward evening that follow after wrong thinking and persecute me with wickedness. They are far from Your law, from Your heart. Help me, Abba, to know and understand what is the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of Your power in and through me, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead and seated Him at Your own right hand, far above the most exalted honor man could ever conjure (Eph 1:19-21).

The name of Jesus is my trigger. With and in His name I summon the essence and source of life, strength, power, peace, wisdom, and truth. With and in His name, battles are won, enemies are defeated, overthrown and cast out. The kingdom of God is brought to reign in me, and there comes to me His will done on earth as it is in heaven.

Saturday, August 30, 2008


Dangit! She did it again! For the hundredth time, she got on the computer without asking, despite our consistent directives to get permission first. I can't trust her! I want to, but I don't know how. We do not know how to discipline this one and get the results we're looking for--simple obedience. Even Ryan piped up once and said, "She seems hard to discipline because she adjusts so well. She just finds a way to make things work."


She isn't pleased with herself either. She said, "I don't want to be like this!" between sobs on my shoulder. I barely understood her. I wanted to stay silent. I wanted her to hurt if that would produce permanent change. But in that moment, I saw myself in her, a self desperate for forgiveness and mercy, for the smallest offer of kindness. I had to give it. There was no other option. "I have to forgive you--but you need to know that I've lost respect for you." Her choked reply was, "I know..."

This is not the way it's supposed to be. It's supposed to be so much happier, isn't it? Two big brothers off at college, an only child at home, the center of her parents' attention. She knows she's 'got it good.' But here she is, living wrongly, much to her dismay and chagrin, and right in front of me so that I can't help but continue to deal with the 'me' that so bogs up the abundant life that seems juuust beyond my grasp. (I know this started out about her, but honestly, isn't this where most everything ends up that matters to us--with 'me'...?)

Lord, help my baby. She's sick of her 'self.' She doesn't know how to overcome. And so help me, she's an ongoing reminder of that struggle I endure, whether I like it or not.

Do You lose respect for me when I fail?
Do You hesitate, even ever so slightly, to offer the forgiveness I desire and don't deserve when I'm stupid?
Is this going somewhere Good, this struggle with stubborn, prideful self-will?
Are we Your most trying children...?

I know the answers to these questions in my deeps. Somehow I still ask them though. And always You sweep them off the desk with Your arm and empty the space they take up, replacing doubt with Your own lovely assurance: Then I [Wisdom] was beside Him as a master and director of the work; and I was daily His delight, rejoicing before Him always (Proverbs 8:30 Amp).

We need some major HUG. We're all cried out for now. She knows I love her. She's subdued, but she kisses my shoulder here and there across the hours like a butterfly lighting on nectar. I lean my head against hers, acknowledging her presence and giving silent assent to her apology. I no longer want her to suffer. I just want her to learn once and for all and be done with it. The big question though is, do I ultimately want that for her................. or for me?

There’s a balance somewhere...

Some people think that if they say things politely, couch their actions with compassion, mean well, lack malice, and/or sympathize with the less fortunate, they are on the side of right--or even righteousness. The final Word though says that without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6).

This country was founded on Christian principles. We've tripped and limped and shuffled a lot since then, but the foundations are still there. Do justly. Love mercy. Walk humbly with your God. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and love your neighbor as yourself. Stupid judges can overrule the will of the people, but we know Truth when we hear it, and we want it to reign.

There is more to this country than being pro-life or pro-abortion, supporting the traditional family or uplifting the gay lifestyle, prosecuting sex offenders or coming alongside them with healing programs. There is a balance somewhere in-between that embodies the case of Christ, who loves perfectly and is poured out into others through hearts poised toward His.

Surely we who call ourselves His children can find a way daily to come together in Love, Grace, Unity, Peace, and Power, so the world will know something larger than strife. How little we call on the All of God that He offers ongoingly! I don't care WHAT political party you support. Show me whose heart you follow and why. Maybe we can talk. I love you regardless, simply because I can. Isn't that radical...?!

Friday, August 29, 2008

21st Century Presence

I'm a member of the Wikipedia community. Only because whenever I looked up stuff there, my copy editor personality reared herself up and flexed against the spelling and grammatical errors that simply did not have to be there. Having only to register and check the little box that said, "This is only a minor edit," I was free to correct anything I wanted to my heart's content! Glorious!

The only restraint I seem to have come up against is not being free to edit comments in discussions signed by contributors. Despite the blatant errors that could so easily be corrected, they are to remain as-is. Weird how they'd want their erroneous contributions to remain untouched, but such is the case, at least according to the Wiki powers-that-be.

Fine. Be wrong. This is America. It's your right. Just know that I'll be making fun of you and judging you. And I'm not the only one.
.. Use the freakin' spell check button for pete's sake...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

off to college

We come in through the south end of campus.

He cannot take a normal picture, this one...

Kev unloading all Ryan's cwap stuff.

in the dorm
(hey, I don't look as old when it's fuzzy =)

fingerprint scanning

dinner at Applebee's

We brought his stuff in through the service entrance in the back. Since we were there a day earlier than everyone, there were no crowds or lines, and the maintenance guy told us the best place to unload, but to watch out for the campus police who would ticket us. I left a note in the window explaining that we didn't know where to park, we'd be right back, and left my cell #. Turned out we had a straight shot of the car from his room, and the police never came around. Tells you that his room view is nothing to write home about, but at least he has wide windows... It's an older dorm, and the window blind is all bent and crooked, the walls are full of tack holes, and the ceiling is really low, but wow, the people are so nice! Every single person was just so nice!

He has work study, so he needs to get a job on campus. He doesn't have a car or even a bike, so he needs something close. The cafeteria is just down the hall from his room, so that's a huge blessing. I told Kev, "You know Ryan. He'll probably make friends with the cafeteria ladies, and they'll give him extra food for later."

Of course, it was a hard thing to leave him. We didn't cry when we left him though, which took great effort for both of us. I told Kev, "Don't cry--that'll make ME cry." He said, "I won't cry--you'll cry, and that'll make ME cry." He always cries when Brett leaves. He's such a softie, bless his heart.

I realized something about myself, that I try to act all happy and positive, and that occupies my mind so that I think about all the good things and don't get dragged down by the sadness. And I'm okay at that unless someone starts crying or talks about how sad it is. Then I break. I tried to be 'up' for Kev as well. Ryan waved to us the from the service entrance door because his key doesn't fit that lock, and he'd get locked out if he came out to the car with us. We waved until we couldn't see each other anymore, and then we faced forward, just the two of us. I asked Kev something, and his voice was choked up and heavy with trying to sound normal. I kept talking as if we'd just done something we always do, and my talking is a distraction for him--gives him something to concentrate on to pull himself together.

I like to schedule my meltdowns, so I finally let myself grieve before I poured myself into bed. It's so bittersweet, isn't it..... the way it's supposed to be, and yet my heart can't seem to get over itself every time there's a serious goodbye.

We realized that with Brett, it was so excruciating, him being in the military and going to such a demanding school, being cut off from any communication with him, being so far away, and even when we could talk to him, just being so dang far away, that for us to drop Ryan off and be able to be so involved made it a whole lot easier than if this had been our first experience letting go. I learned that letting go more and being more hands-off their senior year made this a wee bit easier too. There was already the acknowledgment inside me of their independence and their soon-to-be very different life. It was still difficult, but it was way easier than with Brett.

Having a webcam and being able to Skype will be nice too. I'll be able to see his face when we talk, and that'll be a big comfort, as well as just plain fun.

Another one out of the nest, Lord.
An only child at home. Another 'new normal' to learn.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


I just found out that Ryan's spiritual gift is prophecy! I use an exclamation point because it was the kind of revelation that t-bones you right into reality. Being so very STP, when it hit me, I was like, "OF COURSE!" He senses God's promptings way more readily than most of us, interprets the Word accurately and effectively, has this confidence in conversations involving Scripture, and truth matters above all. Our friend, the youth pastor's wife, had some wise advice for him. She said to keep exhorting people to gain wisdom, knowledge, and truth, but remember to love them. Great words. I've reminded him of that on several key occasions, and he's thanked me for it. I pray he keeps that desire for balance.

Friday, August 22, 2008


It's always cool to see a rainbow, and it's doubly cool to see two at once. This happens often at our house. Don't know why, but we think it's because we're so special... =) The end of this was literally on the ground in front of that tree on the right. No gold, but a sign full of hope and promise. Timely gift since Kev's having panic attacks from so many things happening at once: Ryan going to college AND getting screwed financially, stuff with Jylle, Brett having such a heavy work AND school load, going to a 7-period day this school year, buying more land, his ankle not healing, conjuring up imaginative ways to finance life... The stuff of life that makes it (sarcasm here) "such an adventure."

I read this morning from The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis: "If God were always the pure intention of our desire, we should not be so easily troubled." And this: "being inflamed with his love, we may transcend the narrow limits of human reason." There is the temptation to become overwhelmed, depressed, cynical, or panicky. Just knowing there is another way to be, a better way to endure, is our most lovely hope.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Banks Lake

We went to Banks Lake for a few days and brought along a friend each for Ryan & Jylle. Apart from the mosquitoes, the snotty neighbor, the $112 ticket we got for letting the boys ride in the boat on the road back, the biblical storm, and the haze from the nearby burning town, it was great! The water was perfect, the cliffs were all heights to jump from, the friends from Seattle were fantastic company, there were showers and a volleyball court, and we all stayed safe & happy. No more to want from a vacation! We laughed so much. I love that part. I learned more about these people and even a little about myself. I'll share that sometime if it's still interesting by then.

Kev's favorite view

Kaylee & Jylle, beautiful in clay

Captains Awesome!

Sugar for the Camera

I pretty much passed out on the way home. Didn't even remember dropping off Kaylee. My hip hurts from the flat mattress, we all have hundreds of mosquito bites, I can't find the kitchen counters for the stuff we have to put away, there's sand in every container & clay in my swimsuit, we're three days behind in work that needs to be done before school starts........ and I wouldn't change a thing.