Day 28: Isn't She Lovely

I haven't prayed for her my entire life, but I've prayed for her for his entire life.  And she is certainly an answer to my prayers.  And I'm not just saying that because I know she'll read this.  I'm saying it because it is true.

She's perfect for him because she is patient.  She's perfect for him because she embraces his moody artistic side, and matches it harmoniously with her spontaneous silly side. I have proof of this spontaneosity (yes, I made up this word!)  because she stood on my front porch this memorial day and danced to "Party in the USA" with my 3 year old twin daughters!

She is kind and loving and has a gentle and quiet spirit. (NOTE . . . I did NOT say a gentle and quiet personality!)  Sometimes she can be quite loud, but when she is, it makes me laugh out loud, because she doesn't realize her volume has gone up.  It is one of the many things that endears her to me.

I remember meeting her at camp where I was a volunteer and she was a camper.  What I remember most about her was that she showed up to REC with big hair and jewelry, all decked out, a quiet act of rebellion and a statement that she would NOT be participating in camp rec!  But she's just enough of a rule follower that she DID show up.

I like that she has a tiny little rebellious streak. I suspect it's bigger than I know.

And while I count her as family, because she is the beautiful wife of my oldest son, I treasure her as a friend.  I don't know if boys want their moms and their wives to be friends. I sure hope so!

There really is only one thing that could make her even more perfect in my book.  


All that to say, Christina Taylor Jones, get busy. HA!

Day 27: Annie Dee

My grandmother Annie Dee was such a wise woman and so madly in love with Jesus. She died when she was 96 years old, and she taught me so much about loving people and loving God and loving life.

She said things all that time that were so incredibly deep, though in truth I don't know that she ever thought about her words being deep or wise or anything of the sort. But they were.

As far as I ever saw, she was not much of a grudge holder, and she didn't take too well to people who were. She used to say that life was too short to have it drained away by things like jealousy and anger. So, she just didn't get jealous or angry. (Or maybe she did, but she didn't stay that way long for me to ever notice it!)

She only loved one man in her life.  He was the man of her dreams. I didn't know him at all because he died when I was a tiny baby.  But I imagine that if he captured her heart and held it for the 40 years she was alive after his death, he must have been pretty special. 

(She did marry again, much later in life, but she "thought" it was just for companionship . . . and when she realized "he" had other ideas, she was having none of that!)

I remember many  things about this woman, but I especially remember how fiercely she loved her children.  FIERCELY.

I hope that I am like her, loving Jesus madly, loving one man for a lifetime, living life free of jealousy and anger, and that I love my children fiercely.

All that to say, she's kind of my hero.  I want to be like her when I grow up.   Maybe if I live to be 96 I will accomplish that.

Day 26: Family Matters

In the last several months, as I have been thinking about the adoption of our daughters, I have been thinking about family and the importance of it.  The family you are born into, married into, adopted into . . . they have the greatest impact on your life.

Over the course of the next days, weeks, months, I want to share some of my family with you.  You learn so much from your family.  I have learned so much from mine.

If you are fortunate enough, your family will  teach you how to love.  And you will learn this because they love you well.  They love you despite your faults and your many shortcomings.  They love you unconditionally. 

They teach you valuable life skills like how to negotiate, how to concede, how to argue, how to reconcile.

You learn to grieve loss, celebrate victories, overcome obstacles, and survive setbacks.

Family should be your greatest allies.  They should be your greatest supporters.  Your greatest friends.  Your greatest teachers. 

But sometimes they aren't.  And I know that firsthand.  I love them though.  All of them.

All that to say, I hope you enjoy getting to know the people who have shaped my life.

Day 25: F-A-I-T-H

As I was praying the other day, I was thinking about the word FAITH and all that it implies.  For those of us who have brains that feed on logic, words like FAITH can be terrifying.  Terrifying because typically things that require us to have faith seem to defy logic.

Oddly enough, the next day our Creative Arts Pastor asked me to give him some thoughts toward our prayer service which was going to be about faith.  (love it when God does that . . . stirs us all up about the same thing).

So as I thought about it, I thought about an acronym I heard at a student camp once, (and one for which I teased its originator continually!)  The acronym was FAITH  F-Forsaking A-All I T-Trust H-Him.  And that made me think, "What does 'forsaking all' look like lived out?"

Forsaking All.

For me that starts with logic.  Just because something doesn't make sense doesn't mean I shouldn't do it. I've had plenty of conversations with God where I say, "But Lord, that just doesn't make sense."  And He says, "Trust me."

Forsaking the opinion of others, because if there is anything that is going to trip me up, it's what others think of me and my decisions.

Forsaking status.

Forsaking convention.

Forsaking political affiliations.

Forsaking. All.

All that to say, What if I just stripped myself naked of all encumbrances and ran with wild abandon toward the goal set before me?  Now THAT would be faith.

Day 24: Micromanaging

Mike, you know how much I love you.  You married me.  You gave me two beautiful sons and then allowed two beautiful daughters into our lives.  I'm so grateful to you.  I really am.

Would you help me?  I need you so much.  You are the only one who can help me.  I need a bigger house.  Of course if you give it to me, I'll praise your name.  I'll tell all my friends what a great husband you are.  If you'll just get me a bigger house, I won't ask you for anything else.  I won't.  And you just can't imagine how grateful I will be.  It's just that you know how much I need a bigger house. And you told me when I married you that you would fulfill all my dreams.  So, I'm asking.

Also, I worry that we will run out of money.  No you've never allowed us to run out of money in our entire married life.  You've never given me any reason to believe I should be worried about a place to sleep or food to eat or clothes to wear.  But I can't help but worry.  I'm worried.  Deal with it.

And while I'm thinking about it, I'm kind of curious about some decisions you've made lately about running our family.  I mean, of course I trust you, it's just that I wish you would do things my way instead of yours.  I'm clearly an intelligent woman.  So how about if we just do things my way for a while and see where that gets u?  I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

And I guess while I'm at it, I would like to talk about the way you've been interacting with other people.  In short, I don't like it.  You the man of my dreams.  I fell in love with you because you were so loving and kind and gentle, and yet . . . lately . . .you haven't been so loving and kind and gentle in my opinion.  Yeah, I get the whole, you're the leader of our family, but really, tough love?

I think you should find our son a job when he graduates from school.  I think you should do everything in your power to help our parents and brothers and sisters be well, and wealthy, and safe.

I think you make sure the details of our adoption fall into place.  That's not a bad thing.  Surely you can manage that for us, right?

I also think you should do everything in your power to make sure we are all happy.  Happy, and healthy, and safe.  You're the man.  You're the husband.  The Father.  Just do it. 

. . .

All that to say, I feel like I have this conversation a lot . . . only with God, not my husband.  Pretty sure He's not a fan of my micromanaging either.