Monday, March 26, 2012

Hook, Line & STINKER

The Stig and I have tried to keep up with the Texas pilgrimage of loading our kids in the car, eyes to the bar-ditch, looking for just the right field of bluebonnets to take our annual pictures in.
This year was no exception. We all wore white t-shirts (and can I just tell you how stressful 2 kids and white shirts can be if I let it!?!?) and blue jeans as we headed out into the wild blue yonder to find the perfect place.
The Stig and I are chatting comfortably in the front seat, while Sammy & Dean serenade the girls in the back (nothing like the Rat Pack to set a peaceful mood.) It's one of those times when you have your husband's undivided attention - and I was "All IN" - keeping with the Texas theme... (vague reference to Texas Hold 'Em.) I'm telling him about what I think we should do about the drainage situation at the house, how I believe that we really should try to plant the tomatoes in the ground rather than in containers because everyone tells me it's so much better, and how I've decided its really time to "Blog or get off the Pot!"
E is resting quietly in her booster seat, thumb firmly set in her snaggle-toothed mouth. But "A" is babbling not stop (I have no idea where she gets it!?!?) She is talking to her hand, and to her sister. She is asking about the length of our car ride, her hair and when we're going to get a snow-cone (I'm thinking, in that shirt... Never.) She barely takes a breath before she launches into "I Set Fire to the Rain" at full voice, while Frank croons softly through the car speakers. I reach forward to turn down the noise and realize it's "A"... I ask her politely, to please sing quieter. She sees this as a perfect opportunity to engage me in mindless chatter (she has no idea that this is MY time to fill the Stig's ear!)
I turn to her and ask what she wants. And the little three year old STINKER says, "Oh, nothing Momma. I don't even know what I'm saying... I just wanted you to hear me."
Isn't that really what we all want? To be heard. Jonah, from the belly of the fish said, "I called out to the Lord, out of my distress, and He answered me; out of the belly of  Sheol I cried, and you heard my voice." (Sheol being the realm of the dead - Jonah 2:2)
I wanted the Stig to hear me. "A" wanted her momma to hear her. And we, the children of the Most High God want to be heard. Fun part is He wants us to call on Him... and He wants to answer us too!
I guess the real question is will we take the bait? When we're given the time, will we take God at His word and share with Him our deepest hopes and dreams, our common everyday problems, and our funny little stories?
Today Lord, I want to take you Hook, Line & Sinker (with a side of stinker too!)
Reel time... More of you and less of me.

My Knight in Orange Crocs

This morning started like most school mornings; alarm clock, snooze button, bible study & iced tea, (I never have caught on to that coffee thing - just give me an iced beverage and "Katie-bar-the-door"!) We'd had our snuggle-ups, and were in the midst of the morning rush -  downing breakfast, donning the uniforms and getting in the car.
Monday's are my Sabbath. My day of rest. My time set aside to recharge. So on Mondays the Stig takes the wheel in the carpool line. I get A&E ready for school and out the door, and he pretty much handles things from there.
So E's dawdling over a bowl of rice krispies and bemoaning the fact that I only allow ONE tablespoon of sugar to be added to the milk/cereal mixture. "A" has chosen pop-tarts (I know... the breakfast of champions) and as God would have it, ran from the kitchen because nature was calling.  I am standing next to the fridge, swathed in my fluffy pink towel wrap getting the last of the lunches packed. I shut the door on the fridge, hear an awful sliding noise, feel something heavy hit my left kidney, and then the sound of shattering glass and the skittering of 1,000,852 pieces of glass as they trail across my tile floor.
Before I really have time to process what has happened, I scream. And I don't mean the sweet, "Honey? Can you come into the kitchen for a sec?" I mean SCREAM for the Stig. It was guttural, it was full of fear and it was not in the slightest bit sweet. I knew I was cut, but I had no idea what my real injuries were. I was imagining (at the speed of light) all manner of things.
It was at this point that I realized that E was still in the room. I calmed my voice and told her, in no uncertain terms, to stay put. The Stig comes flying into the room, toothbrush hanging from his mouth, as I hear the water for his shower heating up, and "A" singing to herself (probably into a hairbrush at the bathroom mirror.)
The Stig takes one look at the situation and sees that I am barefoot and bleeding. He tells me where to put my foot down, throws me a towel to staunch the bleeding (which all by the way were just nicks & grazes - no real damage) and leads me out of the kitchen.
I look back at E who is munching away at Snap*Crackle*&Pop, say a quick thank you prayer that she was way out of the line of shrapnel and that "A" for all intents and purposes is indisposed with an audition for American Bathroom Idol.
And it hits me... right between the eyes, as my husband runs for his orange Crocs (did I blog that out loud?), and sweeps up my mess, still with the toothbrush firmly gripped in his mouth. I'm not doing this alone. This man is so good to me. When I screamed, he came running. He is so precious to me - but how often I forget.
I have two friends who right now, because of life/work situations are separated from their husbands. What would they have done this morning if the glass top to their cake pedestal had fallen off their refrigerators. Would they have skyped their husbands mid-scream? Would they have reached for their cell phones before the broom? Probably not. They would have braved the wreckage, rolled up their sleeves (because who really runs around in a fluffy pink towel wrap in the mornings, right?) and gotten the job done.
I am blessed beyond belief. Most days I know it. Some days I need reminders. Today was a noisy, bloody reminder - that man is to be cherished and loved. He is to be respected both in my words and in the tone of them. He is to be honored in his home and outside as well. He is mine - and I must take care of what had been given to me.
One of my devotions, Proverbs 31 Ministries posted to Facebook today, "In the way we talk, think and act... 'Be kind to each other, tenderhearted... (and forgiving)'" Ephesians 4:32 Oh, sweet friend how I needed to be reminded of that today!
So tonight, as I set the table for our Celebration Dinner (it was report card weekend - and we're celebrating progress both big & small, academic & character driven) I'm going to make sure I find a way to honor the Stig... my hero. Maybe an aluminum foil crown - for my knight in shining armor. Who came to my rescue today! And maybe as we sit around the table, eating hot dogs by candle light, I'll find just the right words to tell him again how very much I love him!
I'm heading in to mop the floor by hand - I think I only picked up 1,000,843 pieces of glass and we all know there really were 1,000,852! On my knees Lord, more of you and less of me!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Tooting my own horn...

Our morning drive to school this week found the girls and I grooving to the tune of our favorite "pump you up" song Ready to Go! We'd cracked open the sun roof on "Surely Goodness" (the name of our RED Jetta - the white one is called "Mercy".) The Lessner girls were singing full voice and rocking the choreography!
With one hand on the wheel, I was mentally organizing my "to-do" list for the day, refereeing a debate in the back seat about who got to pick the next song, calling out spelling words to E! while assuring "A" that in fact she would be putting on her socks and shoes when we arrived at school. Oh... and I was cleaning out my purse (having just finished applying my mascara in the rear view mirror - I moved on to the purse purge because that's what I do at red lights.)
"Backpack"... "Wintertime"... (*insert words of encouragement here*) take a sip of water and a vitamin... "Yes, 'A' you have to wear socks..." My hands were no where near 10 OR 2 as I dug deeper into the purse; one dead receipt for bread and nail polish, the remains of snacks long since consumed by my children, loose change... HONK!
I look around thinking, "What goober honked at me?" The girls chimed in with a question, "What did you do?" to which I launched into a diatribe about how just because someone honks at you does not necessarily mean that you've done something wrong - it sometimes a matter of opinion blah, blah, blah until the their eyes glazed over and they began a conversation about their school's policy on bubblegum.
I began to look around for the "honker" and saw that my "next-door-driver" was starring at me as if to say, "What? Why did you honk at ME?" at which point I noticed my hand resting suspiciously across the center of my steering wheel. That's when the light bulb went on... I AM THAT HONKER! I gave the (not-to-be-confused-with-a-honker) fellow driver the obligatory "I'm sorry" look and placed my hands back at the aforementioned proper driving position and continued our commute as one being sent to the principal's office. Mine was the drive of the contrite - I had seen the error of my honk - and it had me thinking.
Many times I have prided myself on being a multi-tasker. Someone who can juggle many things - and make it look effortless. And yet I know the danger of that thought process as well. Often I miss being present in the moment because I've "got to get a picture of that" or I can think of a million things that are (in reality) "urgent unimportant" and allow the "urgent important" to take a backseat. In all honesty - this is my SECOND attempt at this blog today. I had it all ready to hit publish and instead hit a little red x... UGH! Distracted and busy are more than buzz words to me - they can suck the Jesus plumb out of me if I'm not careful.
So, today, I'm going to ask as the psalmist did that God, " my footsteps according to His Word, so that no sin might rule over me." (Psalm 119:133 paraphrased) A great way, might I add, to start the first day of Spring Break!
And in this may we find so much less of me, and soooooooo much MORE of YOU!