Child of Steel

Joey and I had dinner too late tonight. We had planned to get Thai Thai takeout after Joey attended an event at church. But Thai Thai is closed on Mondays. Boo. So I ordered from Sweet Basil. Once home, we opened our takeout boxes and the order was wrong. Double Boo. I get really disappointed by food mishaps.

To redeem our evening, we decided to rent Man of Steel, the most recent Superman movie.

About fifteen minutes into it, I’m bawling. Little Clark is sitting in a mop closet crying because the other kids are making fun of him. He’s different. He’s a freak. Clark’s earthly mom comes up to the school to coax him out. Heaven forbid I ever find Finn this way. Oh, my heart!

I know all kids get made fun of; all kids get their feelings hurt. Not just the “different” ones. I sure did.

My hand was raised to go to the bathroom in Mrs. Seastrunk’s first grade classroom. She wouldn’t let me go until I spelled the three different types of “there” in front of the class. I stood up front, crossing my legs in discomfort. Lloyd, in the front row, screeched, “Eww! She peed!” Urine was trickling down my leg and out from under my private-school plaid jumper, puddling on the carpet beneath me. The class screamed. I ran and hid in the bathroom for hours…until my mom came to rescue me.

My child is different. I wish he weren’t. But I believe he’s different in the way Superman is different. Like from another world with a perspective on life that I’ll never understand, an appreciation for the little things, a joy that I hope remains unshakeable. And I pray that just like Clark Kent, he comes to know his True Father…the One from another world.IMG_9977

All good parents believe their child can do anything, be anyone. They are little superheroes. And Finn is my Child of Steel.

‘Tis that Season

Mostly, I get excited about the preparation for events. I love the planning, the researching, the purchasing, the wrapping and the sorting.

Joey gets a kick out of me every Christmas season. He oftentimes snaps an embarrassing picture of me sitting Indian-style on the floor in our room amidst a sea of gifts.

Guest room turned North Pole

Guest room turned North Pole

I love to put them in piles, organized by family or friend group, the “Swingin’ Christmas” station playing on Pandora to get me in the Christmas mood. I keep a journal of what I’ve already purchased (because I’m budgeted, afterall), and add to that list as I sense any hint of financial leeway from Joey.

Like many of you, I’m sure; I love decorating for Christmas. I don’t go all out. I’m kind of a minimalist, and I admit I’m pretty cheap when it comes to holiday decor. This year we started decorating before Thanksgiving since it falls so late in November. Friday was icy cold…perfect for a fire, Christmas music, orange danish rolls in the oven, and the Charlie Brown holiday series playing on DVD. Despite where we’ve lived, or the size of the tree, the spirit of Christmas fills our living room and generosity creeps into our hearts.

2007 Waco

2007 Waco

I’ve learned so much about generosity over the years. Mostly from the generous people in our lives, like our families and friends who give and give and give–time, money, food–without considering the cost. And God sure has been generous to us. Whew…we are richly blessed in many ways.

2009 Waco

2009 Waco

I am SO MUCH MORE excited about what I give people than what I might get from them. Not “tooting my own horn” here…it’s just true. I love gift-giving; probably to a fault, because I struggle to reign in my hurt if you don’t love my food or respond to my gift the way I dreamed you might. I blame this characteristic on my mom…she’s a notorious planner and dreamer and giver. And rightfully sensitive if her gifts aren’t well-received.

2011 Norman

2011 Norman

I’m hoping your holiday season is devoid of stress, financial strain, family misunderstanding, processed foods, greed and selfishness.

2013 Norman

2013 Norman

Praying it’s full of meaningful interaction with family, fantastic and healthful food, some exercise that makes you uncomfortable, hilarious parties with friends, an ugly Christmas sweater or two, generous giving–to those you love and those in need, and maybe something off your wish list. Blessings, friends.

Step Out

I’m a crier in church. If you sit behind me or beside me, you’ll see me wiping tears throughout worship. I’m okay; my heart is just really sensitive during church. I think I asked God once to soften my heart toward Him…I used to be pretty cynical about the institution of church and the hypocritical, flawed people who attend it (like myself). Well, He softened me; leaving me sobbing in the pews.

This morning we sang Oceans, a Hillsong tune that Jane introduced me to. (Kaitlin, you sounded beautiful!) I connect with this song deep in my gut. I’m Peter and Christ is asking me to step out on the waters, “the great unknown where feet may fail.” To get out of the comfort of my boat and trust Him in the impossibilities of life. I love this passage in Scripture:

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” (Matt. 14: 29-31). 

Peter, eyes fixed on Jesus, did the impossible. His feet coasted above the waves. He was the protagonist in one of the world’s most bizarre miracles. But when he “saw the wind,” noticed the danger around him and entertained fear, he began to sink.

I was sinking this Saturday. Eyes were NOT on Jesus. I was a brat, really. Joey even said I was mean. I was whiny and having a one-woman pity party that no one in their right mind would want to attend. I was mad that Finn’s disabled. Mad that my recently drilled tooth was hurting. Annoyed with the noise in my home. Feeling insecure. Jealous of kids who can jump and play. It was miserable.

Finn's first OU game

Finn’s first OU game

Joey and his saint-of-a-father installed new doors in our home this weekend! Hooray! photo 1I was sitting on the carpet Indian-style, slathering ivory paint over the primed door panels late Saturday night, and I just decided to stop being a child. photo 2

My complaining turned to thanksgiving, eucharisteo, and I thanked God for all the good things in my life…the OVERFLOW of blessings.

My eyes shifted back up to Jesus, His arms reaching toward me, calling me forward into His miracle. The impossible. Forget the waves, forget the fear. Focus on Him. This morning’s song nailed it home:

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

I want to go “deeper”…step out of the delusion of my “safety boat” and experience all Jesus promises to offer. It’s hard for me, and I cry and pout about it, but it’s what life abundant is all about.

Jesus Paid It All

We sang my very favorite hymn this morning in church. My eyes well with tears and my stomach quivers every time these lyrics pass my tongue. I feel the Spirit thick around and within me, and I’m compelled to respond.

I hear the Savior say,
“Thy strength indeed is small;
Child of weakness, watch and pray,
Find in Me thine all in all.”

Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.photo

So, here’s the truth: Jesus has redeemed my life. There’s no other way to explain it. I was crimson and lost and He found me and washed me white. All life’s questions–why I’m here, what’s my purpose, why so much bad, why should I be good, who am I–are answered in Him. I don’t really even understand it and sometimes Scripture sounds crazy to me. But I believe He is all I need.

Humans are relational by nature. We commune, we marry, we procreate, we communicate. Humans need other humans to be healthy. So it makes sense, then, that we have a relational Creator. One who is Three. One who loved His perfect Son, but released Him to the earth to show us imperfect humans how to live and how to die.

He paid it all for me. And for you.

Guilt. Shame. Fear. Greed. Lust. Pain. Neglect. Anger. Frustration. Wrong Motives. Lies. Envy. Death.

This morning I almost audibly heard the Savior speaking to me as a “child of weakness.” I haven’t felt very strong lately. In fact, I’ve felt fragile.

So I should “watch and pray.” Sounds so simple. Watch for His everyday miracles, watch the skies transform above me, watch for His blessings, watch my tongue. And pray. Continually.

“Find in Me thine all in all.” Fullness and richness of life is found in Jesus. Not in Finn or Joey, my career, a self-help book, my friends or myself. All of me and all I do is found in Him. Because He paid it all.

Books are In

Hi friends!

All our books arrived for the Christmas season! If you reserved hardback books through us but haven’t sent your money yet, please do so soon and we’ll send off your books as soon as we get your checks.

Book Cover

If you’ve already paid, we will mail or deliver your books in the following week.

Thanks so much for your patience and support!

A Reunion Ablaze

Last weekend one of my very best friends flew into OKC to commence our bi-annual Roomie Reunion. Jane is a gem. She is stunningly beautiful, oh-so-genuine, encourages my heart, has dance moves like you’ve never seen and is one of the bravest humans I know. I wish everyone could know her.

Janie with Finn and Navy

Janie with Finn and Navy

Taylor, Al, Lindsey and I are so grateful she flies up to visit us and has adjusted to our new “mom schedules.” This past weekend, however; Lindsey, Jane and I drove to Arkansas to stay at my parents’ house on the lake…without the kids! photo 1 photo 2

IMG_3824Taylor met up with us the following day after work, and Al met up with us all on Sunday morning. I forgot to bring pants to AR. Yep. So we had to make a pit stop at the Gap for a pair of skinny jeans before lunch on Friday afternoon (I am wearing yoga pants with knock-off Sperrys and a sweater in the pic below).

Linds, Jane and I

Linds, Jane and I

Relationships are a lot of work, right? If you want to sustain the good ones–the ones that have changed you for the better–you have to be intentional. Involved. Prayerful.

Linds, Jane, Tay and I

Linds, Jane, Tay and I

Me, Jane, Tay and Linds

You have to juggle five work schedules and squeeze your way onto one anothers’ busy calendars. It takes sacrifice on everyone’s part. But the laughing and the crying and the reminiscing are all so worth it.

Arkansas welcomed us on Friday with trees ablaze in autumn color. photo 1 copyWe walked and talked for about two hours on Friday morning and could not get over the beauty of the trees! photo 4 photo 3

I believe I must live in a place where there are large trees. This is what was missing for me in San Antonio. Trees that transform with the seasons, rooted in rich soil and reminding me it’s okay to change…natural to change. I am a tree and I am bare and shivering, then budding with new life, then full and fruitful and finally fiery but frail. The more I resist change–in relationships, myself, my views about God, my career, my child, my spouse, my living room rug–the less I grow.

Al with Finn and Me

Al with Finn and Me

Al, Jane, Tay and I

Al, Jane, Tay and I

I’m thankful my relationship with these girls has lasted life’s seasons.

Kidoodles and Book Trailer

This Saturday, the 9th, we are hosting our last book signing of the season at Copelin’s Kidoodles from 1:00-3:00pm on Main St. in Norman.

Check out our newly released book trailer on YouTube!

Kidoodles is hosting their annual neighborhood toy sale (all toys 20% off!) and we are honored to be a part of it! Hope you’ll stop by for some fabulous (and unique) Christmas gifts and to purchase a book or two from Finn. Hard and paperback books for sale! Proceeds are funneled into Finn’s medical expenses.

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Thanks, as always, for your prayers and support!