Monday, January 31, 2011


I remember the joyful feeling of opening a new box of crayons so well.  The potential of that box of crayons was just endless to a young mind.  Oh, the pictures I would color!  The sharp, little Crayolas were lined up so smartly in their neat, colorful rows.  It was perfect.

But, without fail, soon those perfect little crayons would break.  I would lose my favorite blue.  I would use the yellow down to a little nub.  Someone would swipe my red.  Eventually I would cast aside that box of crayons for a newer one and the process would start all over.

A few years ago, my kids got a neat gift for Christmas.  They placed old, broken crayons in this little machine.  A light bulb heated up the crayons and melted them down into a mold.  The old, useless crayons were reborn as new rainbow crayons.  My kids were delighted!

Have you ever felt like a crayon?  Useless and cast aside?  Unable to leave a mark on the world?  Broken or lost?  No matter how broken, useless, lost, or purposeless we feel, God can still use us.  He never casts us aside because of our brokenness.  Rather, he can use our brokenness to make something beautiful in our world. 

We never lose our potential in God’s eyes.  He sees us, the broken and sinful people that we are, but also sees our potential, because “we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do,” Ephesians 2:10.  Sometimes it takes a little heat to make us change into what God would have us to be.  It’s the difficult times that refine us, make us stronger, and more capable of doing God’s will.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

No mo' snow!

I live in the South--land of humidity and sweat. So, you can imagine our glee/surprise/unpreparedness when presented with a forecast calling for 4-8 inches of snow and ice. 

Day one: Friday-Go to Wal-Mart for basic grocery run.  Lose my mind and take all three kids with me. All the crazies were already out in full force, buying all the milk, bread, Pop Tarts, and Diet Coke.  Trip takes twice as long as usual. It's going to be nice to have a few days of downtime at home. 

Day two:  Saturday-Jason and Luke go to the BBVA Bowl Game. I stay home with the girls and clean. I realize mid-afternoon that I may be housebound soon due to weather. Strongly recommend we go out to eat. Jason wisely agrees. Kids look forward to pretty snow. 

Day three: Sunday, a.k.a., beginning of  the Snowpocalypse of 2011- The sleet and snow begin to fall at 5:00. The kids are excited. School is closed for Monday.  I go into a baking frenzy and make homemade bread and lasagna.  I pray that our all-electric home doesn't lose power.  By 10:00 p.m., we have 2.25" of snow on the ground. So pretty!  Tootie declares a moratorium on going outside to so her business, since the snow is neck-deep for her.  

Day four: Monday- We enjoy the unspoiled beauty of 4 inches of snow in the front yard, that is, until the neighbor kids start playing in our yard and spoil it. (Before I could take pictures. Grrrr!). Luke, Emma, and I go out and build a snowman. We name him Bama Bob.  Jason works from home. Already the older two are starting to fuss and argue. Hot chocolate, warm baths, and all day in jammies seems to help. Tootie continues her protest.   

Day five:  Tuesday-Still no school. Snow is still there. Kinda over it. Jason works from home again. Kids are restless, tempers are short. Cabin fever has set in hard. Snow is still there. Tootie's excretory system must be in mortal danger by now.  Bama Bob was murdered by neighbors' hateful dog. Family mourns. But at least there will be school tomorrow, right?  RIGHT?!?!

Day six: Wednesday- NO.  No school. Jason braves the treacherous roads to go to work in Birmingham. Kids take on prisoner mindset, start forming gangs and getting jailhouse tattoos.

Tootie gives up and does her thing on the ice. She fairly well explodes.  Temps aren't getting out of the 20's.

Ugly snow.
Spiteful snow.
Evil snow not melting. 

Help me. I'm running out of bread and milk. I think the kids are planning a riot.  I'm pretty sure Anna Beth tried to shank me with a pacifier/shiv.  Well, we definitely will have school tomorrow.

Update:  There is no school on Thursday.  

God help me.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Little Children

I've had a lot of early mornings with Anna Beth lately that have given me some quiet time (albeit sleepy time) with God. I was marveling one early morning before Christmas about how Mary must've felt in those early mornings with Baby Jesus. How overwhelming and awesome it had to be to know you were raising the Son of God! I wonder if she realized how much that infant would teach her.

Another thought I had during this time was about what God means when He tells us to “come to Him as little children,” (Matthew 18:3) I believe that He means the following:

·         When Anna Beth is tired, scared, or seeking comfort, she wants to be held tight by those she trusts the most.  "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.," (Matthew 11:28)

·         Anna Beth's legs are strong, but not strong enough for her to walk alone yet. I have to hold her up when she wants to try to be mobile. When I am not strong enough to go it alone, God's Word promises in ref. that He is always with us, and upholds us in His mighty hands, (Psalm 73:23). 

·         Anna Beth has mastered saying "Mama," but that's her only understandable word right now. Even though she's not using words yet, there is much I can discern from her cry--whether she's hungry, tired, or hurting. I read somewhere that God understands us even when we are too feeble to cry out to Him. He knows the desires of our hearts. 

·         Anna Beth knows no deception or insincerity in her life. She is innocent and pure of heart. God wants us to come to Him with pure spirits. Innocence should be what we strive for.

I never knew a baby could teach me so much.