Sunday, April 12, 2015

Certainty

I've been reading through my old blogs and I am soooooooooo glad I wrote about our stuff.  Sometimes my kids get a tad offended I just put us "out there" for all  of your reading entertainment, but seriously, without some of it, I wouldn't have any remembrance of it.


So if I repeat myself in this blog, of things I have said a million times, sorry.  My mind...it is a fleeting.

I lost a friend this past week.  He died in his sleep.  I can't think of a more perfect way to die.  Just go to sleep and not wake up.

I have no fear of death.  Not. one.second.

I know my friend was saved as a little kid.  But he lived a fast, furious and out of control life.

My biggest regret was not talking to him seriously about his salvation.  Oh, I tried, and I would get the "If I walk in the church, the roof would blow off"....or "Lightning would strike me".

I've screwed up so many times in my life.  I could write novels, and novels and more novels of the idiot things I have done.

It took me a LONG LONG time to come to terms with forgiving myself for some of these things I did.  I truly believed that there was no way that God could (or would) forgive me. 

But the truth is, the minute I gave it to Him, and asked for forgiveness....He forgave me.  It's taken me decades to wrap my head around the fact that God loves me and would do anything for me.  I sabotaged 10 years, shrouded in guilt for crap I had done. It took me much longer to forgive myself, than it took for God to forgive me.  He was just waiting for me to give it to Him.

Wasted, wasted time.

Today in church, Craig was talking about the crowd gathering to stone the adulteress....and how Jesus asked the crowd of outraged "Christians"......"If any of you are without sin....you cast the first stone".  And one by one the crowd dispersed.

Then he looked at the girl standing before him, and he told her, "Go from here and sin no more".   Just like that.  His love is so deep, it's overwhelming.

One of the many excuses I get from people that don't go to church..... "I'm such a sinner, church is NOT the place for me".   Well, excuse me, but CHURCH is the perfect place for you..... just the RIGHT church.

After my divorce, I basically got ran out of the church I had played the piano for, for almost 5 years.  That was tough.  I didn't blame God, but I sure blamed churches.  Thank the heavens, Lacey found Lifechurch and plugged me in.  I have a relationship that feeds my very soul, through the worship and services I have experienced at that church.

And today, as I listened and nodded in agreement, I feel lucky I know who holds my tomorrows.  People think it's hard to be a Christian.  Too many rules, too many standards, blah blah blah.   I say, it's harder to NOT be a Christian.

I saw a post on facebook the other day that says,  I'm a Christian, but I cuss a little.  That's probably me.  And when I hear the preacher tell his road rage stories, I immediately feel better.  You DON"T have to be someone you aren't, to serve someone that knows you better than you do.  You just have to show up and pray, and believe that God is there for you....then.....He shows up.

Discussing life with my friend, Janis and she tells me how she KNOWS when she sins now, as opposed to how it never even hit her radar...  and I told her.... "That's Christianity maturity.....you are quicker to ask God to forgive you, and you try as hard as you can, to not do those things".  How far I've come, how far I have to go......

I guess I thought when I rose out of the water when I was baptised I would be different.  How I wish I had had someone to tell me that everything around me would stay the change, it would be how I viewed it all, that's what was different.  

Thank the Lord, I know where my future lies.  My days are so uncertain, and I am so overwhelmed 99% of the time....with kids everywhere I look, messy bathrooms, laundry strewn everywhere....not enough time in the day to even get everything done.   But all I have to do, is close my eyes and ask for God to carry me through, and He NEVER lets me down.  He is my certainty.  He is my stability.

I hope you'll consider letting Him do the same for you.


  

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Updates on the Kiddles

I'm just so overwhelmed by the goodness of my 3 take-outs, I have to stop a minute and just blog about them.

To say I was overwhelmed at the prospect of having a 5 year old (to my ancient 53 yr oldness) is putting it mildly.

He has come a LONG way in 2 years, but somedays, I'm just hoping that the kid will be developed enough mentally to start kindergarten by the time he is 10.

About the same time I did.

So, imagine my delight and surprise, as I was driving his babbling butt to daycare (Pre-K) this morning, when out of the blue, the backseat booster seat boy throws out,  "Lolly, what do you do to make this car go?", followed by,  "and how do you make it stop?"

Well, slap my face and call me nancy.

Real LIVE cognitive thinking going on in that little Vietnamese head.  It was a PROUD mom moment.

I told him, "Gas means go, brakes means stop".   His repeated "Gas means go, brakes means stop", make me smile all over my face.   I have to tell you, that's the first time EVER he has ever reasoned anything out.  He basically works off visual cues on everything.   Since I'm filling out Kindergarten paperwork for him  (I know, I know), it's reassuring to know that he could ACTUALLY learn something next year.  So either he's going to be a really young car thief, or his cognitive reasoning is FINALLY starting to develop!  either way, he's a cute little sucker. 


Next, I want to talk about my Steven.  He's been playing basketball on two teams this winter season, and it's been an exhausting 3 nights a week practice and 2 games on Saturday.  (Really, what was I thinking?).  In one club he played age appropriate teams, and the other club he played against 7th graders (he's in 5th).  So it was WIN really big or LOSE really big.....not too much middle ground.

He is super duper fast, and can steal with lightning speed, and when he is "hot" at shooting, he can bang a three pointer in like an NBA pro.   Not bad for a boy that barely tops 4ft 7 inches.

He was released from his IEP (Indivdual Education program or placement I can't remember) at our last meeting.  He is working far ahead of schedule on math and science...just a whiz.  This is such a blessing.

He loves to clean and helps me with our house unbelievably.  I think he is so thankful to have a decent home to live in, and clean and ample clothes to wear, that he can never do enough to thank me.  I am grateful for my little "Vietnamese butler".

Our disabled neighbor saw Steven out working on his mad skills on his skateboard and called him over.  He asked him if he would like to have a job, walking his elderly dog everyday, as he just can't do it anymore.  Steven jumped all over that (ANYTHING to help anyone, he is there).  Yesterday, after he finished walking Remy, he delivered him home, and Jim tried to pay him.  Steven shook his head and said, "Oh, no Sir, It My pleasure".

That kid.  How much can you love someone?  He teaches me new heights every single day.

Now, Gina.

Here is my teenage flower blossom.  She's snarky, mellow, happy, sad, manic, loving big ole ball of mess.  She continuously amazes me.  She took pictures at Lacey's baby shower this past weekend, and what a great little photographer she is.

She built an amazing volcano (with the help of our friend and my right hand, Amanda) and wrote her paper, all on time.

She helped at Loveworks (an afterschool program ran by Journey church here in Norman) and helped put together a Culinary kitchen plan to help build at the center...and also helped them come up with a Salsa plan.  When she first started saying "salsa".... all I could think of was "So you think You can Dance".   NO, MOM, you know, salsa you eat!  Oh.

They are building a business plan and making models to present and sell.

What valuable tools they are learning at this magnificent program.

Gina was in Leadership early in the year in Loveworks, but then stepped down when she thought she needed to become the next Kevin Durant in Middle School basketball.  I was pretty sad because I knew she was going to miss out on the Leadership Spring break trip that they take over ....Spring Break  (hence the name).

Imagine my delight and surprise when the leader Mr. D called me last week and invited G-Dawg along with the leaders on their "Surprise" trip.  He invited us to the trip planning session this past Sunday and we found out that it will be an AIRPLANE trip and the meeting was a mock Security area and check-in for Southwest Airlines.   All of these kids (none of which have ever traveled), got to experience how to go through the checkout line, the security and shown how to pack and what to pack for a trip!

I don't have words to describe my girl's reaction to all of this.

I just hope they know what they are getting in to.  So I drop my girl off at 4:30 am next Wednesday and I will be given an envelope with their itinerary and destinations.  I think I might be as pumped as she is.

Three short years ago, this wouldn't have been possible for this girl, ever in her wildest imagination.  Now she is going to get on a plane, and learn practical skills that will serve her all of her life.  Thank you Loveworks, what a magnificent role you have played in this little girl's life.

She enrolls in HIGH SCHOOL this Friday.  Going to be in 9th grade.  She is doing so much better at her classes and works hard to understand and take in all it has to offer.  She's a skilled artist and the most friendly, gregarious kid you will ever  meet.  (unless it's asking her to clean her bathroom)

How fortunate that God put them on this earth for me.  And how fortunate I am, that I answered His call for my life.

If you want to be blessed beyond reason.....consider fostering kids.   It's something that will change your life for the better.


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Did you say MOO?

When I found out that Lacey was all set to attend her first childbirth class by herself, because Tyler was out of town with the men of the church, I offered up my services.

I remember 30 short years ago, when my mama accompanied me to my first childbirth class, big and pregnant with Lacey, because her dad was on TDY in some other state. 

Memories.....

I remember sobbing to my mom, on the way to the car after that first class, slightly hysterical by the scenes still graphically in my mind....."I'm NOT doing this!!!!!   I'm going to become an Elephant, and carry this baby TWO years!"  

And my mom's calm, assured,  "Oh, you can do it".  

So, fast forward thirty years.  Lacey & I, walking in, clutching pillows to her very first childbirth class. 

This pregnancy so different from the last.  No classes, No nursery preparation.....this time, so much joy surrounding our days....building baby beds, buying bedding......all the things we so carefully avoided last time. 

But tonight.  I learned two things I did not know from my childbearing days. 

First off.   You can be 75 years old, and still manage to hook and marry a 50 year old.  True story.  Our spry little instructor, on introducing herself, made herself out to be a cougar, and by golly, the gal owned it. 

Secondly.   Mooing is relaxing. 

If you don't believe me, just try it. 

There is never a time I'm with my eldest child, that I don't laugh, cry, snort and have the perfect movie quote. 

Ever. 

And, her face, watching "The Video".....the whispered,  "I'm definitely having a c-section", to the ashen face, "Oh my gosh"...... to finally,  "I'm not going through that, I'll have an epidural". 

So funny, everything so precious to me......what an enjoyable evening with my silly. 

Tomorrow, our Kip will be home and Saturday we are going to celebrate with many friends and loved ones, the beautiful joy of a new little boy entering our lives.

How magnificent.

God is good, all the time.




Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Discombobulated

addle, baffle, bamboozle, beat, befog, befuddle, bemuse, bewilder, buffalo, confound, confuse, disorient, flummox, fuddle, get, gravel, maze, muddle, muddy, mystify, perplex, pose, puzzle, vex
This is how my Monday was yesterday.  

Which was ironic, because in my Monday conference call, the word of the day was discombobulate.
Let me just tell you about my last few days.  
First off, Mother Nature has done lost her mind this year.  One day I am out in the backyard sweating, in shorts, mind you, raking leaves, and the VERY NEXT DAY, it is snowing ice pellets.  

So there's that.

Hallie had a volleyball tournament in Denver this past weekend, and, me, being the ever savin' dollar conscience mom that I am, decided Hal & I would fly out (so I could work up until we leave), and then drive back on Sunday with friends from the team.  

This is a great plan, except for the whole "driving" thing.  I firmly believe that if you can't get anywhere in 3 hours by car, you better have your butt in a plane.  I am not a happy passenger.  And 10 hours in a car, with Hallie sharing my seat (all 74 inches of her, in which 72 of that is legs) trying to "get comfortable".......  For.The.Everlovin.Love.of.love.  (and trust me, we were in a great big vehicle, with super wonderful folks).  As we rolled in at 1 am on Monday am....I knew things could get weird.

Discombobulated.

The neat thing about the volleyball tournament, and playing in a NEW division this year, "Open", which is code for "Outstanding Players Everywhere Nobiggie", is that you get a bunch of college coaches standing at your court, watching your kids play.  Very very cool.  and nervewracking.

The girls won a bunch of games, then lost a bunch of games, and came out of it with a higher expectation of themselves.  It's so amazing watching these girls figure out this game, and work to reach their maximum potential.  Absolutely a blast to watch.  (mostly)


It was wicked cold in Denver.  We had to walk about 5 blocks to the convention center to play, and I found myself walking top speed, longing for a beach and sand.  

Yesterday, still recovering from the late night, in texting Steven's basketball coach, Shannan, griping with him about the refs this year.....telling him that I can't believe how calm he stays..


Now THERE is a text every parent should send to a coach.

You have to know I didn't type LAME, because I was more concerned with the You'Re usage.  I'm serious, I chortled and guffawed over that for awhile. (still blaming autocorrect on that one)
Discombobulated.   

Then, watching Steven play his playoff game last night (different coach, yes I have him on 2 teams, I don't understand either, because I'm just made of time lately) (and runon sentences)
THE REFS!   AGAIN, with the refs.   I had issues this weekend with the refs at the VB tournament, and then, I swear, they followed me to Oklahoma and showed up at the 5th grade basketball playoffs.    And no matter how hard I try to control thy tongue (WWJD, WWJD, WWJD), I end up being tacky.

For example.  Why oh why would an opposing team parent set in the other teams seating area? Not cool.  Yes, I used sarcasm asking them to please stay seated and not follow us (when we move to other side after each game).   WWJD WWJD WWJD WWJD.   I try to be a good Christian, but sports brings the ugly out in me.  

I was talking to someone (there goes my alzheimers again), and they said instead of WWJD at games, it's probably more like  WWLD?  (what will Laura Do).   

Oh my.  

Discombobulated.   

Just pray for me. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Ring around the Rosy......

I shared the link from the mom's blog that went viral, pleading for people to please vaccinate their childrens.  I wrote "Idiots....wake up".

Well.

Some people don't like being called idiots.

Now, I'm an idiot when it comes to money.   And men.  And cheetos.

I just am.

But protecting your children from diseases that will kill them???

These parents are calling themselves "Non-vaxxers".   Hmm.

I believe that there are certain cases out there that probably shouldn't vaccinate.  Even our tiny lil Laynie, went home from the hospital (at 3 lbs 6 oz), all Hib'd and Hep B'd up.

And this was a baby that wasn't even suppose to live through the weekend.......

Come on people.

That's like having a house with a garage, and not parking your car in the garage because a Jet might fall from the sky and land on your car (in the garage) and damage your home.   That's about as much sense as it makes to me.

Seriously.

After years and years of obliterating the small pox (thank GOD) and polio, and making the measles almost a non-issue.....we are at an epidemic proportion with measles this year..... and let's review why.

Measles are one of the most contagious childhood diseases out there. A family vacationing at Disney (non-vaxxers) started showing signs and by golly they paid almost $800 for five 2-day passes, and that money was NOT going to waste......So......hundreds of infected children, going back to their own states...unknowingly contaminated with the virus.....spreading it like wildfire. 
Borrowing from Mayo Clinic here......
Measles is a childhood infection caused by a virus. Once quite common, measles can now almost always be prevented with a vaccine. Signs and symptoms of measles include cough, runny nose, inflamed eyes, sore throat, fever and a red, blotchy skin rash.
Also called rubeola, measles can be serious and even fatal for small children. While death rates have been falling worldwide as more children receive the measles vaccine, the disease still kills more than 100,000 people a year, most under the age of 5.
As a result of high vaccination rates, measles has not been widespread in the United States for more than a decade. Today, the United States averages about 60 cases of measles a year, and most of them originate outside the country.

I'm about to have a grandson.  He will not be allowed to be inoculated until he is over a year old.   That puts him at risk.

High Risk.  

That pisses me off.   10 years ago, this wouldn't even be a concern.  Non-vaxxers were few and far between, but now with the advent of internet, and BLOGGING (for the love), and so much baseless .......well........CRAP...... about vaccines flying around.....

One of my friends has an autistic son, and her take.... "I'd rather have him quirky with his autism, than dead from the measles".

Vaccines weren't designed to hurt your children, they were designed to save them.  When did it become a "Thing" to NOT protect your children?  I know I will get enraged comments on this "You don't understand our situation"   "I put a ton of thought in to this"  "I researched and researched"........well, unless the vaccine kills your child..... I'm not buying it.  You hear the stories of the few children that actually do have reactions from the vaccines, but what about the millions that don't??  

One night a flood hits a small town....an older lady goes to her porch and cries out, "Oh Lord, I know you will save me from my plight!" and a small rowboat comes by and says, "Lady, get on board"......she says to the boat..."Oh, no, I've asked GOD to protect me".......as the water gets higher, she goes to the second story of her house, and again....  "GOD, protect me".........  the coast guard comes by and says, "Lady, get on board"........"OH NO, I've asked GOD to protect me"....... then finally as the water takes her to her roof, and she cries out,  "Oh, LORD, protect me".....and a helicopter comes in and says, "LADY, GET ON BOARD".......  "OH NO, the LORD will protect me"...... and as the helicopter flies off, the lady succumbs to the water....
When she walks into the pearly gates, and God is there to greet her....her first questions..... "GOD, WHY DIDN"T YOU SAVE ME?"   to his very puzzled,  "Lady, I sent you a boat, the Coast Guard and a HELICOPTER!"..............

Hmmmm.

Lady, I sent you doctors that created vaccines for immuzations, and clinics that give free shots, and guidelines and standards......

Wake up.  It will be a WHOLE OTHER story when your unvaxxed kid, infected with measles and  fighting for their lives.....and all the other kids around them that are infected now too.   The innocent babes, that aren't old enough to be vaccinated, the special needs kids that can't take immunizations because of the nature of their condition...... You aren't protecting your kid.....you're putting EVERYONE at risk.

Come on. 


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Wide or Narrow

Last night, I got the opportunity to share Laynie with a whole new group of soon-to-be Laynie lovers. (a few of Hal's teammates).

It was awesome.

Of course, I'm so NOT eloquent at speech, and didn't say what I should have said, so naturally I am going to put it here, where I can sort it out and say it the way I wish I had.

Life is hard.  It will take you everywhere.  At 16, you haven't seen too much, but believe me, in life, you will be faced with many, many choices.

Some will be easy to make, then some will come along and throw you for a loop.

Lacey encountered a loop when she was 23.  She had to say YES to a baby, that everyone was telling her to say NO to.   She chose the narrow path.

And what a blessing we would have missed if she had said "No."

Now I'm not saying we didn't encounter the worst pain we had ever dealt with, but God led us through it.

I wasn't living the life God had planned for me before Laynie.  I hadn't written a word, I hadn't found my way to Him, the way He needed me to be with Him.

You know how bad your car gets before you finally take it to the carwash?  You hardly see the color of the car for film of dirt?  You put it off, think it's going to rain, (know if you DO break down and wash your car it will ultimately rain tomorrow, then it was ALL your fault??)...finally give in, wash your car...while you are in the Boomarang carwash and all those hoses are raining down soap and more soap, and those brushes keep pounding away at the roof of your car, pound, pound, pound.....then here comes the rinse cycle and all that dirt runs off your car.....and you come out of the other side......Clean.....

The first time I took Zach with me, he was terrified!  "Lolly, is it over"  "Is it over" "IS IT OVER", then we were done, I got him out of the car and let him see the results....  "Hey, that Good!"

That's where I was.  I knew I needed to find Him, and let Him wash me new, but I kept resisting and resisting, and when Laynie came.....it was on..... Full Surrender, baby. 

Without her, I don't know how long it would have taken, on the world path....to find my way in His pocket.  He pulled us off the world path, into his Carwash (if you will) and made us new. 

The world path is wide and easy.  You can still be successful on the world path...you can still go to church and love God.  But you won't listen to the Holy Spirit when It comes prompting.  You won't hear Him for the world path is loud and fun and busy.  It's also frustrating, nail-biting, control-ridden and full of high anxiety, for in this world.....YOU are in control. 

You will MISS all the peace and joy that comes on that narrow, windy path.  You won't experience the total peace that comes with absolute FAITH that God has your back.  That's only found on the narrow path.

That narrow path is hard.  Because you will have to say NO to doctors that "have your best interests at heart"....you will have to say NO to those fun, sexy movies all your friends want you to go with them to see..... you will have to say NO to the drinking parties, or be the lame "DD" that shows up, still has fun, but sees everyone home safe.......you will have to say NO to the boy your friends think is perfect for you, because after one date your realize he doesn't know or love Jesus the way you know and love Jesus, and want your children to be raised........You will say "Yes" to being a missionary, you will say "Yes" to fostering, you will say "Yes" to helping at the food bank, you will say "Yes" to reading your bible faithfully, and searching for God in those pages, and praying all the time, over everything you do, You will say "Yes" to living your life at a higher standard, because you deserve a life lived at a higher standard, because you are a child of a "KING"......the narrow path is tough all right.  But it is worth it. 

Then, someday it will find you in the floor with a bunch of teenagers, sharing Jesus, through a tiny baby's life story with them, and it doesn't get much better than that. 

Except for sharing it with you, too.


Thursday, February 12, 2015

A little too close to Home

I'm a big Grey's Anatomy fan.

I've watched that dumb show from Day 1, and cheered through everything,

except probably Mark Sloan's death.   I was ticked for a week.

But nothing prepared me for April & Jackson's baby story line.

Nothing.

When they realized at the ultrasound, something was wrong, and the reactions of the main people....well, it got real in a hurry for me.

But tonight, as April struggled to understand why the God she loves, and has worked her WHOLE life to do His will for her, would do this to her innocent baby......

Man, I struggled with her.

Then, when her husband, Jackson...a non-believer, goes to the chapel and prays to a God he has never believed in, and asks for God to just "Show up for her, just please show up for her".

Well People I was toast.

It might be that I'm still a bit kicked in the butt by this flu bug, or that I did get to see my precious little grandman's face this week (before the flu), so it just about killed my heart.

And I have to think that it killed thousands of others momma's hearts out there, that has struggled with that loss.  I found myself counseling April to "Don't induce!!!!!  Keep that baby!!!!  Your life will be forever changed for the better!!!!"

....................then I realized I was talking to a tv show.  So I got out my computer, and here's what I have to say about that.....

God does show up.  For whatever reason in America, I happened to pull up and read one of my past blogs on Monday, thought to myself,  "Dang that was good", and shared it again on my facebook.

My phone exploded.   I know it touched what I needed to hear that day, and I was overwhelmed with response over that blog, that came from my heart and soul, on that day I was hurting so bad from loss, I wasn't sure how I would breathe.

So I wrote.  I used to write and write and write....processing life, one blog at a time.

And then life overtook me, and I quit processing through writing, and it's been a bit.....meh.

I like to write.

And watching this show tonight, and thinking to myself,  I wish April and Jackson had Laynie's book to read (ok, I did), and then out of the blue, a publisher has been calling me again and again, over and over....(Yes, I would have to pay to get it published, but I still take it as a sign)....

I have to finish Laynie's book.   Flu, Satan, Kids, Life, Moms with Bad backs, Volleyball, Satan, NONE of that is going to keep me from finishing what I started. Thinking I can't do it, that I don't have what it takes to get it done, blah blah blah.   

Her story is amazing, and a miracle, and people all over need to hear it.

Because sometimes, things hit a little too close to home, and everything becomes crystal clear, and trust me, God does Show Up.

Big.

 Here's Proof.  Most flexible, beautiful baby in the world.  My grandson.