Living the Dream

Living the Dream

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Can You Feel Him?

I read through the bible this year.  No small task.  The Old Testament was TOUGH.  All the sacrifice, the killing, the sin.  How relieved I am we don't have to kill animals to get ok with God anymore.  I would be toast.

There were good moments in the Old Testament, but I can see why people give up and stop reading.  It's tough to understand (in parts), and it feels like it doesn't pertain to what is happening today.  That was always my excuse through the years...."It doesn't pertain to anything I need."   BOY Was I a MORON.

Even during all the time with Laynie, I would seek out certain passages and verses, but never take the whole bible into consideration.   It's been a revelation, and a life-changing practice for me.  Now that I have read the entire book, my life and world are different.

Hallie laments to me that she can't play basketball.  She has all the talent, the skill set, the ability, but when she gets on the court, she just kind of runs around with her hands in the air, trying her best to do what she is supposed to do.   She gets so frustrated.   I tried to explain to her that she needs extra practice.  She needs to  go to a goal and shoot and shoot and shoot.  She needs to run up and down the street dribbling the ball and running to sharpen her skills.  She needs to play with the other people on her team to build her (and their) confidence in each other.  She has to PRACTICE faithfully, daily.   I use the example of her guitar.  She just didn't pick up the guitar one day and say,  "Oooh, this looks fun, I'm just going to play a song".  No, she worked calluses on her fingertips finding her sound.   She plays for hours in a day, perfecting her skills.  She's quite impressive.

I hear so many Christians say "I just don't FEEL God.  How do I know he even exists?"  I have read blog after blog of the World Racers in Mozambique this month, so desperate this month in their search for God... "I can't HEAR him, I don't FEEL him, here."    Here's what I have learned over this past year of seeking Him, and only Him, and longing for a relationship with Him.... He Is There.  Always.  Never Leaves, Never takes a break, Never naps, Never shops, Never turns His back...He Is There.

And it seems the more I learn and grow in the Word, the easier He is to find.  Dusty, one of the world racers, wrote a magnificent blog about how as a kid (even though I still consider him a kid, he's like 24-25ish) he would go to camp (or a program through the church), and walk down that aisle to be saved.  EVERY year.  Once a year, he felt that passion, that drive, that need to be MORE.  Then , he said, he'd go home, and still do the church thing, but never feel that closeness, that rock solid commitment, that he felt when he was there.  I think of Falls Creek, and the hundreds of kids that come home from that place, on fire, and within weeks, are back to the old ways.  The enemy fights hard to keep us distracted, to keep us from God.  HE does EVERYTHING he can to make us lose our way.  Dusty said that all He wants is to spread God's love, and is so frustrated at how he feels he doesn't "Get" it... doesn't "Feel" him....and all I can say is,  "He is there."

That it why it is imperative to have time to fall into, and , to soak in the goodness of God's word.   Every single day.  I don't know how to explain to you how much it has done for me this year.  It's been a life saving, life giving, rewarding walk.   And it can be yours.  Just pick up a bible.  (preferably a New Living Translation, if you don't want to get hung up in the Thee's and THou's of the King James Version)  I only listen to KLOVE in my car, and it plays all day long at my desk.  It's a continual worship for me, all through the day, and it keeps me centered and focused on God.  Just like I tell Hallie, to get better at her basketball, she must practice.   To be a better Christian, you must practice.  You have to BE a full time, hard core, bible reading, prayer warrior, church going, Christian.  You have to.  If you don't Feel God, then He's probably not feeling you, either.  PRACTICE.  PRACTICE. PRACTICE.

I'm not saying it's easy.  Cause it is so easy to get distracted and don't think for a minute I don't  (Criminal Minds binger comes to mind), but, I feel nothing but Peace and calm, most of the time, because of the constant contact with someone that HAS FAR more of a handle on my life than I do....

For this new year, I wish you nothing but peace and surrender....  It's just right there......just reach out and get it.
And I thought the bible didn't's about 100 reasons how I was wrong.  

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Our Christmas Adventure

We decided we needed to "Peace Out" this year and get out of town for Christmas.  The idea started on the way to Texas a few weekends ago, when we spoke about Laynie.

We dreamed of Cabo and beaches, of New York and shows, of Cancun and more beaches.  We thought of Washington DC and Florida.  We thought of Denver and the mountains.  But then we remembered we all work in non-profit, and decided to stick to what we can, in reality, truly afford.

The train.

Ah Yes.  The Train.

We included my mom in our reindeer games, and then pulled my cousins into it, as the landing pad for Christmas day.  Everyone was in.

I had to agree to NOT talk about it beforehand on facebook,or on here,  because my very worried mom decided that someone that read my stuff would come and steal from all our homes.  Now that is the true Christmas spirit.  (chuckling to myself)

Well, Saturday morning rolls around and we head to the Amtrak station in Norman.  Mom has taken a train before but can tell us NOTHING about her experience, except for "IT took awhile to get there", leaving me wondering if she had indeed, ever taken the train, or if she just went on a "binge-r" with the red hat ladies and had no recollection of going or coming.

The train was fun.  They had really big comfy seats you can sprawl out on, and recliner parts that pop up to raise your legs in the air.  Pretty nifty.  Can't get that kind of service on a tightly packed jet, that's for sure.

Plus it cost $29.  Hello.  That is my kind of vacation.

We arrive in Fort Worth, grab a rental car and off to the Hyatt we go.  (yep, we roughed it).  After we got there we left Gram to recover on the heating pad, and took off to find a Target to fill up our fridge with various water and tea items.  We drove by the Texas Gaylord and Great Wolf Lodge and wondered why in the world we didn't think to stay there, and then remembered that "Oh, we are non-profit", and "Oh, we don't wear swimsuits"...but WOW, they look fun and were PACKED.

Saw the movie "We bought a ZOO" in a theatre with tables and the ability to order food, and I think I had died and gone to heaven.  (see, it's the small things)

Afterward we went to the hotel, and Lacey and Hallie surprised me with their footed jammies in Hello Kitty theme.  I was so proud, and a bit jealous I didn't have some to wear too.

I promptly fell asleep the minute my head hit the here's where the fun stuff starts.

About middle of the night (I have no glasses, and no concept of time at this point.)  All I know is my mom has been knocking out some snoring in the next bed, (with Lacey in there with her) and she's woken me up a couple of times.   I moved over closer to the fan unit and put pillows over my head, so I reduced the majority of the snoring decibels and have gone back to sleep.  Then....all the sudden someone runs in to my bed.  WHAT THE???  I sit straight up in bed, and there is no one.  Mom's doing her best soft snore and I don't see anyone up running around, so I hunker back down in the covers and in about 3 minutes.... my bed shakes again.  WHAT THE???  I sit up AGAIN and NOTHING.  I shake my head and think, "this is creepin me out"...when it HAPPENS AGAIN.   Ok, now I'm convinced the room is haunted and the ghosts are running into my bed.  I double thickness the blankets on me and cower under my covers like a 3 year old.  In about 10 minutes I hear my mom get up....    "Mommy?" I venture..... about to lay my worried chicken problems at her feet, when she tells me,  "I've Lost Lacey".    WHAT?   You've lost Lacey?  We're locked in a 30 x 10 room, how do you lose Lacey?  .... and then she says   "Oh, here she is..."   laying in the floor at the foot of my bed. This child doesn't sleep walk?  That's her sister and cousin.  But all the little pieces started floating into place for me.

The snoring.    The strange knocking on my bed.  OHHHH.   That's what happened.  I crawled to the end of the bed and managed to grab Lacey's boob (I don't have my glasses on, come on), instead of her arm, and wake her up almost screaming (sits straight up in shock) and I tell her, "Come get in bed with me"  and up she crawls.    We all sleep.   Kind of.

At 8 am, Lacey & I wake up to the gentle snoring of our gram, and we start re-living the nights events and get so tickled we are heehawing like donkeys.

Here's what happened.....

Gram and Lacey have this "Thing" they do, hold hands and sleep.  They've done it since Lacey was a tot.  Well, Gram didn't snore then, and now she does, and when Lacey wakes up about 1:30 am, there is grammie all in her bubble, snoring right in her mug.   She moves away from the snore and puts a pillow on her head, but no use.  She gets up...takes the comforter off our our beds and makes a pallet at the end of my bed and in her turning and tossing of trying to get comfortable, she is whacking the foot of my bed, giving me the dreaded "Ghost Knocking".

Gram is oblivious.

After Lacey hears my "Ghost" story...she replies  "And I thought you were just being nice, putting me in bed with you...You wanted me to quit running into the bed".   Oh my heavens.  Of COURSE THAT's NOT IT.

Of Course It's Not.   Of Course.  It's Not.  Of Course.


We decided to surprise the cousin and wear our favorite christmas sweaters  (you know what I am talking about).  After a marginal continental breakfast with 150 Asian folk, down in the dining area, we saunter to my cousin's house in Rowlett for the day.  WHAT. A. Blast.   Mike is the cook, and he spoiled us to the highest magnitude.  Food was awesome..(I'm still full thinking about it) ... My baby cousin, Megan kept us in stories of her job in the mental hospital  (WOW, that's a whole 'nother blog) and brings these devilish pecan pie/chocolate chip divine tasty treats, that should be banned from the food chain, they are so sinful.....and we get to meet my other Baby cousin, Austin's lovely little girlfriend, Sarah, and all is good.  I love my cousin, Shannon, and anytime spent with them is quality time.  Fun, great stuff.

We still liked her in spite of her "texas" hat.
We Thunder up at the Hotel room, trying to not be sick from all the food we ate, and watch Thunder win their game.   More snoring and we get through another night without incident.  And little sleep.  

Hit the Grapevine Mills Mall the next morning, and who knew a mall was the size of a small town?  We started in Penneys where they had shopping carts, so luckily, we snagged one and mom pushed it the length of the mall.  Yep, we were total bag ladies.  Came in handy for our bargains.  And saved mom walking the 2000 miles required at that ridiculously shaped mall.  It's a circle, and there is no way out but through.  Once you are in , there is no escaping.  Of course, all the wonderful stores were the last ones, and we were too tired to give our full attention to them, but we did it.  We traversed the mall.  Made Purchases.  And loaded them in our buggy of life.
Gram knows how to rock a mall.

Made it back to the train station with just enough time for a slightly excited, unstable lady came up to us and "encourage" us to donate to her "Train" fund to get to OKC.  She had hospital bands on and kept asking us to help her get to the city to her "Program".  

Alrighty. then.

She walked off, and Lacey said  "MOVE" and we exited stage left to the other side of the station.

Phew.  I thought I was going to have to help haul a lady to her "Program".  And had I been alone, I would have because I am just that stupid.  HELP EVERYONE.   For. the. love.   She would have ended up with all my cash, too.

Thankfully, I had the voice of reason with me  (Mom, talking way tooo loudly)  "She's probably a PANHANDLER, I've seen them on TV"...which I don't even know what that means....but I obey my mom..

4 hours in the train later...we are driving into our garage for the end of our adventure.  

What a great Christmas memory.   All it needed was Kipster.  (Who I might add, saw a picture of me and Lacey in conductor hats at the train station before we left, and called to ask Lacey what in the world was she wearing, and of course mom had a big gulp and cheetos.)  Wardrobe/food police from 10,000 miles away.   Oh, I love my crazy family and life.

God is so very good.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

More Christmas Thoughts

I think the only gift I can give you for Christmas is the gift of HOPE.  Since I'm working non-profit this year (and loving it) there isn't much cash in the old pocketbook.  I've been pretty flush my whole life.  Never wanted for anything and always ALWAYS had enough to do what we wanted.  Took it totally for granted.   Didn't save like I should have, didn't give like I should have, when it boils down to it....didn't believe like I should have.

It changed in an instant.

And instead of being freaked out, and worried out my mind on HOW IN THE WORLD am I EVER going to do this.....

I didn't.

I, for the first time of my life, gave myself and my circumstances over to the only one I could trust, and just let HIM carry me.

And, I may not have a gym membership, or a cleaning lady (sigh), or weekend runs to wherever my fancy takes me.... I have something I chased my whole life, and never had......


It is a wonderful thing.  And you know why I never had it?  Even though I thought I totally gave it to God?  I didn't.  I gave it and took it back, gave it and took it back, gave it and took it back....exhausting.   

It was only reading through the bible this year (I'm in Revelations, PRAISES!  Home stretch), and committing myself to a FULL TIME relationship do I have that remarkable peace.   And it's just there for the taking, friends,  you just have to surrender those problems over to Him, and place your life and trust in Him.....

Lacey put this video on Laynie's wall on Facebook yesterday and I am going to share it here, because it is so true... and so perfect......God is there.  I ranted on and on about it on my last blog, if you missed it.  GOD IS EVER PRESENT, and there to give you PEACE.

Whatever your circumstances, job, health scare, relationship issues, kid issues, family issues, financial, addiction....there is NOTHING, I repeat NOTHING, that you can't find Peace and Hope in.   Just, please, understand, Just GIVE it (the whole thing) to God.  And if you are in a crisis situation, get help.  Tell someone, and get help.

God was There, God IS HERE, and God will forever BE, all you have to do is reach out and take his Hand.

Merry Merry Christmas, loved ones.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Thoughts

I looked over at Lacey tonight during the Christmas service, and we just smiled at each other, because we "Get It".  She "Got It" long before I did, and probably spent quite a few prayers on hoping her mom would "Get it".

GOD is WITH US.    WITH US.   and there is NOTHING that can separate us from Him.

Five years ago, I would have told you I am a CHRIST BELIEVER.  and I was.  I did my 2 hours at church every week...listening, worshipping, and then serving (keeping babies)... and I believed I was a SOLD OUT JESUS Freak.

Phhhh.   I had head knowledge and no heart knowledge.  No relationship.  I did my time on Sunday, and I didn't even think one thought about Him until the next Saturday, when I figured out what I was going to wear. 

I gave the Lord Of ALL CREATION 2 whole hours a week. 

But God WAS WITH ME.  He was relentlessly pursuing me, waiting for me, never leaving, always present. 

Craig used some personal examples tonight at church about how God was There, and I think at Christmas, while I am so immersed in the birth of Jesus, I want to put this on a personal level, and hope that, like me, you can see God's hand so continuously on our lives.... You've been through this with me before, just bear with me and see what I am saying.....


When Lacey told me I was going to be a grandma.   He was our Joy.


When Lacey prayed a bold, lifechanging prayer at work, asking Him to make her Bold, and to take her out of her self-centeredness, and make her less selfish.   He was our Counselor.


When we got the news that Laynie wasn't going to be normal, and that Lacey should terminate immediately.
He was our Strength.


When Laynie was born, looking so different from any other baby and defying her first odd, by being born.  He was our Deliverer.


When the doctors delivered the news that she had no brain, was blind and deaf, and would have very little quality of life...and almost instantly the Lifechurch team was there, So passionately crying out to us to believe that GOD WAS bigger than THIS diagnosis, and that HE could DO ANYTHING.    He was our Healer


When we let hospice go after two weeks, because our baby was thriving, and defying odds over and over.   He was our LIFE GIVER.


As we watched her grow through her first year, and celebrated her First birthday.  He was our Savior.


When I lost the man I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life and our families were torn apart.  He was my Comforter.


When Laynie became sick, and should never have survived.  We still had so much to learn.... He was our Truth. 


As we shared our story, and thousands of people read her story, and began to pray for healing and comfort.  He was our Rock.


As we watched her slowly get worse, and know that her days on this earth were numbered.   He was our Peace.


When 7 people were saved at her celebration of life, and all our worries of dying were erased, knowing that in death, we would see her again...   He was our Hope.


As we see the path he has laid for us so clearly, and understand wholeheartedly that He is our LORD, our JEHOVAH, our STRENGTH, our PEACE, our DELIVERER.  He is the ALPHA and OMEGA, the beginning and the END.   He is everlasting and HE WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU.

GOD IS WITH YOU.   HE abides with you, he is with you when you rise in the morning, and when you lay down at night, he is with you when you make your way to work, and eat your lunch, and do your laundry.  He is with you when you play with your kids, and grocery shop and go outside and get the mail.  HE IS WITH YOU...... every second.

Now the question......


You can't KNOW him and NOT love Him.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

New Years Resolution, 2 weeks early

I ran into another friend today that asked me, or rather told me..... "Dang I wish you'd start dating again, because that is the hardest I have ever laughed, reading your blogs on dating, and all your facebook updates (while on the date)..... I really need the entertainment."

Hmm.  Do I succumb to peer pressure and dip my toe into the proverbial dating pool???

Let me consider.....ponder....scratch head.....contemplate.....

Uhm, Nah. 

I have to tell you, at the end of last year, I gave myself permission to have ONE YEAR off and not worry, think, consider, wonder, etc about dating....

If God wants me to date, He'll send him to me with a big red bow.  Really....

I think this guy did show up once. 

Oh. Holy. RedBow. Batman.

Well, now it is almost to the end of the year moratorium.  And all I have managed to do this year is ....well........






In other words, I have "done et it all".    To the tune of 15 pounds. I am so lucky I am tall.  I hide it well, but in reality, I am miserable.  SOOOO, before all of you and the tens of readers that I have, I am making my new years lose this weight I have put on during my "Eat, PRAY, LOVE" phase of life.   (totally stuck in the "Eat" portion) and will vow to check in and be accountable as to the weight loss.  I am. 

I really, really, really am.   No more chips during Biggest Loser. (sigh)  No more JUST watching the kids play Just Dance..... I'm going to Just Dance with them.  Makes them pee their pants laughing at me anyway.....

IT's happening..... During the "Pray" portion of this coming up year  (2012) I am going to PRAY and Exercise.  End of story.  That's the truth.   It's going to happen.  I really mean it.   Just do it.  And to the republic for which it stands.   Glory Hallelujuah.   And Amen. 

If I could pinky swear I would.   Right after Christmas.   Scouts honor. 

I ain't skeered.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Creepin' on the Mozambique'n's

I feel like I personally know most every single racer on Kip's team/squad.  If I'm not friends with them on facebook (they think I'm too weird to "friend" me), then I'm totally stalking their blog pages on the World Race site.  


Don't judge.  These people are my Kip's "Family" for the next 7 months.  I think I should get to know some of them, even if it is through pathetic, stalkerish means. 

For example, I'm pretty sure I knew Kathryn Law had a weave before Kip did.  Kip was asleep in Mozambique (8 hours ahead) since she arises at the very butt-crack of dawn, she goes to bed early, and Kathryn had posted that she got a weave on FB before Kip saw it.  She hasn't posted a picture of her with weaves, but Kat Davis and Jessica Fishbach did and they look pretty Bo Derek-ish.... (they are probably too young to even know who that is)  Not too sure who the other foxy lady is with them  (yes, I don't stalk ALL of the kids on the race, just about 12 of them)  That takes A LOT of my time. 

I have to tell you.  There are not a ton of pictures and blogs coming out of  Mozambique.  What is coming out of there are things like....."Wrong Camp"...."Maggots"....."Mosquito bites that make you bleed" ... "Weaves"....."Rashes"......"Hungry".....  None of the things that you normally hear out of 23-28 year olds, especially at Christmas time.    I know it's hot there right now.  I know that it hasn't rained a good amount, except I know that after I posted a "PLEASE PRAY FOR RAIN in MOZAMBIQUE" on my facebook, in the next couple of day.... Boom, there it was.    You're welcome.  I have an inside line.

You can see it rained a pretty fair amount there.  Puddles on the ground and such.  All good.

Kip and her team are staying in a boy's orphanage ran by an American.  So they are fortunate that he has brought several amenities with him, (indoor plumbing a biggie) and they are really lucky.  About 15 minutes away, another team is having to use the bathroom in a maggoty hole in the ground, and are so hungry and dirty, they are not having the times of their lives this month.

This has been a month of change for the teams too, as several people got re-assigned to new teams.  Kip's team got a new guy that intrigues me.  His name is Tim, and he was first introduced to me in Kathryn's china video, because he was dressed in a green suit like the "Blue Man Group", and was filmed on the Great Wall of China in that rig.  I knew I was going to like him.   Then when I read some of his stuff, he is just a funny guy.   Check him out.

I thought this was somewhat funny, and gave me total hysterical claustrophobia of the highest magnitude, until I saw this picture in Kip's pics...

And I'm then intrigued and stumped by the idea of just a head being able to go on the World Race.  I'd think it would almost be a rule that you had to have a body to carry your backpack, but then it hit me, What would you need??   Shampoo?  a comb?   Pretty low maintenance, just being a head.   But then I scrolled through Kip's pics some more and thankfully there was this....

There was the rest of him.....Playing in some really muddy water with some enthusiastic kids.  Good times.

Dusty Dills posted this on his page and I was astounded by the size of this cactus.  Now you wouldn't want to be sleepwalking around this sucker, it could cause you some serious consequences...

I'm thinking the internet is sketchy in Mozambique, because these kids have been fabulous about writing on their walls, and writing blogs and this month, it's gone to almost being in China again.....absolutely nothing. 

Here's what I "mused" about all that...... it's really easy to be all in and chipperly chipperdo when things are great.... it takes great muster and courage to bully up to the bar and "Be a Light" when you have hard times and things aren't going your way.   Kip almost melted out of her skin in China.  So out of her element, so needing a shower, and food.  Her team rallied her and kept her focused.  She made it through a huge month of no English speaking people and very little food, no shower facilities, and cold temperatures. 

She did it.  And she came out changed.

Now this month, it's not so bad.  The conditions aren't ideal, but she's been through the fire, in China.  And she has a toilet.  Which is more than some of the other peeps in Mozambique can say. 

These racers are learning so many valuable lessons.  Lessons that we don't even think about in wealthy, entitled United States.   The only thing that matters......the ONLY thing that matters, is your walk with Christ.  Everything in the world can be taken from you in an instant, and if you don't have a root system that leads to the core of your being, of KNOWING and TRUSTING HIM, you will be lost.  These kids are a prime example of what a living, breathing God looks like.  They are sacrificing, walking examples of God's love.  And it humbles me, and makes me so proud. 

Who knew she liked cats?  Gives "Cat-napping" a whole new meaning.

Doing her "thang".  She's lucky this month, the boys have power tools and are building chairs and goat pens and huts and she is in her element.  Give her something to build and a sturdy boy to fetch and help, she's golden. 

These kids are learning all the important things in life..... loving one another, leaning not into their own understanding, but in all ways ACKNOWLEDGING Him, and being a light to so so many. 

I wrote about Eagles Wings orphanage in China on my blog a few back, and showed a bunch of Jessica's pictures while "Beautiful THings" played..... (remember?)  ANYWAY, in stalking (reading) her page today, the little blind boy WeiTao was adopted by an american couple, because of HER & Matt Bell's video!  How wonderful, how awesome, how Good is our God???  I'm going to share it here, and leave you with that thought..... these kids are leaving their mark, and people will be forever changed because of their love and sacrifice.....

Thank you World Racers...... Merry Merry Christmas.  

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Zippers and Self Esteem

I walked around work all morning with my barn door hanging open.  It wasn't until about 10:15, when I took my first trip to the bathroom that I discovered it.  It was a very proud moment.

See these suckers??  They can really ruin a perfectly good day.   Let me just share with you.

Back in the funeral selling days, I wore a LOT of this kind of clothes.  I looked hip, felt hip and usually made it through the day without incident.  Until the day the neighbors moved in the house across the street.

It was a typical day, I was running late for work, and I had to get Hallie to Pre-K at St. Philip Neri Catholic school, and you could NOT be late.  For someone that is consistently late, this was NOT a good feature of this school.   After living in my house for about 8 years, and having neighbors that saw and appreciated the way I drive..... I never had to worry about backing out of my driveway, because ALL my good neighbors stayed WAYYY clear of my driveway.  I back out fast, deliberately and with great movement and purpose.  Well, no one had bothered to tell my new neighbors.  So that fateful morning, I threw it into reverse, went winging out of the driveway and promptly whammed into my BRAND NEW NEIGHBOR'S car.  I was really really happy about it.  I know you see sarcasm oozing off of the screen, huh?   So follow me here.... jumping out of car, running to the new neighbors front door, and saying  "HI, I'm Laura from across the street and I just want to welcome you to the neighborhood... you know how most neighbors just bring cookies or a pie, or a lovely casserole?  Well, not me.... I wreck both our cars."   And with that, I'm off....until I jump back out of the car at the corner and take a look at MY CAR to see what kind of damage I wrought. 

Seems all really kind of funny, doesn't it?  But little did I know, during my morning rush for the door, I had only secured my zipper on my skirt, and NOT the button.  And with all the jumping out of the car and running around, and bending and looking, and groveling and apologizing, my zipper was heading south.    And because of my love for control top panty hose at that time in my life  (You know the ones with the really dark top that was a completely different color until about halfway down your thigh?),  I couldn't feel that little traitor slipping down south.

Well, even with the car drama, I was still making good time for a non-tardy, at the school.  I was so relieved, and I was telling Hallie to gather her backpack, and I hit the door the minute my car was in park, and was in mid-flight, moving fast,  at the back of the car (going around to the other side to get her out of her seatbelt),  when my skirt decided to fall to the ground. 

Yes, it did.  Oh, YES. It. DID. 

So, there I am, standing in the parking lot of the CATHOLIC private school with parents rushing all around me, and there is my skirt lying on the ground.  And not only did I have on those lovely panty hose with the attractive panel control, I had worn my pink and white striped panties underneath them.  No slip. 

Nothing but net. 

I heard the chuckles start, and I just kept my head down, and grabbed up my skirt, when Hallie piped up, "Mama, what are you doin?"    I could feel every bit of blood in my body leaving me at this point, and hurried to button that button from Hell, that had forsaken me, and drag Hallie into the school, where she walked down the hallway and into her room, announcing  to everyone over and over as she went, "My mom's skirt fell off.  My Mom's skirt fell off.  Ha, Ha.. my mom's skirt fell off."    (I know why some species eat their young).

For. the. Love. 

I don't know why bad things happen to good people.  They just do. 

I think crap happens to me, just so I have stuff to write about to you guys. 

Just note to self and others:  Never leave home without checking your zippers. 


Guess which one is me. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Define "Miracle"

I had the pleasure of attending the "Esther Woman" event at St. Luke's Methodist church yesterday.  It was their Christmas program and about 500 women were in attendance.  We ate, we visited, my group and I sold my non-profit's items to the ladies there, and it was just pretty fun stuff. 

I went to sell stuff and eat a free meal.  I didn't dream I was going to be sitting at my table, crying over a miracle.

Miracles are everywhere in our family.  With Lacey working for Children's Miracle Network, me working for my non-profit, and Bubba working for Lifeshare (organ donation) we're in the business of witnessing and experiencing miracles.

Laynie taught us well, what a miracle looks like. 

I've been to a TON of ladies conferences, and listened to a TON of speakers, been touched in the heart, been not moved at all, even been a tad bit bored, if I tell you the truth, but yesterday.... WOW.  My heart was touched. 

Here is a beautiful 15 year old girl.  You all probably have them running in and out of your homes (as I do), and pretty much take for granted that their lives are all planned out.  I look at this little girl and I see beautiful blue eyes, and a sweet smile.   Take totally for granted that she is a miracle.  She is healthy, normal, beautiful, vibrant, outgoing, funny, a regular 15 year old.   Her name is Jessie Boone. 

She goes with her church on a ski trip.  Normal, regular stuff.  This kid has gone 3 times.  She is an old pro at this.   Her parents kiss her bye, and off she goes.... like hundreds and hundreds of kids before her. 

But this time, something terrible happens.  Something tragic, and horrible.  Jessie gets in an ice patch, loses control and hits a tree.   Everything about her life to that second stops. 

Her mom and dad fly straight out of Oklahoma to Colorado and remain there 40 days, while their only daughter, their precious baby, lies near death.  Jessie's mom, Lisa, who shared her story with us, recounted the prayers said over her daughter.  How, when it got too much to bear in Jessie's room, she would run to the chapel, where she would lie facedown in the floor of the church and wail and groan to God, begging, pleading to either take her and free her from her pain, or heal her.  I felt the tears start to form in my eyes during her passionate re-telling of the event.   Oh, how I know that cry. 

Their normal 15 year old daughter left on a church ski trip, and 40 days later, they brought home a newborn baby, unable to move, talk, respond, BUT that family NEVER gave up praying and hoping for their miracle. 

I'm going to share this video I found on YouTube.  It so eloquently tells her story, and I think you'll understand how incredible this young woman's journey is.

DON'T YOU NEED A KLEENEX???   Oh my america.  So glad I had some in my pocket. 

Now, if you saw this girl today, and didn't know her story, most would think she was born with a disability.  You'd be a little tongue-tied, because you'd view her as "different".   You might avert your eyes when walking past her in the mall, because she walks a little funny.  You can't really understand what she is saying when she talks, because she is re-learning to speak. 

But if you avoid looking at her, or even ignore her, because she's just not "normal". .....  folks, you missed a walking, breathing miracle.  Her life is a miracle.  Her journey is a miracle.  I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes because I am so passionate about this.

Just because some people look or act different than us, doesn't mean their lives aren't miracles.  Open your hearts and minds to the possibility.

God's plan for each of us is perfect.  This family will be the first to tell you this.  Their non-stop praise of His holy name is astounding.  Instead of drowning in despair over the loss of their vibrant daughter, they are lifting their hands in thanksgiving for the new gift He gave them.   There is beauty in all things.  God is bigger than ALL the things on this earth....  please just open your hearts to that possibility.

One of the teams on Kip's world race got the priviledge of working with an orphanage in China that specializes in children with disabilities.  I got choked up watching their video, and someday, I don't know how or HOW, but I am going to go to that orphanage and volunteer my time.    I love the words to this song.  Because I can't make videos (don't judge, I do write), please click the song and get it to play and then scroll through the pics I have attached of the team in China with their babies.  Tell me that team didn't change spending time with those 'Miracles".   It's not JUST the prayer that changes things, It's the Change inside the person MAKING that prayer.    I know this full well. 

Thank you Z squad...for loving those children.

He Makes Beautiful Things.... He Makes No mistakes..... He loves us all.   Jesus loves the little children....

                                 ALL the Children of the World.