My SuperKid

 

Here is a you-tube video of my son, Demi at his training center, Davis Training Systems, where some of the best pro atheletes in the state of Florida train. In this video, he just deadlifted 675 lbs, matching the pro athlete record, and he’s still in high school.  Joseph called me over this morning and showed it to me. My jaw dropped. While Dad was marveling at his boy’s strength, I was marveling at the blood-curdling roar that emanated from this person inhabiting my boy’s body. Shhh! Don’t distract the other nice people trying to work out. Did I not teach you anything? Quick, change that wet shirt before you catch a cold!

Seriously, though, I’m proud of his accomplishment because I know how hard he works (I also know how much food it takes to fill that body – oy!). However, his Dad and I are always careful to remind him that the laurels and achievements of this world will only last a fleeting moment. The accolades of men will fade, cease and even sometimes turn to scorn.  The reason God entrusts His gifts and blessings to us is because He is counting on us to use them for His glory. That starts with knowing whose we are and whom we serve and seeking His approval above all. And THAT, Baby Boy, is what it’s all about!

Here today, gone tomorrow…

 …That’s pretty much going to be Joseph over the next few weeks. He got home yesterday from the UK and will be off again to Guatemala on a missions trip with a team from our church in a few days. When he gets back from Guate, he’ll be taking off again a few days later to make a quick trip to Lagos (Nigeria). Meanwhile, I’ll be staying with the kids and holding down the fort. As much as I’d have loved to go with him on his travels, it’s just not a good time for me to go right now (let’s not even talk about the cost). I’m OK with that. Really. 

You see, I got to thinking (aaaarrgh, not again!)… when school starts, I’ll have 2 kids in high school and my baby in middle school. My son Demi will be home one more year before he takes off for college in Tampa (Go Bulls!). I have so much to teach him yet! The other day, I think I projected my insecurities on him as I regaled him with tales of collegiate drama and he looked at me with near-panic and said “Mom, I’m not ready for college!” I felt guilty. But only a teeny bit. Then there’s Bimi going into high school – ay, ay, ay. Lord, help us. Temi is terrified of middle school because her elementary school (which is right next door to her new middle school) is so tiny in comparison. She’s afraid of getting lost in the “big pond.” I know she’ll be fine – she’s tough and well grounded. Actually, I know they’ll all be fine; I guess I’m just trying to wrap my mind around the fact that they’ll need me less and less as they grow. Although I’m seriously considering home-schooling Bimi in college (can I do that?)

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is… I’m OK with holding down the fort at home because it won’t be long before all my little chicks fly the coop and it’ll just be Mama Hen and Papa Rooster left. I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it. Today, I’ll enjoy having Papa Rooster at home, enjoying his home-cooked meals as he tries out new recipes he discovered on his travels, and I’ll gorge myself on the European chocolates he brought back and count the calories later. I’ll eat pizza and watch silly movies with my little chicks while I still can. I’ll embrace the season and seize the day because, as Carolyn Arends so eloquently put it, “time slips away just like hourglass sand.”

Signed,

Mama Hen

Fill my tank, Lord

 

This morning, I got an email at work. A co-worker had discovered gas at $3.79 a gallon, which is significantly cheaper than anywhere else in the Greater Orlando area that I know of. I even called Sam’s Club, who usually has the cheapest gas and theirs was $3.86! Of course, you know that kind of news spread like wildfire. This phenomenon was happening at a specific gas station in Eustis, FL (don’t ask – look it up), a small community which is, shall we say, not exactly inner-city. By afternoon, ALL the gas stations on that street had reduced their gas to the same price to get in on the popularity contest. I guess the managers got tired of watching the vehicles speed past them on their way to this one station. They wanted a piece of the pie. And it worked. Of course I was one of the people who took advantage of this. I filled up my tank and as I did so, I got to thinking (uh-oh!)…
When we find something good, our natural tendency is (should be, anyway) to share it with those we care about. If we don’t, then there’s probably a leak in our love tank. My co-worker could have kept the news of the gas deal to himself and been content to be the only one to benefit from it, but he didn’t (thanks, Jason). Joy is fullest when it’s shared and replicated in others. Just like the joy of knowing the Lord. Now there’s something to be excited about. How can I keep THAT to myself?

Um… does anyone know how to patch a leak?

Aaaah…Friday!

 

So here we are – it’s Friday. Yay! I LOVE Fridays, and I know I’m not alone. On my way home from work, I stopped at Blockbuster, then at Hungry Howie’s to pick up a pizza for movie night with the kids. It took about 5 minutes for my debit card to be processed. Apparently, the bank lines were congested with all the people transacting Friday night business. So, I know I’m not alone in my love of Friday. There’s even a restaurant named accordingly (TGIF ie. Thank God It’s Friday, for my international readers)! Finally, I got home just in time to savor the cozy feeling of being in the comfort of my house while a thunderstorm rages outside.

Then I got to thinking of all those people out there who, for whatever reason, don’t love Fridays like I do. People who don’t have anyone to buy pizza for and watch movies with. Who don’t have a comfy home to enjoy a rainstorm in. Whose utilities have been shut down, so they don’t have electricity to turn on their stove to cook, never mind watch a movie. And I realize how easy it is to take blessings for granted. I pray that I never get so comfortable that I forget how to feel, or can’t relate to, the pain of others.

So this weekend, as I sit back and relax from the work week, I want to be intentional about having an attitude of gratitude because I have so much to be grateful for.

Happy weekend, y’all!

Grace for the moment

I haven’t blogged for a couple of days. I didn’t feel like it. Period. Wanna know why? Funny you should ask!

My husband is on a trip, out of the country and I felt like a fish out of water! I must say it took me by surprise. You see, Joseph was a traveling minister for about 7 years, before we moved to Florida to plant The Well. Before that time, I used to marvel at the wives of traveling ministers, wondering how they coped with a husband who was gone so much. Then I unraveled that mystery, when Joseph stepped into that season of itinerant ministry. I learned first hand that God gives us grace for the season, whatever that season is, as long as it is He who ordained it. So I became the one that other women used to marvel at, wondering how I coped with a husband who was on the road so often. I must say, though, I had my moments back in those days, when I could have traded in my kids for a pair of garden shears (and I’m no gardener). At those times, I realized that I was not tapping into the grace that God had made available for me. Sort of like dying of thirst when there’s a fully functioning drinking fountain right behind you – duh! So I’d retreat and find my way back. Worked every time.

Well, fast forward to now. It’s one thing when Joseph is out of town in South Dakota or Texas, but London, England, with a 5-hour time difference? I had fallen out of the habit of finding “grace to help in time of need” because I hadn’t had to, since those on-the-road days were over, so I found myself floundering. No meltdowns or episodes of drama, just subtle…apathy. I guess I just don’t function the same without him. Even having complete monopoly of the remote control lost its novelty. Then all of a sudden, I started to feel something familiar, a throwback to days gone by, a gentle urging and beckoning from somewhere deep inside me that I couldn’t touch or describe. Then I recognized it – the call of grace. Hey, I know that voice! My steps lightened and my heart beat a little faster. There… all better now. His grace is sufficient for me.

You too… 😉

Movies, anyone?

Christian Bale, as Batman and Heath Ledger as the Joker

 

It’s amazing how much art imitates life. Who says the Bible is not relevant today, simply because it was written so long ago? Right now, at church, we’re at the tail end of our “See you at the movies” series, where we watch selected segments of the movie of the day and then examine the message in the movie in light of what the Bible has to say. It’s been so enlightening, not to mention fun!

Tonight, my hubby took me to watch Batman (Dark Knight). Wow. So many spiritual parallels in that movie. Don’t worry, I won’t say anything to spoil it for those of you who have not yet seen the movie. All I know is that it probably will feature next year during our “See you at the movies” summer series. Joseph and I kept looking at each other at various points during the movie where we saw a Biblical principle being demonstrated, albeit inadvertently (I’m sure the makers of the movie didn’t set out to illustrate Scripture!)

The saddest part for me is that the villain of the movie, Joker, is played by Heath Ledger who died of a drug overdose a few months ago. It wouldn’t surprise me if he received some kind of post-humus award for his superb portrayal of Joker – he was incredible in that role. Thinking of all that and the tragic way in which he died makes me wonder: what is the price of fame and fortune? What, indeed, does it profit a man if he gains the world and loses his soul?!

Happy Birthday to me

Yep, it’s my birthday! The novelty of celebrating my birthday wore off for me some time ago, a phenomenon my kids cannot relate to. I keep trying to explain to them how, when you’ve had so many of them and they seem to come around so quickly, you’re no longer so excited about throwing a party each time. Not in a “bah-humbug” kinda way, just more like “oh yeah, it IS my birthday!” And unlike a lot of women, I’m not shy about revealing my age. I turned 41 today.

Fortunately, I am blessed to have people in my life who think my birthday IS a big deal. That never ceases to move me. I was late to work this morning because I was being serenaded by my family and extended family across the ocean (via phone). I got to work and my office was decorated with a vase of flowers, a card and a birthday cake sitting on my desk. I got home and walked into a house bursting with aromas from the slap-up meal my husband and kids were putting finishing touches to (I’m still bursting at the seams from it). Oh, and did I mention the dozens of phone calls, text messages, emails and Facebook messages I received? And presents in the mail! Just one tiny little shadow darkened my day, but only fleetingly. This was the first time I didn’t get that customary call from my mother to wish her baby a happy birthday. Then I pictured her in heaven, dancing and laughing, and I had to laugh along with her.

So on this 17th day of July, 2008, I thank God for birthdays, but more importantly, I thank God for the love of friends and family. I love you back, ad infinitum!

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