Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Little Drummer Boy

A friend posted a clip of For King and Country playing "The Little Drummer Boy" on television.

Oh my goodness. 

What an amazing performance! A completely different version of the song and I loved every minute of it!





I've never wanted to play the drums more in my life.

Give me a shot at that big one.

That could be a great stress reliever.

All this reminded me of something I wrote several years ago about this song, so I thought I'd repost it.

Then He Smiled At Me

I was listening to the radio the other morning and the song “The Little Drummer Boy” came on.

I’ve heard it a million times.

I’ve sang it a million times.

I watched the claymation movie when I was younger.

SOURCE

But I’ve never really paid attention to the lyrics.

I mean REALLY paid attention.

Read them:

Little Drummer Boy: Lyrics
Come they told me, pa rum pum pum pum 
A new born King to see, pa rum pum pum pum 
Our finest gifts we bring, pa rum pum pum pum 
To lay before the King, pa rum pum pum pum, 
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

So to honor Him, pa rum pum pum pum, 
When we come. 

Little Baby, pa rum pum pum pum 
I am a poor boy too, pa rum pum pum pum 
I have no gift to bring, pa rum pum pum pum 
That's fit to give the King, pa rum pum pum pum, 
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum, 

Shall I play for you, pa rum pum pum pum, 
On my drum? 

Mary nodded, pa rum pum pum pum 
The ox and lamb kept time, pa rum pum pum pum 
I played my drum for Him, pa rum pum pum pum 
I played my best for Him, pa rum pum pum pum, 
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum, 

Then He smiled at me, pa rum pum pum pum 
Me and my drum.



I had no idea that this song was about realizing our purpose.

Let me explain.


“I am a poor boy too”

Don’t you love that this line says, “too”?


That means that the drummer boy recognized that our King of Kings was right then, right there, “slumming it” in a manger.


He could have had all the material things of this world.

But he was lying in a manger.

The drummer boy could relate to that.

God is so good to meet us right where we are.

No matter who we are.


“I have no gift to bring,
That’s fit to give the King.”

Havent we all, at some point, felt "not good enough"?

But the pure humbleness of the little drummer boy’s “not good enough” revealed his ultimate need for a savior. That on his own, he was destined for death and that through this baby, death would be overcome.


I could see how the drummer boy would be overwhelmed 
with a gift big enough, 
appropriate enough, 
worthy enough, 
of such a sacrifice.

One day, in heaven, we will feel the same when we are presented with crowns bejeweled. We will be thoroughly aware our own unworthiness, so much so, that we will cast those crowns right at the feet of Jesus, the only one worthy.  (Revelation 4: 9-11.)


“Shall I play for you… on my drum?”


Of course, the only gift the drummer boy could offer is the very gift hed received from the one he desired to play for.


And I love that he asked permission.

Seeking the will of God.


And he waited to receive it.


“Mary nodded”

Speaking for her son and her savior, 


too young to speak on His own, 


using the Spirit to prompt her to nod, yes.

“The ox and lamb kept time”

Can you even imagine?

I envision them like a swaying gospel choir filling in behind the manger and the the little drummer boy.

…that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, 
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.”

Philippians 2: 10-11


“I played my drum for Him.
I played my best for Him."

SOURCE


This isn’t about giving a gift.

It’s about using our gifts.

About honoring the King, Jesus, 
with the gifts He’s given us.

The part that struck me the most when really listening to the lyrics was:


“Then He smiled at me."

Isn’t that amazing?

He smiled! This tiny, new born baby, smiled in encouragement at the little drummer boy!

SOURCE


This baby,
 our King, 
made flesh, 
yet still God, 
recognized the gift offering of 
the little drummer drumming his drum.

Pa rum pum pum pum

“Then He smiled at me.”

While this very human baby was in need of all the care a newborn requires,


He was still God, who is love

and he couldn’t help but smile at the little drummer boy.

Not in a thumbs-up-I-am-the-Roman-emperor-and-I-am-pleased kind of way.

But in an encouraging-attaboy-yay kind of way.

How could He not?

This young boy, had it right.

He didn’t scramble to buy something he couldn’t afford 
in an attempt to impress the King.

He didn’t try to add up all his good deeds in a 
performance report for the King.

He didn’t run away assuming he could never 
be good enough for the King.

In fact, he didn’t think his gift was 
“not good enough” at all. 

He simply asked permission to offer it.

“Then He smiled at me.”

Not because it was the greatest drum solo ever.

But because it was the
Greatest. 
Moment. 
Ever.

Being in the presence of the Lord,

offering back what we’ve been given.
And we get that opportunity every day.

We just have to recognize it.


Monday, November 25, 2019

Who You Gonna Call??

Ghostbusters!

It was such a busy time after Halloween that I didn't get a chance to post our annual family Halloween pictures.



I ordered the work jumpsuits from Amazon on the cheap and found the iron on patches there as well. I did iron them on but I think I could peel them off if we need to use these jumpsuits for a future costume.

We snagged Monte's Slimer inflatable online and on sale this summer.


For our power packs, I spray painted squirt guns that I found on Amazon. They are still functional, but I'm a little worried they look like legit weapons now.


Our local high school is under construction so it made the perfect backdrop for some ghost busting. My neighbor Julie took the pictures.

True story:  the school was built on top of a graveyard and it is believed that not all of the buried were moved to another location back in the 1960s when the original school was built. Should make for some interesting digging…

Back to the Ghostbusters.

Ellie

McDaniel


Me


I just know Monte is smiling under that green hood.


This is my absolute favorite picture. It looks like Slimer is posing for his senior pictures with the fall foliage resting artfully on his green arm.

I'm 100% positive he's smiling here.



What is Slimer doing with his fingers?




At our street's annual Spooky Supper, the little kids kept asking why Monte was green and not an actual ghost if we were called Ghostbusters. 

Good point! 








That's a wrap for 2019 Halloween.

Stay tuned for 2020…
Monte has a GREAT idea!

Thursday, November 21, 2019

The Online Auction Site Couch

A dear sweet girl I got to know through my small group needed to use my car to pick up a couch she bought through an online auction site.

I am not familiar with online auction sites other than eBay.

These auctions are local and there is no shipping or frills of any kind.

At all.

But she got the couch for an incredible price.

I told her she could of course use my car but the mom in me wouldn't let her go alone.

Ellie got home from school just as Meghan was arriving so we roped her into coming along.

Ellie is really strong.

We learned that on day one of kickboxing class 
when the instructor, Dino, 
who was a former cage fighter, 
came out into the lobby of the gym to tell me 
he was excited to work with Ellie to see 
"where she could go" with her fighting potential 
because she was "super strong".

We didn't pursue it.

Anyhoo…

we drove to the middle of nowhere to a warehouse where we were told to pull around the back.

There was a line of cars fighting for a handful of parking spots.

We noticed right away that people were walking into the warehouse with their own dollies and carts for carrying out their auction purchases.

There were a lot of trucks and big cargo vans.

I got a little nervous about carrying a couch to the far away parking spot that my normal size Honda Pilot was parked.

We walked up a loading ramp into the warehouse. There was a long line for people to check in and pay for their items.

All around us were piles and piles of stuff.

Some in boxes, some not. 

Things like kitchen vanities, 
chairs, faucets, credenzas, toys 
and a large dented cage with a picture of a raccoon, opossum 
and some other animal I couldn't quite identify. 

It was a lot to take in.

Ellie and I announced we needed to go to the bathroom.

We looked around and quickly realized this was not the type of place that would provide a restroom for us while we waited.

The friendly lady in front of us with sassy purpley grayish hair, explained how everything worked. She said she'd been bidding on auction items for four months and got things like a crib for $4.

She was there to pick up a nightlight for $2. 

The line was LONG. 

She said we could get a dolly in a different line if we didn't bring our own but that line was long as well and for one of us to go ahead and get in it.

I volunteered.

I noticed that everyone in the dolly line in front of me had a piece of paper and their driver's license out.

Hmmm…

An older man missing an arm walked over and grabbed a dolly without waiting in line, showing a piece of paper or ID. He was quickly yelled at and made to return the dolly.

With his one and only arm he theatrically waved off the scolding as he walked away.

I went back to Ellie and Meghan in the other line to tell them that these warehouse people don't play.

Once Meghan paid and received the very important piece of paper, we were told to look for aisle 5 and for Sherman.

All the signs were hand drawn with a Sharpie on pieces of cardboard.

We had to step over a few things, 
but we found aisle 5.

We found a sign that said "Sherman's Stuff" or something equally as identifying, but no Sherman.

A woman in an official looking vest told us to wait behind a handwritten sign that was taped to an orange cone that said something like "Christy's people wait here".

Other people were in line and asked if we were looking for Sherman. When we said yes, one guy said Sherman wasn't there and Christy was taking over.

Ellie said, "Classic Sherman," under her breath and I almost peed my pants.

Everything after that became super funny 
and a threat to my bladder control.

Christy showed us where to find the ENORMOUS box that contained Meghan's couch and where we'd need to put it while we got a cart.

The box was standing on its end wedged tightly between other couch boxes.

Right next to the boxes was a pile of plastic rolls. The kind of plastic you'd put down before gravel for a walkway or something.

Meghan went after it and got the box on its side on the pile of plastic rolls quickly.

Getting the box turned around so we could carry it through the narrow area between all the other boxes standing on the plastic rolls was a true test to our strength, faith and my old bladder.

But we did it.

Ellie and I waited by the box while Meghan got a cart.

They kept her ID until we returned the cart. 

Like I said earlier, 
these warehouse people don't play.

All three of us got the couch box onto the cart and I pushed it.

When we approached the ramp down to the parking lot, I feared the whole thing would get away from me.

Of course, there was an elderly man using a walker climbing up the middle of the ramp.

I was already in motion and couldn't be stopped. 

I looked at Ellie and she said something like she "just couldn't" and looked away.

The elderly man did the math 
and moved out of the way
just in time.

Thank you, Lord.

Good thing because it was quite a swift ride down the ramp.

As we approached the car, it became apparent that box wasn't going to fit.

But we tried, 
with lots of advice and encouragement 
from those around.

We got the box in but the hatch wouldn't close. A sweet older gentleman asked if I had any ties.

I wasn't completely sure what he meant but I went ahead and assumed I didn't.

He disappeared and reappeared with a rope and instructions on how to tie my hatch down.

We had to drive home ON THE INTERSTATE, in rush hour traffic. 

I didn't like the idea that the only thing 
holding that big box in my car 
was a skinny yellow rope.

We decided to take the couch out of the box.

That involved lots of pulling and ripping and grunting and sliding 
and more instructions from all the parking lot people near us.

We got the couch back in the car 
and the hatch still wouldn't close. 

One of the parking lot people suggested moving up our seats in the front to allow more room.

It worked!!!

We all cheered.

As Meghan pushed the cart back to the warehouse to retrieve her ID, Ellie and I looked for a dumpster to get rid of the enormous couch box. None could be found so I scooted it out of the way and hoped someone would know what to do with it the next day.

Maybe Sherman, if he was back.

I'm not sure when it occurred to us that there were only two seats available for three people, but Ellie volunteered to hunker down in the "space" by the couch.



If it weren't for all the plastic and extremely tight quarters, she could've just laid right on the couch.



We took off on a mission to find a restroom before we hit the interstate.

Many tense minutes and a tricky turn later, we pulled into a gas station that had restrooms in a separate shed-like building behind the actual gas station.

It was the kind of place where I imagine murders happen.

I made sure everyone stayed close enough 
to hear my screams.

So happy none of us were murdered using the restroom.


Once we were back on the road, we started to unpack what had just happened.

We couldn't believe how cheap Meghan got her couch, 
that it actually fit into my car 
and how nice everyone was to us.

Ellie's voice was muffled as she chimed in because she was lying down crammed against a couch.

The whole thing was funny.

But God bless shipping and delivery.


Monday, October 21, 2019

The Hawk and the Vulture


The other day Monte and I were driving down our street and saw a hawk perched on top of a Ford Explorer.

We have many tall trees on our street and found it odd that a bird known for its eyesight would choose such a low spot for its perch.



A saying my mom pinned on my bulletin board growing up came to mind.

"If you want to soar with the eagles, don't run with the turkeys."

Minutes later, I saw two enormous vultures picking apart some road kill in the middle of the street.



They barely got out of my way so I could drive past them. 

I got the side eye from one.



These birds weren't far apart.

The hawk and the vultures.

Are they ever?

How many times do we settle for a much worse view because it's easier, less scary and won't upset someone in our life?

We know we are capable of soaring high enough to get a better view 
but we hang out on top of a Ford Explorer, telling ourselves it's fine. 

It's good enough. 

It's just a season.

Meanwhile, there are turkey vultures super close by ripping the guts out of what used to be a opossum. And they'll have no trouble picking you off your low perch next.

Why are we running when we could be flying?

Why are we compromising our entire view?

We may not know it but we were meant to soar.

Maybe we do know it 
but don't know what to do about it.

Stop. Running. With. The. Turkeys.

They don't want you to soar.

They are so afraid you might leave the comforts of that Ford Explorer 
that they make you think you could never leave. 

They create so much drama you don't feel like it's the right time to spread your wings. 

They are so busy trying to control your wings, they don't even think about flying themselves.

Meanwhile, 
the vultures are circling.

The fact is, we live in a world with hawks and vultures and turkeys.

Soar.

Don't lower your skills for anyone.

Soar.

Don't dim your light.

Soar.

Don't lessen an inch of your awesome.

Soar.


Friday, May 17, 2019

In the Basement of an Office Building

As we pulled into the office building parking lot, Ellie got the text. It said that a transgender gentleman would be joining the facial night.

We'd been invited by the woman Ellie babysits for to a facial night put on by one of those companies that sells cosmetics and skin care online through consultants.

We walked into the room wondering if we'd be able to pick out who the transgender gentleman was. In my own ignorance, I was thinking along the lines of a made up drag queen like RuPaul or Nathan Lane as Starina in The Bird Cage.

Right away we saw an older gentleman with slightly longish curly gray hair wearing a beret, hot pink fingernail polish, a full length shiny black leotard and heels two sizes too big.

He did not look like RuPaul.

He looked like someone's uncle Al.

His voice was low and mannish as he asked lots of questions about skin care and makeup during the facial.

The consultant leading the facial apologized for mixing the pronouns when talking to him.

"It's ok," he said, 
"I look like a man."

Throughout the night, as we tried on various eyeshadows, lip color and blushes, he was so encouraging.

He complimented each of us individually in the room.

I couldn't help but laugh when he asked what the deal was with lip plumpers.

I've always wondered the same thing.

He was probably in his late 60s, worried about keeping up, fighting aging, hanging on to youth.

I could relate.

When we all showed off our completed facials, in a little parade around the room, he, scooting along in his too-big-for-him heels said,

"I look like a woman!"

Now, this is when I could've lost it and fell into a puddle of laughter, but I found it just so touching.

Somehow, this man felt beautiful, maybe for the first time.

Don't we all want that?

I tried to think of someway I could encourage him before we all went our separate ways.

All that came out was,

"Thank you for your encouraging words."

The love and respect the consultants showed him was inspiring.

The grace he showed them back was humbling.

I don't have all this figured out, but I don't have to.

I am called to love

and I saw that on full display in the basement of an office building 
on a Thursday night last week.


Tuesday, April 16, 2019

The Things You Can Learn From Spring Break

Nothing says home to Monte like high humidity, hot temperatures, sandy beaches and the weirdness that only true native Floridians can view as normal.

Like the sinking boat we watched from our ocean front condo the first night we arrived in Florida for Spring Break.

The people stayed with the boat until it was towed. It was completely dark
before the tow boat came. The people never left their ship--even when there was only
a tiny bit of it left to sit on.


Monte had us watch it like TV.

The drunk twenty-something dude named Chandler who stumbled onto the grassy area by our condo's pool, set his beer down and then stood, both arms straight out in front of him for a longish period of time. Several twenty-something dudes from a balcony near by started hollering,

"Chandler, no! No, Chandler! You will NOT have a place to sleep tonight if you do it! No, Chandler! You can't stay here if you do it!"

Monte, Ellie and I all looked at each other wondering 
if we were going to watch Chandler die 
or be horribly maimed.

We didn't dare move.

The boat was still sinking.

After a ridiculously long time, Chandler finally moved, grabbed his beer and slurred loudly to the balcony of guys something about crab grass.

Yeah, that crab grass, 
THAT'S what was going to hurt you, 
Chandler.

Monte even felt a hint of nostalgia when we saw an old man walking on the beach in a thong bathing suit.

We thought he was naked at first because of his ample belly.

Note to anyone contemplating a thong bathing suit:  
DON'T. 

"You won't have a place to sleep tonight if you do it!"

Other than the drunk Chandler issue the first night, we did NOT experience ANYTHING like the college madhouse of our Spring Break 2018.

Thank the good Lord!

Our condo was filled with older people and families.

Each floor of our building had a laundry room.

Monte walked by one day and noticed a pair of granny panties that had been dropped by the laundry room door.

His reaction was compassion for the poor woman who had to discover her drawers were being seen by everyone on the 2nd floor.

We both commented that if that discovery had been made last year in our hotel madhouse, it would've meant something ENTIRELY DIFFERENT and we would've reported it to the security guards.

What a lovely, fantastic, incredible 
difference a year and new location makes.

We thoroughly enjoyed the warm sunny weather, 
the beach and reading most of the day.

In the morning, Monte and I liked to sit on the balcony and watch the birds.

There was one noisy bird who sat on the globe of a light from the pool patio squawking to let the big black birds know that they were not welcome.

The noisy bird was much smaller than the black birds and his tail stood straight up, near his head, as if he was always in a salute/attention position.



We named him Sentinel.

After some research, 
we think he was a mockingbird.

He had no problem dive bombing and chasing out of his territory any black bird who dared to come near the pool area.

Their flying capabilities was Top Gun at its best.

Every day it was the same thing, 
the chasing, 
dive bombing, 
squawking, 
defending, 
always on guard.

It seemed as if the mockingbird won each day,
successful in keeping the black birds at bay 
yet not deterring them to try again as soon as the sun came up. 

It was fascinating 
and great entertainment for us.

What a great reminder that size doesn't matter 
when it comes to defending our territory.


While we were watching them one afternoon, we saw a flock of colorful birds fly overhead and we heard someone say they were wild parakeets.

What was this place where colorful parakeets flew free??

Monte was sitting on the balcony alone when he saw a seagull fly close by with an enormous muffin in its beak.

No less than the entire population of seagulls in Florida was hot on his trail behind him.


Not only did we get some much needed down time, but a week at the beach showed us:

to not jump ship, but to fully wait out the rescue, 

surround ourselves with friends who will talk us out of dumb decisions,

to never wear a thong bathing suit,

and to STAND OUR GROUND,
aware of what wants to steal, kill and destroy,
not so that we live in fear, but so we can live life to the fullest.

(John 10:10)

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Raunchy Grandmothers and Busty Fictional Women

Ellie is in an AP Language class.

She recently worked on a paper about a short story they had to read.

I read it too, because I like that kind of thing.

Ellie worked super hard on the paper.

I proofed early drafts of it but she turned it in without me seeing the final draft.

The other night, her and her friend were at the kitchen island, staring at the screen of Ellie's laptop, reading the teacher's responses to the assignment.

Ellie was curious about a certain comment the teacher made to a word she used to describe the woman in the story.

BUSTY.

No where in the story was there any reference to the woman's physical appearance other than she was tall and plain.

I think busty would've come up.

I asked Ellie if she knew what busty meant and she said,

"Husky."

No…

I told her that wasn't implied in the story either
and, FOR THE LOVE OF PETE
not a word usually used to describe women.

For me, husky meant a jeans size 
at Sears for bigger boys.

Which is terrible.

Her friend didn't know what busty meant either.

I explained and they dissolved into giggles.

Is it possible, busty is a dead adjective?

Not that I'm mad about it…

But how is it that in one generation a word just STOPS being used?

Now, I know, the world needs a good many words to stop being used, but how is it that BUSTY was chosen and not some of the others?

It made me think of McDaniel and how she used the word RAUNCHY because she thought it meant fancy in a tribute essay, for school, to describe my sweet, proper, Christian grandmother.

My grandmother never did anything EVER in a remotely raunchy way.

Including saying the word "cancer" 
or "the sugar" (diabetes) 
or "divorced" above a whisper.

What happened to using a dictionary?



I was just talking with girlfriends about how we took 
HUGE, heavy dictionaries to college with us.

Some were gifted them.

Now there's access to one on the phone.

There is literally NO EXCUSE for using words we don't know the meaning of or even slightly question.

Yet, here we are with raunchy grandmothers and busty fictional women IN MY HOUSE.

It paints a picture, doesn't it?

One my grandmother would be too horrified to look at.

Friday, March 01, 2019

P

McDaniel had an encounter with a guy in a restaurant in her college town.

She and her male Young Life co-leader were sitting at a table reading the bible.

A young man who resembled Bob Marley, walked right over to McDaniel in the restaurant, looked her in the eye and said,

"Hey, I know I'm not good with words and all 
but you are pretty as @#!*$."

He went on to say she was beautiful, amazing, and that he hoped she was as cool as she looked. 

She assured me that she had her hair up in a bun, 
no make up on 
and was wearing a hooded sweatshirt. 

She wondered if he was really talking to her.

He called himself P and thanked her and her friend for not calling him Pete.



P looked at her co-leader and informed him that he was in love with McDaniel and they were going to get married. 

"That's the love of your life! 
You are going to marry her!"


P was pretty excited about it.


No matter how they tried to tell him they were just friends, co-leaders in ministry, he insisted that history was happening tonight, they were in fact, in love, and going to get married.

P was so sure of it that he slapped a total stranger in the chest, pointed to McDaniel's table, and told the guy that he was watching history!

The guy didn't rise to P's level of interest or enthusiasm.

P went to the counter of the restaurant to order food and McDaniel and her co-leader tried to process what had just happened.

They laughed.

They freaked out a little.

They felt awkward.

They noticed P never blinked.

They caught P looking at them from across the restaurant and he whispered,

"That's your wife, man! 
THAT'S YOUR WIFE!"

They were amazed that they could hear him!

They wondered if he was some sort of 
dreadlocked prophet who never blinked.



He came back and asked what they were reading.

They explained it was the bible.

His response,

"You know the letter J?
The letter J is 500 years old! 
That's heavy, that's heavy!
If the letter J is 500 years old, how old is Jesus?
Think about that. THINK ABOUT THAT.
That's heavy!
We have to deal with this."




They answered that Jesus was older than 500.

McDaniel's friend asked what P believed.

"I believe that God knows I don't understand everything."

Whoa.


Then P turned to the two inebriated guys sitting near him and announced,

"These two are reading the bible! What are YOU doing?"

McDaniel feared a confrontation.

Then P focused on one of the guys and said,

"You are amazing! You are incredible!"

The guy looked like he was ready to fight him 
but didn't.

P mentioned how old the letter J was again (500 years old), how much he loved them, that his love was genuine and he loved their love for each other.

"Me and my mom were driving tonight and saw a UFO, 
that's heavy. She was in the military. Think about that."

P asked where McDaniel and her friend were from. They asked where he was from.

"Everywhere."

Then he left.

McDaniel and her friend were left with many questions.

Where was P really from?

What does P do?

Wait. A UFO?!?

P has a mom?!



After McDaniel finished telling me this story over the phone, she told me she had this feeling she's going to run into P 30 years from now, somewhere completely random, and he's going to look exactly the same and he's going to say the exact same things to her.

I was retelling this story to friends the other night and we all wondered about P.

Not if he'd been sniffing Sharpies or drinking some mushroom tea, but how was it that he was so free to speak in such an affirming way to people?

Strangers.

He looked at people like he really saw them (and not just because he didn't blink).

He spoke life to people, not just compliments.

It seems harder to receive 
yet impossible to forget.

What if that drunk guy who P called amazing and incredible, was hearing that for the first time?

What if, for a second, he believed it?

What if the goodness P exuded inspired someone that night to pay it forward?

What if someone overheard that God knows that we don't understand everything and it made all the difference?

What if Jesus has dreadlocks?

Oh, I am not claiming P is Jesus.

But he sure loved like Him in that restaurant.
Yes, I know he used explicit language, he didn't blink, and the letter J is way older than 500 years, 

but I know God uses flawed and broken people all the time to impact His kingdom.

God looks at us and really sees us as we truly are, not how we feel.

In Judges 6:12, an angel of God appeared to Gideon and called him a mighty warrior even though he was hiding, scared on the threshing floor.

God sent a messenger to remind Gideon who he truly was, not how he felt.

That's heavy.

In Hebrews 13:2 it reminds us to always entertain strangers because they might be angels.

Think about that. 
And in Mark 12 we are commanded to love our neighbors as ourselves. 

THINK ABOUT THAT.

I don't know who P is or what his motivation was that night, but I won't soon forget him and I wasn't even there.

And he is WAY better with words than he thinks he is.






Monday, January 14, 2019

That Time I Wondered if I Was Allergic to Life

I have been sick since Christmas morning.

I had one decent week last week where I felt good enough to clean out closets and drawers.

Saturday morning the sickness returned. Sunday morning, I decided to go to the Minute Clinic inside CVS to get some meds.

I was diagnosed with Acute Sinusitis which I decided was way too adorable of a name for how bad I felt.

Plague seemed more appropriate.

I was given a strong dose of penicillin and sent on my way.

I came home and ate a bowl of Life cereal and took my first pill.

I was talking to Monte 
when my chest started to itch.

I was wearing a Waffle House sweatshirt from my daughter's closet and I wondered if there was something in the dye that was irritating my skin.

I took it off, right there in the middle of the kitchen.

I had a tank top underneath.

Monte commented on all the welts all over my chest, shoulders and back.

I ran to the mirror and noticed my face looked sunburned.

I pondered,

"I wonder if I'm allergic to Life?"


Meaning the cereal. 
The cereal I just ate.

Monte thought I was being all "tragic" and meant life in general.

He's a girl dad. 
That reaction came from 
YEARS of solid experience.


But this was no fake drama. 

Something bad was happening.

Monte drove me back to the Minute Clinic.

There is a touch screen computer you sign in with.

I tried, but by this time my hands were two red swollen mitts of meat.

Not so good on the touch screen.

Monte knocked on the doctor's door.

She took one look at me and dragged me by the arm inside and told Monte to wait outside.

She poured me a generous cup of Benadryl and inspected my welts.

She said she needed to call someone.

For the first time, 
I noticed just how young she was.

She hung up the phone and gave me a blood test to determine if I had mono.

I guess mono can sometimes cause a reaction to penicillin.

We had to wait five full minutes for the test results.

To kill time, 
I watched my hands and wrists 
swell even bigger.

She kept asking if my throat or tongue felt funny and if I could breathe.

I told her no, 
I could not breathe, 
which is why I came in.

I also told her I was allergic to grapes and used to the feeling of my throat swelling.

Growing up, I called that feeling,  "Communion Sunday".

She asked if I had an epi-pen.

I told her no, it was the 70s. My mom just gave me a Velamint and a drink of water.

She blinked a lot at me.

Especially after I asked her where the water from the Neti pot went 
when it didn't come out the other side of my nostril like it was supposed to? 
Did it get absorbed into my sinuses because they were FULL UP?!

It was determined I did not have mono.

She told me I would start feeling pretty sleepy soon from the Benadryl.

She ordered up a new antibiotic for me and some prednisone for my hives.

She told me that even after a lifetime of taking it with no problem,  I would now have to tell doctors I was allergic to penicillin. 

I got up to put on my coat and got super dizzy and the room started to spin and I got all sweaty and shaky and sat down quickly. 

Before I knew what was going on, I had an ice pack on the back of my neck 
and a blue plastic sock thing in front of my face that she told me I could puke in if needed.

I thought there was NO WAY 
that plastic sock was going to do it for me. 
And I've thrown up in those little bags on an airplane. 
I should know.

As I was bent over the blue sock, she got Monte and I overheard talk about calling 911.

For whatever reason I got real concerned about being taken to the ER in a Waffle House sweatshirt.

I overheard Monte saying not to call the squad and he'd take me to the emergency room.

I thought, 

"For the love of Pete, don't cheap out on me now!" 

The next thing I remember, my pants were down and the doctor was spearing my thigh with an epi-pen and holding it down HARD. 

I'm not sure how long I was in that chair, but I slowly started to feel better.

She told me that I would be shaky for awhile from the adrenaline of the shot which was exactly the opposite of the feeling the Benadryl was causing.

My body was at war with itself.

At one point, I overheard the doctor tell Monte 
she had not given very many epi-pen shots.

Monte helped me to the car and went back for the new meds.

I came home and told my daughter and her friend about the visit.

It didn't seem possible that so much could escalate so quickly.

Walking up the stairs to my bedroom with a recently stabbed leg was interesting and involved some dragging. 

It took a while for the war in my body to settle down so that I could sleep.

I had a dream that night that I was being pulled into a dark tunnel. 

I resisted at first but finally gave in because I was so exhausted and it was so relaxing to just let go.

I woke up and told Monte I thought it was a death dream 
and I gave into death!

So, in conclusion, no more penicillin for me and I can now cross off my bucket list getting pantsed in a CVS Minute Clinic.
The End.





Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Watching

We were standing singing a song Sunday during church when I noticed a little girl staring at me. 

I smiled and she quickly turned away but I thought to myself that I was glad I had been singing when I was being watched and not just standing there, 

lost in my thoughts 

which sadly, 
happens sometimes to me 
during church.

Later, during a spirited part of the sermon, I watched as three dear, sweet, older ladies, helped each other out of their chairs and up to the front of the church for prayer.

I was watching.

It hit me that just as that little girl was watching me, I was watching those sweet dear ladies.

We never get over our need to watch someone.

To watch someone praise God.

To watch someone need Him.

To watch someone pray.

To watch someone sing.

To watch someone love.

To watch someone live like Jesus.

It was a good reminder to me that I'm being watched when I'm not at church too.

By people who may not know a single thing about Jesus.

They are watching how I handle disappointment.

How I handle stress.

How I handle anger.

How I handle forgiveness.

How I handle pain.

How I handle celebrations

How I handle friends.

How I handle people.

I don't handle any of those things perfectly but I want to remind myself that I'm being watched.

And to keep watching others.


Blessed are those who listen to me,
watching daily at my doors, 
waiting at my doorway. 
For those who find me find life
and receive favor from the Lord.
Proverbs 8:34-35

Monday, October 29, 2018

Tis the Halloween Season

Halloween is our favorite. 

We dress up as a family every year. 

We were the characters from Grease last year.


It's a whole thing we're known for.

But we really haven't been big on decorating for Halloween. 

We aren't into the scary scene of the holiday.

We have new neighbors with two little boys that come over and make Monte and I want to be better at all the fun things, including decorating for Halloween.

Monte has ALWAYS wanted inflatables for our yard for Christmas.

Not anything subtle, 

if an inflatable could be subtle.

No, Monte wants the Santa riding a motorcycle inflatable. 

Does Santa have tattoos?


Or Santa hanging out of the door of an Airstream inflatable.



Neither have ever fit into my outdoor decoration plan for the Christmas holiday.

The last few years, we've noticed a big decline in trick or treaters at our house.

We are close to the end of our street and I think kids have been turning around instead of walking all the way down to our end.

Monte suggested we needed something 

big, 

in the yard, 

a visual perhaps

to get the kids excited to keep on walking.

An inflatable.

I agreed only if I got to pick it out.


It's the only one that made sense.

Especially sense I found Monte looking at this one on display at a store months ago.

I can't even.
Too many questions.

We've been waiting forever to put up the dinosaur and decided this weekend was the time.

My parents were in town so my dad helped Monte.



He's 7 feet tall and lights up at night.


Our neighbors told their kids Monte is inside the inflatable.


I also decided to paint a few boards to decorate the front of the house.


I picked up precut four foot boards from Lowe's and painted them black.

I printed out one letter per page and used an exact knife to cut them out.

I thought I would stencil the letters but I didn't use card stock and thought the computer paper would let the paint bleed. I just traced the letters I cut out with a gel pen and then painted them white.

I propped the boards up on either side of my front door.


I also decided to make a new wreath out of eyeballs that I ordered from Amazon.

Note:  the eyeballs came with four Halloween plastic cups. 

I think I unknowingly ordered a spooky beer pong set.

I hot glued the eyeballs to a grapevine wreath I already had.


Yes, we still have the ancient door with the three windows.
It's been a big hit.

We decided to carve our pumpkins Friday night since the squirrels had already started.

Ellie decided to paint hers and one for McDaniel who is away at college.

She used glow in the dark paint for the BOO.
 I keep forgetting to look to see it glowing at night.
It's candy corn!

Monte went with the Kit Kat commercial carving design. You know, the whole "I'm sorry for what I did to your face" one.

Monte's

Kit Kat's.


I attempted to carve a T-Rex head and was really sorry for what I did to his face until I saw it lit up.



Then I wasn't sorry at all.

We had a bit of wind last night and Ellie and I decided to watch the inflatable since Monte was running an errand.  When we watched him do the splits, we decided it would be a good idea for him to spend the night in the garage so he wouldn't end up blowing all over the neighborhood looking like a Macy's Day Parade float.

On top of being the house with the inflatable, Monte also insisted on buying full size candy bars to hand out this year.

It's on, Halloween! We are ready!!


Little Drummer Boy

A friend posted a clip of For King and Country playing "The Little Drummer Boy" on television. Oh my goodness.  What an amazi...