Friday, June 15, 2018

I Can't Make This Stuff Up

If I could, I wouldn't be so surprised when crazy things happen.

And they do.

All the time.

Much to my surprise.

We went out to dinner with friends Friday night.

They picked us up in a torrential downpour so we ran out the front door (instead of the side door which we normally use) to get to their car quicker.

When they dropped us off at the end of the evening, the rain had stopped.

As we walked up the driveway to the side door, Monte bent down by his car and said, something like,

"My underwear?!"

He turned around to show me the sopping wet drawers in his hands.

Monte explained he must've dropped them walking into the house after work because he'd spent the afternoon with a friend at a lake. 

He didn't bring a cute beach bag to carry his clothes in like I would've.

And we didn't see the dropped underwear when we left for dinner
 because we went out the front door.

So there the underwear sat in the driveway in the rainstorm.

Soaking wet in the driveway when McDaniel's friends 
came over for pizza and movies.

The wet underwear with no one inside them.

From Dr. Seuss' "What Was I So Scared Of?" story.


Might sound familiar to those who know about Monte's 
"pants with no one inside them" incident at the gym.

I walked into the house and asked if any of the girls had noticed the wet underwear in the driveway.

They said yes but didn't know whose they were and went about their night.

Wait.

WHOSE UNDERWEAR WOULD THEY BE?! 

We are ALL girls in this house except for Monte and Nigel 
and only one of them wear underpants.

Hint:  it's Monte.

It makes me wonder what these girls have seen at college…

The next morning Monte went outside to flip over his now known as "driveway drawers" to make sure they would completely dry in the sun.

After breakfast we went for a long walk and ran into some friends.

Of course I told them the "driveway drawers" story and our friend suggested that it probably looked like Monte pulled in from a long day at the office and shed his clothes from the waist down right then and there as a way to usher in the weekend.

Little did we know what that would come to mean…

Later that evening, Monte and I were playing corn hole in the backyard before dinner.

I looked up to see the neighbor boy in our driveway NAKED.

He's 4.

We went into awkward mode and Monte walked him home to "get some clothes on, buddy."

As they walked down the street, our elderly neighbor pulled into her driveway.

She's one of those says-whatever-she's-thinking-no-filter kind of people so Monte knew he did NOT want to be spotted walking a naked little boy down the street.

Monte quickly got him to his house where his parents were unloading things from a day at the pool and didn't even realize their son was streaking over to our house.

They have two boys and a toddler girl 
and we love them all so much. 

Those boys have been coming over 
and making Monte and I want grandsons SO BAD 
one day.

Not soon.

But one day.

Monte told the little boy to come over again but he had to have clothes on.

So that was our weekend.

Wet "driveway drawers" 
and a naked driveway neighbor boy.

Hope your weekend is just as fun but in much different ways.

Thursday, June 07, 2018

The Tree Demon…Or Not

A few weeks ago I hosted a movie night for my small group girls.

We've been reading Fervent so it made sense to watch The War Room since



1) Priscilla Shirer is in it. 

2) The theme of the movie is prayer as is the theme of Fervent.


Monte decided to busy himself outside the house by taking our various cars to get washed, filled up with gas, you know…Dad stuff.

It was after dark when he returned and the movie was over.

After everyone left he said he had something to tell me.

He said he was driving on the street that runs along the field by our house. There are trees that line the street along that field.

The headlights of whatever car Monte was driving at that particular time caught a shadowy figure that jumped in front of the trunk of one of those trees so as not to be seen.

Monte looked, and he said he looked hard, as he drove closer by but he could not see ANYONE in front of or behind the tree.

"It's like they faded right into the tree trunk."

I asked what he thought it was, more rhetorically, than seriously. He answered immediately,

"A tree demon."


For two weeks straight he brought up the "tree demon" every time we drove past the tree where the supposed "fading right into the trunk" happened.



We all just kinda let him talk about it.


It was a busy time.

FYI:  don't Google "creepy trees" if you value a good
night's sleep.


Sometime within that two weeks I saw on Facebook that there had been a police car chase very close to our house which led to a chase on foot and the police had asked all the residents just two streets away to not leave the house and to keep their pets inside.

Hmm. 

I vaguely remember hearing sirens 
during the The War Room movie.

Just a few days ago,  I was sitting with neighbors on their porch when they started talking about the police car chase situation so close to our house.

I asked when it happened exactly.

It was the Tuesday of our movie night!

The same Tuesday Monte saw the tree demon which actually was just a dude hiding from the police because he stole a car and then engaged in a high speed car chase.

Thankfully, Monte had stopped by our neighbor's porch to say hi 
after he got home from work because I don't think he'd believe me.

He was all invested in that tree demon story.

THE END


Monday, June 04, 2018

Savage Squirrels

I was weeding the side yard yesterday when I heard a lot of squeaking and squawking.

We have lots of birds and squirrels (and sometimes rats) so I didn't think too much of it.

Monte was spraying the weeds an hour or so later and came in to tell me he thought there was an animal dying in the bushes.

Ellie and I walked outside and we noticed there were no less than 6,000 squirrels around on the electrical wires, telephone poles, tree branches and trunk, the driveway and even in the neighbor's yard across the street.

Whatever was in that bush was of great interest to those squirrels.

Immediately, I assumed it was a hurt squirrel.

Monte got a rake and decided to "rake the bush" to see what would happen.

I'll tell you what happened.

6,000 squirrels all stopped what they were doing to stare at Monte.

Ellie said something like,

"What is happening with all these squirrels?!"

It was eerie.

Two small birds flew out of the bush and all the squirrels fled the scene all at once except for a few.

One squirrel was on the electrical line that runs above our side yard and he was giving Monte such a mean stink eye that it was uncomfortable.

Another was standing upside down on the tree trunk right next to Monte.


He looked enormous for a squirrel.

And I swear he never blinked.

We all came inside and wondered why the squirrels were so fixated on tiny birds in a bush. 

Isn't there a saying about that?

Monte did some research and found out squirrels EAT birds.

EAT THEM!!

What?!

I thought they were vegetarians
or whatever you call something 
that just eats nuts.

We think the squirrels must've knocked over a nest and the baby birds were in the bush trying to call out for momma and daddy for help but they were probably already EATEN by the savage squirrel gang in my yard!!

Hours later we were still bringing it up in an effort to process the carnage.

We've watched the squirrels in our yard for years digging up our grass to hide a nut only to dig it up a few days later to hide it somewhere else.

I always thought they were adorably simple.

Squirrels once ate every nut shell from a wreath I made for the front door--glue and all.

Maybe even a little dense.

I had NO. IDEA. of what they were capable of!

Later that night we watched the end of Jurassic World that was on television.

Now, you EXPECT a raptor to eat a guy.

Meat eater.

I learned that about their nature 
when studying them.

And watching all the Jurassic movies.

I had a dream last night something bit off my hand.

I assumed it was a raptor until now…





Friday, June 01, 2018

Summer! And ALL the Books

School is finally out, it's nice and hot and I'm ready to do little but read and ride my bike.

I thought I'd let you in on a few books I've already read and ALL the ones I've ambitiously purchased to read this summer.

Why I Hate Green Beans by Lincee Ray


One of my favorite authors, Melanie Shankle, plugged this book so I decided to give it a try.

Lincee is funny!

And also vulnerable and sweet.

It's written as a series of essays from different parts of her life.

Seriously, the whole why she hates green beans story is hysterical. 

This book was super easy to read and would be great to take on vacation.

Because of this, I follow Lincee's podcast 
which is also called Why I Hate Green Beans.


If You Only Knew by Jamie Ivey


This is such a great book. It follows Jamie's Christian upbringing and how some bad choices made in her teens left her feeling unworthy in the church. How people in the church made her feel like she could never share that part of her life. She began believing that "if they only knew" all the parts of her past, people would ask her to leave the church or think very little of her. 

Very thought-provoking and revealing how the church AND us as believers 
may not always extend grace the way God does.

I read this over spring break. I was actually sitting out on the balcony of the bad hotel reading a chapter on sin shock when the drunk college kids started whooping and hollering and announcing they were in Miami when they indeed were not.

It was convicting.

I highly recommend this. It would be a good gift for the college girls in your life too.

Jamie has an awesome podcast called The Happy Hour.


Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis


This is more of an inspiring motivational book than a Christian living book. Rachel breaks down typical lies that we believe that get in our way of fulfilling our purpose. She shares her own story of working for a Hollywood studio, becoming a wedding planner to the stars and then starting her own media company. It's hard not to feel ready to tackle the world after reading this.

A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L'Engle


I used to always say that I loved this book growing up. I still have the copy I read back in the 70s. Here's the thing I discovered when I reread it:  I DON'T REMEMBER IT AT ALL.

Not even a few things.

It was super hard for me to finish with all the sciencey fictionish stuff. 

And I have less than no desire to see the movie.

The End.

Everybody Always by Bob Goff



Bob Goff also wrote Love Does, which I adored. 

I just started this and already have it marked up. It's so good.

He's such a great storyteller.


Other books I have purchased for the summer but not read yet are:

Tell Me More by Kelly Corrigan



The Middle Place and Glitter and Glue were such great books so I have high hopes for this one.

The Rock, The Road, and The Rabbi by Kathie Lee Gifford




I did a quick 7-day devotional plan on the bible app on my phone based on this book and loved it, which led me to this purchase.

Just Open the Door by Jen Schmidt


I heard an interview with Jen and she talked about how we have become a generation of Pinterest perfect pretty table settings yet we don't actually host anyone for dinner anymore. She talked about how people feel that they deserve to just sit on the couch alone in their sweats rather than fellowshipping with friends and neighbors. This intrigued me.

Steal Away Home by Matt Carter and Aaron Ivey


I heard about this on the Happy Hour podcast since one of the authors is Jamie Ivey's husband. It's the story of the unlikely friendship between the English theologian Charles Spurgeon and a slave named Thomas Johnson. I can't wait to start this one. 

Laugh It Up! by Candace Payne


Candace is the Chewbacca mask wearing mom who laughed her way into viral video fame. I heard her in an interview and she is so well spoken, knows the scripture and flat out funny. She's a blast to follow on Instagram. Especially during her recent trip to Israel. 

One Beautiful Dream by Jennifer Fulwiler


I know nothing about this except that Melanie Shankle wrote the forward. 

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan


I realized today that I have no novels in my summer reading pile so on the recommendation of a few people, I ordered this. 

In stark contrast, all of Ellie's school recommended summer reading books are about war, racism or sexual assault. 

Oh, to be in high school again.

Happy summer reading!


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Toddler Tired

In the midst of hosting family from out of town,

we decided to host whoever wanted to come over at 5:00 am 
to watch the Royal Wedding Saturday morning.

Ellie's sweet Young Life leader showed up.



I woke up at 4:45 to make tea and set out muffins, mini cinnamon rolls and fruit tarts.

There was NARY A SCONE to be had in this town.

I didn't realize that at 5:00 am it was mainly just watching the guests arrive and that it would be SOME TIME before we actually saw Meghan in her wedding dress.






The girls dozed at various points in the service and I was super glad my cousin was up early for a run to watch the fantastic Bishop Michael Curry's spirited message with me.

The wedding was beautiful, Meghan was stunning and I'm glad we got up to watch it.

After everyone left, we made breakfast for our company and then Monte and I decided to go for a long walk, 

which turned into running stadium stairs,

which turned into push-ups and sit-ups,

which turned into us running home in a DOWN POUR,

which turned into us just walking and laughing because running didn't keep us dry at all.

We were SOAKED.

After showering, I was pretty jazzed and decided to run a quick errand to look for new athletic shoes.

Not just because mine were soaking wet at home.

Somewhere during walking around the shoe store and trying a few pairs on, I hit a wall of tired.

Hard.

Monte had brought me a pair of shoes that he thought would be fantastic for me (i.e. cheap) and they felt like cement blocks on my feet.

I bent down to untie them and I just. couldn't.

I laid on the floor of the shoe store with my feet in the air SAYING NO WORDS.

Monte took my shoes off and we left.

On the way to the car I told him how I had a new understanding of why toddlers throw themselves on the floor when they get tired.

IT FELT PRETTY FANTASTIC!

Monte and I both agreed I needed a nap PRONTO.

It was around that time that I realized I had missed a call.

The name of the caller reminded me that I had committed to making several dozen cookies that day.

I almost cried.

Somehow, by the grace of God, I made close to 72 million cookies without crying.

Or throwing myself on the floor.

Then I made dinner.

All without a nap.

It's amazing what a lack of sleep does.

I felt cross-eyed.

I have a new appreciation for parents of newborns.

And for older parents of newborns.

But mostly for the people that live like this 
ALL. THE. TIME.

People that cram so much into each day that there is no time to sit and enjoy it.

There's always something else to go to, 

to say yes to,

to do, do, do.

My small group just discussed this idea of recharging.

Figuring out where all the pressures we are under are coming from.

Which ones we can get out from under 
so we can be more fully charged 
for what is the most important.

We are reading Priscilla Shirer's Fervent and she suggested that the many pressures in our our lives can resemble slavery.

"Slaves don't rest.
Slaves just work.
They don't control their agenda for the day;
the day's agenda controls them."

When we start thinking we CAN'T say no, 
then well, we are talking like a slave.

We are free.

We DO have the freedom to say no.

To allow ourselves space in our day to be still, 
to go to bed at a reasonable time, 
to be sensitive to what our body and mind are saying 
when it's cross-eyed tired.

I still don't think I have fully recovered because it's May and May is its own form of toddler tired without the royal wedding.

But I've planned some margin in my week to allow me some downtime to recharge for what I know will be a busy weekend.

Because of just a few no's,  I saw a frog outside my window this morning while I was watering my flowers.

I noticed the first peony of the season.


 I watched flags being installed along the sidewalks by a school for Memorial Day on my walk.

And I listened to an awesome sermon about Jesus coming to us 
in the midst of the storm.

I think my head planter I got for Mother's Day perfectly sums up my current mood.




Thursday, May 17, 2018

The Things I See at School Pick Up

The other day I was waiting in my car for Ellie to get out of school.

I park on a residential street close to the school.

In the yard right by my car were two robins. One was busy with a worm and the other looked like he was bat crazy.

Like maybe he had sniffed some glue or had rabies if that's a thing birds can get.

The feathers on his head were standing up in all directions,  his body was all puffed up and both wings were spread out.



There was a crazy look in this bird's eye.

I swear, one eye was bigger than the other.



With much flapping around, I detected that he wasn't happy that the other bird was eating a worm right there.

I was worried for the worm eater.

He seemed undeterred in his eating.

He never even glanced at the crazy bird.

I have to admit, I may have yelled out advice for the little guy to leave before Crazy Bird flapped him upside the head or pecked his eyes out.



"Fly away!"

"Go!"

"Save yourself!"

"He's going to eat you!"


But he stayed.

Nibbling on his worm snack
 like there WASN'T a crazy puffed up bird 
making a big scene right by him.

I was riveted to the whole thing.

In one amazing second, Crazy Bird became completely normal.

No more wild feathered head.

No more puffed up body.

No more wide outstretched wings.

He may or may not have sighed 
before he flew away.

The other bird remained only concerned with his worm.

WHAT?!

As I tried to process the whole thing, it struck me.

That's what the enemy tries to do to us all the time.

All crazy and puffed up, he tries to intimidate us to retreat.

Retreat from the good work God has laid out for us.

Retreat from the blessings.

Retreat from the world in fear.

But we are told in Ephesians 6:11

"To put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand 
against the devil's schemes."

We don't have to fight him, 
God will do that, 
but we have to stand our ground. 

"Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."
James 4:7

In Luke, Jesus tell us who to fear.

"But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who after the killing of the body, 
has power to throw you into hell."
Luke 12:5

You know who that is?
God.
Only God determines our eternity.

So that worm eating bird had it right.

He stood his ground, resisted the intimidation and Crazy Bird did in fact flee from him.

Right to the closest tree.

I'm so glad he didn't listen to me.

The things I see at school pick up.

Friday, May 11, 2018

"Eye Not Found"

I saw a blue jay yesterday morning. It was so vibrantly blue in the morning sun and HUGE. He flew close enough to the window that I could see the crest on his head and where the white feathers on his body met the blue.



It was beautiful.

I don't see blue jays often and consider it a real treat that I caught a glimpse.

It reminded me of a sermon I heard earlier this week.

It was about when something becomes so familiar to us that we cease seeing the amazement of it.

My husband grew up in Ft. Lauderdale and wearing shorts and flip flops all year 
and seeing pretty flowers and THE OCEAN every day was no big deal.

It certainly has become a VERY BIG DEAL
now that he has been living in the Midwest for the past 19 years.

The sermon pointed out how we can do that to God.

We can become so comfortable with life and the things in it coming through for us that we don't stop, acknowledge where it all comes from and let the amazingness of it to sink in.


I used my study bible to look up all the verses that use the word amazing.

There aren't that many and they are all in the New Testament.

When I used my Greek dictionary I found that all of the translations are from different forms of the word, like astounding.

Only one verse, Acts. 2:7, used the word amazing. It comes from the Greek word existemi which, broken down, comes from ex meaning out and hitemi, meaning to stand.

Put together it means to stand out.  "To be removed out of its place or state." In the New Testament it refers to the mind so it means to be out of one's mind, to be beside oneself with astonishment.

Somewhere between the New Testament and now, we've lost our ability to "lose our minds" over all God is doing or has done for us.

He made the blue jay, for crying out loud.

He's bright blue in a green and brown habitat.

Talk about being a stand out.

I went to the eye doctor this week and as I was looking through a machine that could photograph behind my eyeball, the machine spoke in a loud robotic voice,

"Eye not found."

I don't care who you are, 
you check to see if you can find your eye
after hearing such a statement.

The cute assistant said in a frustrated voice, to the machine, not me,

"Hey! I turned you on this morning, I can turn you off!"

Clearly, this wasn't her first 
"Eye not found" of the day.

And she was having none of it.

This machine was created to do ONE THING.

Photograph behind my eye.

My eye was UP CLOSE and looking RIGHT INTO IT.

But it couldn't find my eye.

In Mark 6 we are told the story of Jesus taking his disciples back to his hometown to teach and perform miracles.

When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, 
and many who heard him were amazed.
Mark 6:2a

They were amazed until they started asking who Jesus was. 

When they realized this was the dude they had grown up with they questioned,

"Where did this man get these things?" they asked. "What's this wisdom that has been given him that he even does miracles! Isn't this the carpenter? Isn't this Mary's son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren't his sisters here with us? 
And they took offense at him.
Mark 6:2b-3

This was no American Idol homecoming week with the parade, visit back to the old school and free concert at the end with everyone cheering and offering support.

No. They couldn't believe that one of their own, from rinky-dink small town Nazareth, could be anything more than a carpenter. 

In this context, carpenter was meant to be a slam such as, 
"Isn't he just as common as us?"

Read the verse above again. 

They didn't even say his name.

They mentioned his mother, Mary, 
and all his brothers 
and referenced his sisters
 but DID. NOT. SAY. JESUS.

They were right there with an up-close view.

"EYE NOT FOUND."

I'm not sure why, but they could not see or believe that Jesus was any different from them
 so how could he be something special, a stand-out anointed by God?

Maybe they were just too familiar with him as a carpenter
to ever see the amazingness that was him as our Messiah.

Jesus said to them,

"Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house 
is a prophet without honor."
Mark 6:4

The sermon I listened to pointed out that Jesus used this rejection from his own family and hometown friends as a lesson for the disciples.

They couldn't stop their ministry and performing miracles because some people early on failed to see it.

They became stronger and more humble because of it.

I did a little research on the blue jay.

Because of their vibrant color, they are easy prey.

Maybe that's why I don't see them often.

Or maybe I haven't been looking.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Women's Luncheon Table Decorating 2018

I've taken a few years off from going to my church's women's luncheon due to conflicts.

Mainly:  prom.

I was excited to get back to it.

This year Ellie's Young Life leader's grandmother was the speaker so she decided to host a table too.

I knew it was going to be a busy weekend because McDaniel was bringing A BUNCH of kids home with her from college.

And they were all staying at our house. 

More on that later.

So I wanted to keep my table decorations simple and/or that didn't require much shopping.

I decided on a dinosaur theme.

Why?


2) I have a lot of dinosaur home decor.

3) Dinosaurs seem to be popular right now.

When I told Ellie my theme she told me to not go crazy and keep in "Dino Chic."

But of course.


In the center is my Tyrannosaurus Rex cookie jar from Target the girls got me a few birthdays ago.

I ordered the big leaves from Amazon to use as chargers and a centerpiece.


I brought the other dinosaurs I had from home and put fake succulents in them to "Dino Chic" them up.


I alternated between driftwood napkins holders and gray napkins and galvanized metal and gold napkin holders and light beige napkins.

Those white plates came from a thrift store.


You might recognize my chia pet dinosaur I painted silver after I couldn't get a single chia seed to sprout.


I bought a bag of plastic dinosaurs on Amazon and spray painted a handful of them white for each place setting.




McDaniel got me this salt and pepper set from Target for Christmas.

Now on to Ellie's table.


She has a real eye for design and definitely knows what she likes. Most of this came from her room.

When I was 15, I had a poster of Prince on my wall. 
That's all I can remember about it's design theme.



One of the sweet college girls from my small group made Ellie a beautiful eucalyptus and white flower garland that she put around the center of her table. I'm kicking myself for not getting a picture of it!




I love that each place card said Woman of God.


I wish I'd taken more pictures the next day!

The themes stuck mainly around spring.

After this forever winter, 
I loved all the blooms and color.

There were so many women there--the biggest luncheon I've been to yet.

And the speaker was FANTASTIC!

A few Young Life leaders came and one of Ellie's friends.





Two of the leaders are in my small group so when we discovered that we all were wearing jumpsuits, I suggested the natural thing.

Take a picture doing the Charlie's Angels pose.


Except I couldn't remember exactly how the pose went.

There's a Karate chop in the pose?




I'd like to say we were praying here but we were probably comparing shoes or pedicures.

It was an awesome event.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The White Witch, My Moment with a Cow and Choosing Joy

Last Friday I walked with a girlfriend.

It was so beautiful and sunny and warm.

We wore shorts and popped into art shops and a bakery and picked up Nigel from the dog groomer.

We walked all over our town and it was wonderful.

That evening, Monte and I cleaned up the yard and I did my most favorite thing.

I burned sticks in the fire pit.

I don't know why, but I just love picking up all the sticks
 our beloved huge Sycamore tree has shed 
and burning them in the fire.
It's such a satisfying and quick way to clean up.

I purposely save some greenery from my flower boxes from Christmas time each year to help start the fire in the spring.

The height the fire gets in a hot WHOOSH when I throw in the dried up greenery should be such a warning to all those who keep their Christmas trees up too long.

Fire. 
Hazard.

It was such a nice day and evening.

A neighbor came over to talk to Monte on the patio as I stoked the fire.

We got excited about finally starting to see 
neighbors out and about again.

Then it snowed on Monday.

Tuesday we woke up to a fresh blanket of snow.

I asked Monte if we were in Narnia and the White Witch was ruling and it was always going to be Winter and never Christmas.



He said,

"Yes. Yes, it is."

He grew up in Florida 
and has mentioned moving 
no less than 75 times.

I had to wear my gloves,

GLOVES,

in mid-April,

as I drove to bible study.

Our church is across from a big field with cattle.

The cows were standing close to the fence as I slowed to turn into the church parking lot.

I locked eyes with one cow.


Looking into his big eyes, I could feel we were having a moment and I could tell what he was thinking.

"Are you kidding me with this weather?!"

I actually shrugged my shoulders at him in response.

"I know. It stinks, buddy."

I didn't go into my whole Narnia White Witch theory 
because while I do remember lots of animals like beaver 
and wolves and a half-goat man in the Narnia story, 
I don't recall there being any cows 
and I just didn't want to confuse him any further. 


That night while at small group, one of the girls there said she thought we were in the movie Frozen and Elsa was pretty darn honked off.



That made me laugh.

And what else can we do when the winter drags on and on and on and on and the bitter cold snaps back like we weren't just sitting on our back patio with a neighbor last Friday or walking all over town with a friend?

A sweet boy with special needs in our church was baptized a few weeks ago.

He's non-verbal and has a smile that lights up any room he's in.

I've had the privilege of having him in my Sunday School class.

I actually let him use scissors during craft time once not realizing, 
he's not used to being given scissors.

That explains the bigger than usual smile on his face that day.

The family showed a video before the baptism of them asking the boy questions to see if he understood what it meant to accept Jesus.

He nodded yes to knowing he was loved by Jesus 
and pointed to his heart when they asked where Jesus lived.

The pastor asked the boy's father how he saw God in his son.

He answered with one word.

"Joy."

This boy who can not form words with his mouth, spoke volumes to my heart. 

He possesses such a clear outpouring of joy that can only come from heaven.

His father baptized him in what was one of the purest, sweetest moments I have ever witnessed.

There wasn't a dry eye in the church.

My car had thick frost on it this morning on DAY 3 of Winter's Return.

But I know I am loved by Jesus 
and I know where He lives.

So today I choose joy.

I Can't Make This Stuff Up

If I could, I wouldn't be so surprised when crazy things happen. And they do. All the time. Much to my surprise. We went o...