Friday, May 20, 2011

This is not my home

You've probably heard of the highly advertised prophesy that May 21, 2011 (tomorrow) will be the day of the Rapture, the day Jesus calls his believers home in a blink of an eye and those who have denied him will remain on Earth.

It's not the first time a person has predicted a specific date of this event. Obviously, no one has been right. Matthew 24:36 says no man knows that I expect this current false prophet will be wrong, too.

But oh...I wish he was right. In fact, the only reason I wish he was wrong would be that he was late by a day, and we wouldn't see tomorrow's sunrise.

You see, I want to see my savior face to face more than anything else. I do not cling to anything in this world, and would leave THIS SECOND if given the chance. And let me be clear- I want to go whether it means I am one of millions in the blink of an eye, or if I die in a lone situation and my loved ones are alive and well behind me.

My view is not popular. I spoke my desire out loud in a group of friends one day, and was labeled "depressed". With few exceptions, anyone I have told this to has told me a list of things they want to do before they die.

"But what about your kids?" people ask me. I tell my children often that I long for heaven more than anything else. They know that is where I want to be. Will they be sad? I'm sure of it. But they also have this...a wonderful father, 4 amazing grandparents, 10 aunts and uncles, cousins and second cousins galore, who love them. And they know Christ personally, so I know the Holy Spirit would provide them comfort.

"What about your husband?" See above. Plus, he's a crafty, lovable guy. He wouldn't be alone for long!

To most, it may make no sense, this longing I have. But to me, I don't understand how a Christ follower could think otherwise. What does this temporal earth have to offer that comes anywhere close to eternity in paradise, in the presence of the creator of the universe???

I do wonder, however, why this desire is so strong in my heart. If I am missing something here on earth while I keep my eyes focused above. I do not believe in coincidence, and know without a doubt my work here is not through. If God had wanted me home, he has had lots and lots of opportunities to snatch me away (illness, skiing adventures, car wrecks, tornados)! So- there has to be a reason I am still here. What is it? I probably won't know this side of heaven,,,,but there is yet another reason I want to go NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That's my mind, in case you wanted a peek inside. We'll talk more next week...or not. After all, I highly doubt blogs are a tool used in heaven! I'm off to live life while I have breath to live it!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Jonacio el Magnifico

This is Jonas' stage name when he does magic. Have I mentioned it is his passion? Probably not, as I've hoped it would fade away. But I think it is time I acknowledge that he loves magic and practices all. the. time.

Which I've heard is key to becoming a good magician. Those illusions and tricks and slight of hand have a whole lot to do with timing, and that comes with time and practice. There was a magician on the cruise ship in January, and after his show we asked him a few questions. When I told him my son wanted to be a magician, he said "Tell him to spend hours in front of the mirror, perfecting."

While this is not the hobby I would have chosen for my son (I don't have anything AGAINST it, but would have preferred the piano, or baseball, or reading), I have done what I can to encourage him. Gifts I have given him have included books on illusions and a magic cape. And I try really really hard NOT to let on that I know the secret behind the trick when he shows me a new one.

As I said in my last post, he tried out for the Mesquite Children's Chorus. We found out Tuesday that he did not make the final cut. But he also found out on Tuesday that he did make the talent show at school, in which he will do...a magic show. I heard the slightest bit of disappointment in his voice when he told me about the chorus, but it was immediately covered with pure joy at telling me about the talent show. I am very happy that he is very happy!

And last week, Jonas told me that he had been thinking about how he could use his love of magic in the real world. See, while I try to encourage his passion, I also inherited enough realism from my mom to back it up with "Don't expect magic to pay the bills. Enjoy it as a hobby, but have a backup plan". Jonas proceeded to tell me that he thinks he could use his illusions to help tell people about God and Jesus.

"Go on," I said. I was intrigued.

"Like the flood and Noah," he explained. "I could do an illusion where I poor a bunch of water in a cup or bowl, and then have a dove appear, after I pause awhile to tell the story, and then show the audience that the water is gone! Or, I could create a prop that looks like a tomb, and put a boy-doll in it, then make it disappear after I count to three, like Jesus did."

Don't know about you, but I think his plan is excellent. Again, it may not pay the bills, but it will help him share his love of magic and of God. Which, in light of eternity, is much more important. :)

Friday, April 29, 2011

A singer in my house?

I can't carry a note in a bucket. There. It's out. I am not ashamed to admit that I am not a singer. I LOVE to sing, especially in church to a great worship song, but that doesn't mean I do so well.

One of my favorite stories of irony took place my senior year of high school. I graduated #12, and the top 10 students were able to pick what they wanted to do in the ceremony. For example, #1 picked the invocation, and #2 picked the prayer, etc. The choices were whittled down until all that was left was singing the Alma mater. #10 decided he would rather not participate at all then sing. #11 chose the same. So it came to me. My best friends were in the room with me, and there was an audible groan. But I couldn't let a small thing like a lack of talent stop me, so I said yes!!

I practiced for over a month with the band director. I was determined to not embarrass myself. The night arrived, my turn was up, and I stood up to the microphone. And I asked my entire class to join me as we sang the Alma mater, and stepped away from the microphone. I was very proud of my "work around"!

To sum things up, I can't sing.

So imagine my surprise when my children started exhibiting signs of singing aptitude. Carleigh (whose name loosely means "little song") has always enjoyed singing and I think she sounds wonderful! She led a song all by herself at her Kindergarten end of year ceremony (I refuse to call it a graduation- but that is another post) and impressed us all. Jonas has had lead singing roles in all of his school programs, sang in Alice in Wonderland, Jr., and then sang AND danced while playing Prince Charming in Cinderella. His choir teacher at his last school told me he had a great voice with real potential, and I was shocked.

And now, to top it all off, he has made it to the final audition for the Mesquite Children's Chorus- a select group of 4th and 5th graders from Mesquite schools who form 3 choruses- a boys, a girls, and a co-ed. 400 have tried out- 200 will make it.

Even during the audition process (there were 4 weeks between the first and second rounds in which the kids rehearsed weekly) he has already learned official singing things, like breathing techniques and a little harmony. It's very exciting, and I am encouraged by the amount of time Mesquite schools are investing in the arts. They may beat us over the head with TAKS propaganda (again, another story for another post), but seem to also make music a priority, too.

Jonas should know the results of his audition at the end of this week. Stay could all be witnessing the making of a STAR! or just a really good church choir member.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Candy corn

Wonder why I have a candy corn background in April? Well, long ago I updated this blog and made the background season specific. Then, this thing called life came along and distracted me and I didn't get to blog again until recently.I had every intention of changing the background to something spring like- bunnies, flowers, that sort of crap. But I don't personally FEEL like bunnies and flowers and sunshine right now. I do, however, smile every time I see the candy corn. You see, one of my newest friends is Dr. Robinson (aka Betsy, aka Bethy Thue) and she loves candy corn. And one of my favorite memories in the past 6 months includes her and her candy corn. So, as unseasonal as it may seem, the candy corn is staying around. Let's just say I am early for fall. Fall has always been my favorite season, and the fall of 2010 was exceptional good.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Things are different, things are the same

The location. The weather. The school, church, doctor's office, grocery store, home. Let me point out some details. The town- Mesquite is more middle class than LC was. The homes are older, and they have a thing for alleys instead of driveways. I don't like alleys much, but I'm sure it will grow on me and I will come to think of driveways as ugly. The school- we left a school with 5-6 classes per grade, and find ourselves in a school with 2 classes per grade. But that doesn't include the additional class per grade that is entirely ESL. Hall Elementary had been the deaf ed school for the district, and now we are in the ESL school for the district. I personally think it's cool that the kids have been exposed to 2 foreign languages already, ASL and Spanish! The school is also different because no kids ride their bikes. At Hall, C and J had to fight for a parking spot for their bikes. They don't even have a bike rack here! School also starts and lets out earlier. The move showed us that Jonas was way ahead of other kids in his grade. I attribute this to his great teachers at Hall (okay- a little bit to his brilliance and his awesome parents, but mostly to Ms. Dee and Ms. Hopf). But it also showed us that Carleigh is behind other kids. Not tragically, but she has some work to do. Especially in spelling and handwriting. 3rd graders learn to play the recorder in Mesquite! I think this is great, as Jonas is learning to read music and basic instrument skills. And he likes it a lot. The weather- Ah. My favorite part. Humidity? What's that? On the other hand- we've already heard tornado sirens in the 5 weeks we've been here. No where is perfect, it seems. Church- We are farily sure we have found our new church home at Lake Ridge Bible Church, but it is very different than Church at the Springs. Can you believe that last week, Craig was the only male above 15 wearing shorts? But it's a good church, great Biblical teaching, lots of emphasis on missions and kids. My only complaint is the worship- no one claps AT ALL after a worship song. Guess I'll have to be alone on that one! Grocery stores- Aldi is my new best friend. The end. But I do miss HEB. My wallet doesn't. Home- We now live in a two-story, 2 bedroom apartment. We went from 1800 sq ft with a cul de sac and backyard to 1000 sq ft and a parking lot. It works just fine, though! Pro- our full size washer and dryer have a place INSIDE the apartment, where in LC, they were in the garage with the humidity (see weather above). Con- the kids can most definitely NOT go ride their bikes or roller blades in the parking lot. Pro- the electric bill- it was less than half of what we paid in LC. Pro- two AC units! One for upstairs and one for downstairs! Con- I traded in my cushy extra large executive desk with room for two computers at a time for a 3x2 Elfa shelving system in our bedroom. Con- no microwave. Pro- my kids have now learned that microwaves have not always existed and it is possible to reheat food in an oven or on a stove, and popcorn does not have to be made in a bag. Con- our rabbit ears pick up one channel, CBS, while we had over 20 with just the rabbit ears in LC. Pro- no yeard work. Con- I have no control over when the maintenance crew will do yard work. Like when I am on a conference call. Pro- we are paying $575 less per month, and we are perfectly happy and safe. Family- My brother lives 40 minutes away, but he is a police officer in our town. His wife is a dispatcher on the opposite shift as him, so I feel like we have 24 hours monitoring. Plus, he has 3 wonderful boys that we get to experience things like t-ball and tennis and band concerts with. There is a whole lot more, but those are the highlights of my observations from the first 5 weeks. Stay tuned for the fun and excitement!!! And keep praying that God will be glorified through our lives, and that we will grow closer to Him, no matter what.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


It wasn't supposed to be like this. Randy Frazee, author of Making Room for Life and our pastor at Irving Bible Church, would not approve. I just filled in October and November and December on our little wall calendar, and they are FULL! Not only are they full, but there are multiple places where Craig and I will have to struggle to find someone to watch the kids, much less have dinner together. There will be many days of hand-offs and tag team parenting.

We've known from day one that we didn't want to live like this. That is was important to have a schedule that allowed for intentional time as a family and for spontaneous time with our neighbors. I'm not saying that the next three months will be completely void of those things, but they will be few.

The weird thing, then, is how excited I am about the next three months, and their busy-ness. My mom always said that I do best under pressure, and I think she might be right. Jonas has choir Tuesday and Thursdays after school, theatre on Tuesdays after school, and cub scouts Tuesday evenings. I have theatre on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Carleigh has ballet on Tuesdays and girl scouts on Thursdays. Craig works late Mondays and does marketing work most Saturdays. Sundays have worship and Table Group. This means that Fridays are our only non-scheduled days and we will need to keep them sacred, to an extent. I couldn't be much happier!

I don't want our lives to continue at this pace for long, but I see no harm in the next 3 months. And if you look at it, the time is more like 2 months, since everything wraps up mid-December. So, that's even better!

I wonder if the fall is like this for most families with kids. What about yours? Have you kept this pace up for longer than a season? How does your family handle it? Do you make intentional time to be together, or are you happy with what you can get when you get it?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Our family is currently facing some big decisions. But what's new? It seems we are in a state of limbo every 3-4 years. And we've been in the Houston area exactly 4 years on October 31st. Yeah, that was the day I walked with Sara through her neighborhood, all 5 of our kids decked out in their trick-or-treat best. Little M was in a wagon, the middle girls looked perfect as Alice in Wonderland and Raggedy Anne, and the boys were sweaty messes before we rounded the first bend. That wagon was FULL of candy by the time we made it back to their house, and Sara and I had downed a mojito or two.

And I said the words "I can't imagine EVER moving to Houston."

Ha. God said "Ha!"

Fast forward almost 4 years later, and we have made a life in Houston. The kids have both started school here, and we've hit important milestones. Jonas lost his first tooth in that apartment in Friendswood. Carleigh learned to ride a bike in our cul-de-sac. Jonas was baptized in the pool at Magnolia Creek. The kids started dance, scouts, and theater. I rediscovered my love for the theater. I ran in my first half-marathon. Craig and I have shed lots of debt, and made some very good friends. Craig has learned a LOT about the business of chiropractic.

In short, Houston, and our life here, has been good.

But it's time to make some decisions. Some of which may very well take us away from Houston. And I can't imagine leaving Houston.

So next week, Craig is going to take some time and he will leave. He is going to go away to think, and pray, and ride his bike. As we talked about him doing this, we realized that he has never done this. In his almost 40 years, he has never gone away from LIFE for any extended period of time to focus on God. We agree that it is time. And I am glad to send him off. He says he feels selfish by doing so, but I say it is in the best interest of the whole family. (I also said he'll owe me, but that's not the point! HA!)

Can you please pray for our little family? Especially that Craig will be recharged by his time away, and we will all benefit.