31 August 2009

The mystery of Badtalks

We were so anxious yesterday at our church picnic to finally get to meet Asher's friend, Badtalks!

Every week we peek into Asher's Sunday School classroom hoping to get a glimpse of this blond haired boy. Our son, the one set on doing his own thing regardless of who is joining him in the activity, declared to us over a month ago that he had met his "favorite friend in the whole world!"

Immediately we asked what his name was. Typical to a three year old, he had no idea but only that he was a construction worker, just like him.

So the next week, we prepped him with a conversation he should have with this mystery boy. Asher was to introduce himself and then ask the other boy what his name was. Well, it was reported that the conversation did take place, but the other boy did not disclose his name.

How disappointed we were. Visions of meeting this fun boy, inviting him to our house for playdate after playdate and encouraging a life long friendship had gone by the wayside.

To compensate for not knowing the little boy's name, Asher gave him a name..."Badtalks." And so I've found myself so eager to drop Asher off each Sunday hoping to get a glimpse of this favorite friend. While the teachers pin Asher's name onto his shirt, I question him in a whisper about if he sees a "special" friend?

I am so overeager to meet this boy and all because Asher so excitedly told us about him weeks ago. I've thought about this child I don't know and wonder what kind of magic influence he has to make our son actually talk about how much he likes a friend. Badtalks is a friend I want to know because of the praises of my son.

So does anyone want to know my friends because of the good things I say about them?
Most importantly, does anyone want to know Jesus because of the praises I declare about Him?

Have I told enough people about
- His goodness to give me a wonderful husband and happy six years of marriage?
- His compassion to answer my constant prayers for another child?
- His provision of wonderful stay at home mom friends that I love hanging out with?
- His sovereignty and perfect timing for my parents to be home while Walter studies?
- His refreshment, restoration, peace, joy, and hope?

And that's just getting started.
I doubt I've told enough people but now I've told you! Jesus is way better than Badtalks! I hope you will meet Him as well.

26 August 2009

I'll never know

Everyday, I walk around the house and ask why.
Why is the kitchen rug neatly rolled up and laid on the living room couch?
I will never get an explanation that makes sense.

And this is the way life is.

God also doesn't and doesn't need to explain.

Like he did with Job, God gives and takes away without needing to provide any kind of eplanation.

He takes houses, jobs, loved ones, dreams, and we are usually left wondering why. And that why is left dangling, usually for a lifetime.

We can guess, try to figure it out, and speculate on God's working, but we won't know why until we meet Him in His presence and then it will likely by the furthest thing from our minds.

I don't know why God has allowed pain through His fingers, but I also don't know why He allows joy through His fingers. And it is good and right to accept them both.

17 August 2009

Moment to remember

It was a moment.

A moment when time stood still and we basked in the uniqueness of that exact point in life. There have been few moments like this in my life.

At the altar of Christ Church saying "I do."

In the crystal waters of Vieques floating and snorkeling while Walter dove after a sea turtle.

Swinging furiously in my hammock tied to the top deck of an Amazonian lineboat under a sky filled with an infinite number of stars.

On the upper bunk of an Ukrainian train feeling the first blasts of air conditioning and hearing ABBA sing "Dancing Queen."

And now I add, standing on the track watching my son round the bend to complete his quarter mile run ALONE.

Not the only little boy to run alone, or the fastest, but my son. The one who needed constant encouragement from daddy running beside him all summer. The one who previously wanted to run like a slug.

He ran. Alone. Far away.

After I recovered from the disbelief that he would actually run by himself, I found myself lost in the symbolism of the moment.

He was so far away and I was supposed to just stand and watch. If he stumbled and fell, it would take at least a minute for Walter or I to reach him. If it started pouring down raining, he was over there, on the other side, all by himself. It seemed he had never been more independent and I had never been so amazed at what he could do when he put his mind to it. Just a small green shirt putting one foot after another. Amazing.

There was no bribing, no begging, no ordering to "march faster soldier." He took off without a backward glance and ran the lap not stopping even when he passed by the construction cones.

I stood mouth gaping open, lost in the moment.

07 August 2009

Sisters Forever

After school, Becky (my sister) and I would rush downstairs take our positions on the couch and turn on Full House. We loved watching the Tanner family tackle family issues. But DJ and Stephanie were especially near and dear to us since Becky and I were about their ages and could each understand the challenges of being the older or younger sister.

The girls usually had some kind of disagreement, but always ended the show as the best of friends. Of course, Becky and I have had our similar ups and downs. Having a sister, especially one as patient as mine has often given me the falsely-perceived liberty to say whatever I think and let the grump monsters out to attack her. But as a sister who knows me well, she forgives and we move on.

I can't think of anyone more selfless than my sister (although my husband might be in the running) who focuses so much energy on serving others.

One afternoon, when the Tanner sisters had an especially difficult fight and in a moment that could possibly be the cheesiest moment of television history, they ended their disagreement with declaring to each other that they are "sisters forever"!

Becky and I pulled that sappy moment into our own relationship and often close our notes and letters reminding each other that we are "SF".

Today my dear sister has a significant birthday and I want her to know how special she is, how thankful I am for her and that I love her!

Happy Birthday Becky!!

04 August 2009


Shame on me. I failed.

The deadline to complete the requirements for the summer reading program came and went on Sunday and I did not read the 18 hours I needed to in order to get my prize.

I'm actually quite upset about my failure. In my childhood summers, I finished the reading programs within the first week or two. With days and days on end available to lay in the hammock swinging and reading for hours a day there was no challenge.

Ramona Quimby, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield (I should give a prize for anyone who can place the books those two are in?), those wise babysitters in The Babysitters Club, along with random others were my best friends for many summers.

This year I joined the club attempting to relive those childhood reading summers and committed to not counting the Franklin, Curious George, and dinosaur books I read to Asher or the time consuming blog posts I read everyday, or the drafts of my dad's book towards my Reading Program goal.

I found that I could sit down for 10 minutes at a time before something erupted. A pacifier fell out, a bottom needed wiped, dinner was about to burn, or most frustrating of all my eyes became so heavy I needed toothpicks to prop them open.

And so, it became apparent last week that reading in 10 minute intervals would not be enough for me to complete my goal.

I bumped up reading on my priority list, drank more caffeine, and buckled down.

But alas, it just was not meant to be.

There's always next year...