Sunday, August 27

Messages From the Spirit

I have on occasion received what I believe is a special message from the Lord. It usually comes in the form of a phrase that repeats itself in my thoughts over and over until it becomes my mantra, the theme of a certain time in my life. When we were raising a little girl whom we were attempting to adopt and then subsequently lost, the message, It's Not About Me, coupled closely with the blessed thought, All for His Glory, brought me comfort and much-needed perspective during a tumultuous period. This last year, especially after having read The Treasure Principle, I heard in my head and heart Be Generous! until I actually started to believe it. The last week or so I have been hearing a new message, one that is very old and familiar to most of us. We have heard it so much, in fact, that, in its complete form, it has become cliche' and trite, something left only to the messages proclaimed at weddings. Love is Patient. Love is Kind. Those six words have been my curse and my blessing. They have been a dagger in my heart when my tongue has been used as such with my husband. Love is Patient. Love is Kind. Six little words that have served as a safety net, reminding me in the nick of time what it looks like to be the mother He has called me to be. Love is Patient. Love is Kind. I am thankful for these little reminders from the Spirit. I can only hope to grow into them.

Friday, August 25

Saturday, August 19

A Love Journal

October 31, 1991...our first date
We went to see Hamlet, I believe, or one of those other Shakespearean plays, in the small auditorium at Harding. We would both get extra credit in the English class we shared - where in our first conversation you asked to borrow a pencil. You fell asleep before the play was very far along. My journal entry from that night spoke volumes: "He fell asleep on our first date. Not a good sign."

Thanksgiving, 1991...first "I love you"
I wasn't thrilled that you said it in a Scooby Doo voice, but hey, it would have to do. It was a few weeks later before I reciprocated those precious words (sans the cartoon character impersonation).

Summer, 1992...brought you home to Oregon
Shaggy hair. Cocky as could be. Loved volleyball more than me. My mom couldn't stand you. What's not to love??

Fall, 1992 & Summer, 1994...separated by continents
While I traveled the world, we "took a break" from our relationship. You found it very easy to date other girls. I was tortured. After graduation and my Africa trip I decided to head back to Oregon and find someone who needed me a little more.

January, 1995...move to Oregon
You are offered a job in Portland after you graduate. You decide you need me. We begin secretly dating again and going to pre-marital counseling.

May 31, 1995...the proposal
You take a break from playing volleyball on the beach to propose. The clouds part and heaven shines through with its approval.

August 19,1995...the wedding
"I give you this ring as a symbol of my love. And with all that I am and all that I have I honor you before God."

August 19,
It was a hoot to watch our wedding video today with our three kids running around us - pointing out who was there, who has since died, who has gotten married, and who has grown up so beautifully. Oh, and the hairstyles. Who knew we were all so...mid-nineties!

As I recap our early years, like we often say in amazement, it is a wonder we ever made it. But I am so glad we did. I love our marriage. I love our life together. I love how we talk about everything - from politics to spirituality to our jobs (sorry I can't stay interested longer in geek talk) to parenting to...everything. You are truly my best friend. You are the only person I can be totally authentic with. If everyone who calls me quiet only knew how I talk your ear off! I could not ask for a better daddy for my kids. It is an honor to raise such beautiful angels with you.

Happy 11th Anniversary, Allan.

Saturday, August 12

Recipe For Disaster

Allan and I were recently discussing torture - the kind that is inflicted on prisoners of war. We know how it should be done. Start off with sleep deprivation - that part they seem to have down. But here's where it really gets effective. Instead of using dogs or water or whatever, kids should be added to the mixture. Specifically in scenarios such as, I don't know...being sleep deprived and driving ten miles per hour down the freeway when you are late for a dinner with a yappy five-year-old, a whining three-year-old, and a sleeping newborn. OR, offer the hope of a nap to one who has been sleep-deprived for what feels like years and then put them in a room with aforementioned five- and three-year olds, with a newborn who will wake at any moment in the next room. If these recipes for torture were to be followed, one could hear profound statements of a broken will like "If you two don't cool it, I will pull this car off the road!" (knowing that there is no way that you would actually pull off, given that you are driving ten miles per hour on the freeway and would not dare lose another foot of ground), sometimes accompanied by the trying-to-drive-yet-make-contact-with-the-bare-calf-in-the-backseat and-not-kill-all-of-us move. OR, my personal favorite, "If you..[pause] anything that I don't like, you will be sitting on your bed for twenty minutes!" (knowing full well that the speaker will never fulfill said threat due to the reality that the speaker will be the worst one off having to listen to whining and crying for twenty minutes). This threat, hypothetically speaking of course, may be followed with a conversation like: "Is twenty minutes a long time?" "Yes." "A really long time?" "Yes." Then a couple of minutes later with a guilt-inducing plea from the torture accomplice, "Mom, can I move my leg a little?"

Put these into practice and the strongest of wills can be broken.

Sunday, August 6

Quote of the Day

Mom, are we Native Americans or are we white demons?
Ummm...Guess I need to do a little Pocahontas debrief.

Saturday, August 5

Did He or Didn't He?

We're a little heartbroken around our house today. You see, for three weeks each year Allan and I stay up past our bedtime to marvel at one of the most grueling and amazing professional athletic events in the world - le Tour de France. This year's tour was about as exciting as they come. Floyd Landis, in position to take the lead, hit "the wall" in a major way, seemingly ending his chances of taking the yellow jersey in Paris. The next day, in a feat of determination and self-resolve, not to mention amazing athletic ability, Landis came back to blow everyone away and regain the upper hand. He did indeed go on to win the Tour and succeed Lance Armstrong as America's premier cyclist.

To today and our heartbreak...Landis, like Armstrong almost every year it seems, has been accused of adding testosterone to his body in order to improve his performance. He adamantly denies the allegations, but today the second test came out positive as well. Bob Roll, the most annoying announcer of all time (get your hands out from in front of your face!!), cries "conspiracy!" against America's great cyclists. It's hard, though, not to doubt. Did I spend three weeks watching someone cheat their way to the top? That makes me sad. And if it isn't true (oh, I would really like that to be proven the case), I'm sad that whomever it is that causes these ruckuses has to mar such an amazing sporting event.