Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ah, the innocence!

My daughter, Libby, is almost 5. It's hard for me to believe that she's so big and so old and so smart. I feel almost like I've had nothing to do with it! God laughed when he blessed me and Kelly with her. We cried, but yeah, He laughed. He has great plans for her, and we know that, but boy, were we unprepared for another child. I was also unprepared for the lessons I would learn from her. This morning was a perfect example...

We had to take Bubba's homework up to the school because her forgot it this morning. As we drove down the street, Libby noticed this one house and yard, that is already FULL of Christmas decorations. She gets very excited and comments on it every time we drive by. "MOM, they're STILL putting up decorations!" I told her that yes I could see that. Her excitement spurred on conversation (as usually happens with her). "I can't wait for Christmas, MOM!" I know, honey. It's a great time of year. "I can't wait to get presents and all that stuff, and no one person can get all the presents, right Mom?" No, dear, not just one person can get all the presents. But do you know what Christmas is all about? "Oh yes! It's about snow and presents and going to see Santa Claus at the mall, right Mom?" Well, that's part of it, but WHY do we celebrate Christmas? "Oh. I don't know." Man, did I feel like a failure, but then I realized that she's been told time and time again--maybe she just didn't remember. So I took control of that teachable moment. Christmas is a big celebration of Jesus's birth. "OH! Well how old is Jesus?" Well, dear, he's a little more than 2000 years old. "Well, how old will he be when this birthday is over?" Well, he'll still be a little more than 2000 years old, honey. "Oh. Well I think he'll be about 89." Ya think so, huh?

I just smiled and listened to her banter on about Jesus and how big he is and that she hopes he doesn't sit on us because he's so big...I laughed to myself, and wished that I could be so accepting of basic notions of how big our God is. Seems like, as we grow older, we tend to put a value on everything, a label on everything, and add qualitative or quantitative reasoning to what we're supposed to accept on faith. Wouldn't it be nice to just accept things as they are, for just what they are and nothing more? Christmas is Jesus's birthday. That's it! I want to be innocent! I want to be faithful! Jesus, bring me to you as a child, with faith like a child, and hold me like a child today. Help me see life through child-like eyes. Help me to be innocent!

Friday, November 13, 2009

...I am a branch...

So, today I worked in the yard. I totally avoided working in my house by going outside and mowing, edging, and weedeating the front and side yard. As if that wasn't enough, I decided to work a little in the flower bed too.

We're renting this house, and the owners, our wonderful landlords, well...aren't the most prudent when it comes to upkeep and care of the home and yard. SO, we've decided since we're going to live here, for an unknown period of time, we'll make the best of it, and take care of it as if it were our own.

Our landlord planted several, different colors of mums while they lived here. I don't know when they were planted, but some of them came out SO beautifully this Fall. However, she hadn't pruned them (ever) that I know of. There was new growth coming out from the roots, at the ground, so I got out my pruners and becan to cut away the wilted, faded, and dead parts of the branches. There was a LOT "trash" when I was done (there are LOTS of mum plants in there ). I filled a big, black trash bag, and put it with the other trash to go "out" on Monday. It's humorous to me now, but I actually felt proud, like I had really accomplished something great! LOL!

Here's the neat part...(to me, anyway)

God was SO teaching me a lesson while I was working. The Holy Spirit gently reminded of Jesus' words in the book of John, the 15th chapter, and I humbly thanked God for it!

1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.
2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.
5 I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
6 If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned...
8 This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

How much more proud must our heavenly Father be when, after He has carefully pruned us, we bear "much fruit!"
This is one of the mums that is "bearing much fruit." Isn't it lovely?
My prayer for you, and me, today, is that God continues to teach me druing those teachable moments, and that He continues to prune me, reminding me gently, that I'm no the trash, but a branch that needs to bear much fruit...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

My first time and coyotes ta boot!

Well, here I am, sitting in front of this screen, knowing there are things I'd like to say, but not quite knowing what to write. I've wanted to blog for a long time, but I wasn't sure if I wanted other folks to read my inmost thoughts, whispers, rants and feelings. However, it would be neat to have something for my kids and family to read some day. I'm guessing that on a daily basis, they don't much care what I have to say right now. Maybe it'll mean something later? I hope so. So, this is my first time to blog...

This morning at 4:25, the coyotes woke me up--AGAIN! This time, though, when I heard them, it was different, and much closer. I looked outside--our back fence is wrought iron because our home backs up to a pond with a fountain (REALLY neat)--across the pond where the mowed area meets the brush, and I couldn't see a thing. The fog was rolling in, so along with the sleep in my eyes and my far-sighted blur, I couldn't see anything. I woke Kelly because it sounded like they were right outside our yard. He took out his earplugs and heard them too, and realizing that yes, they were close, he came to the window. We watched for a few minutes, and never saw them, so he went back to bed--he was raised in the country--unlike his citified wife--and doesn't "pay no mind to them there puppies of the brush," but I was really scared. So I watched some more--I'm not sure why except sfor sheer curiosity, I guess--don't know what I thought I was going to do other than get more scared! Anyway, the moonlight finally glistened in one of their eyes and I saw them! There were at least 2 but I think I saw 3. They were pretty big as they leered toward our homes and then slinked back into the brush. I woke Kelly again so that he could see I wasn't crazy. He saw them and went back to bed. So, realizing there was nothing I could DO, I crawled back in myself. Our shih tzu (Victoria Belle or Tori, as we call her) knew what was going on. She heard them too, but she didn't move off the comfort of our bed. So, I grabbed her up, and snuggled her next to me, and there she laid until this morning. Funny girl--just like a child--she thinks that if she's close to her parents, there's NOTHING that can harm her. :) ANYWAY, fast forward a few hours...I called the City of Grand Prairie, told them where I lived and the whole experience. She told me that there was nothing they could do because the animals are wild and we're moving in on "their" territory. I asked about other complaints, and she assured me that there had been several--especially in our area of "town," AND that there are bobcats out here too. I was SO glad to hear that. I feel much better knowing that the cousin of mountain lions is probably lurking behind my house as well...She told me that we should not leave food, trash, or small animals outside. She also suggested that next time I see them, I should step outside and make a noise to scare them off. (YEAH, RIGHT!) I politely acted like she had given me all the help I could EVER need and thanked her and told her to have a great day. I wonder if I could go to jail for shooting one...would that noise be loud enough???