June 29, 2009

Lying In Repose?

I headed out to run errands after lunch on Sunday and as I departed Jimmy was fixing to read Dani a tale from her new story book. They had been locking horns all week for one reason or another. Come to find out she'd been suffering from PMS with a dash of Autism, a wicked and very real combination for sure. I could tell she was playing him like a fiddle, so I said a little prayer before turning the ignition of the car in hopes to ensure a good report when I arrived home.

I enjoyed a leisurely stroll through Office Max as I sifted through their colorful selection of calendars and carefully chose which clear colored ruler I wanted for work. The heavy oppressive humidity that had been plaguing Kansas City for weeks had lifted making my journey extra special. I hadn't a clue what was going on at home but I had said my prayers trusting all was well.

When I arrived home Jimmy was sprawled out on the couch and the house was silent as a funeral home. Glancing first to my left and then the right, I asked where Dani was and how story time went. "She began crying before I ever read the title to the story so I told her to go lay down until she got control of herself" he said with complete resolve.

Interesting turn of events. Didn't expect to hear that. So, with purse and package in hand I walked down the hall and peeped into Dani's room. Obedient to his request she had indeed gone to her room to lie on her bed and proceeded to stay there till she fell asleep, leaving her to look exactly like a corpse. It was a creepy sight and reminded me how in the old days families would put the body of a loved one on display in their home before burial. If it hadn't been for her raspy snoring I would have been totally mortified. I gently closed her bedroom door bothered by the fact her hearing aids were on and running for no good reason, but I couldn't bear the thought of disturbing her "peaceful" state.

She woke refreshed and we enjoyed a pleasant Sunday afternoon together.

June 26, 2009

Bottle Him Up

I woke to whining this morning at 6:30 am and this is what my barely-open eyes saw when I walked into Cocoa Bean's room.

And do you know what I thought as I rolled my weary eyes? I don't drink mind you, but I seriously prayed Mr. Bean would be like a fine wine and grow better with age. Too bad we can't bottle him up till he's more mellow.

June 24, 2009

Scootin' Around

Dani always comes home from her Day Hab program skipping and laughing as if she'd spent the day playing around. Now we see what the hoopla's all about.

Here Dani and her teacher scoot down
the hallway racing one another.

Back to work.

June 22, 2009


Ezra 7:21, contains all the letters of the alphabet except 'J'

"And I, even I Artaxerxes the king, do make a decree to all the treasurers which are beyond the river, that whatsoever Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, shall require of you, it be done speedily"

Who thinks of these things?

June 19, 2009

"Green" Bean

It feels as though we’ve had little Cocoa Bean for a very long time. Born in our home over six months ago on Thanksgiving Day, we’ve literally watched him grow up from the moment he took his first breath. Long before he ever opened his eyes, we chose the little pup that looked like a rich brown cocoa bean lying on the bath towel among the litter of nine.

Life with Mr. Bean has been interesting to say the least. Sometimes it feels a bit like Marley and Me, one attention-grabbing chapter after another. For example just the other day I was all dressed and ready for work in my gold tapestry skirt when the thought hit me, “Uh oh…it just rained and Beanie Weanie’s been outside longer than it takes time to pee. If he is at all his normal self he’s digging in the mud.” Sure enough a look out the window confirmed my inkling. He had mud half way up to his elbows and snout.

Beano’s chewed up more things than I care to recall and has kept us up more nights than both kids put together, but without question he’s the smartest doggon dog I’ve ever seen. He can figure anything out in a snap. When Ecclesiastes was a pup he had a terrible time picking up the Frisbee when it landed rim down. He’d paw and claw at it like a hound dog at a rabbit hole, but the first time Cocoa encounter the same Frisbee he flipped it over with his nose like a short order cook flipping pancakes. Simply put, if he wants something bad enough he’ll figure a way to get it, especially when it comes to comfort.

One day while walking the dogs, Jimmy noticed Bean Pole walking weird. It was a beautiful sunny day and he couldn’t figure out why he was acting so strange. After watching him for a while Jimmy figured out that Bean was trying to walk in the shade of the wall along the sidewalk and when that shade was gone he'd revert to walking in Jimmy’s shadow. Zig zagging all over the sidewalk; his number one goal was to exercise in ease. It's no surprise that today, while walking the dogs, I nearly laughed my head off as Cocoa walk with his head under Ecclesi’s big noggin for shade.

Now, one could perceive this as lazy or selfish, but we think it’s efficient. You might call him a bit of a green Bean.

"Cocoa Bean"
Beanster, Beanie Weanie,
Bean Bag, Green Bean, Bean Pole,
Coke, and Coaxster.

June 17, 2009

Jimmy Won 1st Place!

It's been four years since Jimmy golfed and as any perfectionist would do, he recently won first place at our local Christian radio station charity event. Congratulations Jimmy, Rich, Lonnie, and Mark. It was all for a good cause. We love you 88.5 KLJC!

You still got it dear!

June 15, 2009

God Is In Control

In Sunday school yesterday I taught on Romans 8 where Paul reassures us that we are more than conquers because of what Christ did on the cross and that His Spirit lives inside us as we live, breathe, and walk this earth. We learned that trials in life are to be considered precious and valuable because God has allowed them into our lives for a very special reason and that each trial holds great power to hone His greater character in us. We also discussed the great comfort of knowing that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. What sweeter words are there to plant deep into our hearts?

At the end of class one of the ladies quietly sat in her seat looking totally perplexed. As I approached her to say good bye she said, "I just don't understand verse 28 where it says God works His good through all things. Does that mean He works through all the bad things too? How can God bring good from evil?"

She went on to explain that she was not doubting God's word but simply could not understand this concept. Clearly her heart was honest, tender and seeking greater understanding. It was a precious thing to watch and I am glad the Lord gave me the privilege. I savored the moment as she searched through the pages of scripture to point out her question and watched as her hand slowly settled on the verse. She spoke to me but her eyes gazed off into space as if searching the heavens for an answer specifically from God.

Her question was so precious to me and I know it was priceless to God. She was like a child asking her daddy why the sky was blue and I can't count how many times I've approached God in the same fashion. During this tender moment I assured her that God invites us to ask Him questions and that when we do He is faithful to grant us greater understanding. I also assured her that even when we do not understand what His word is saying, it never contradicts itself. In fact, that is what makes Him God! If we understood everything about Him and how He works, He would not be the great I AM. It is in this great mystery that we can find comfort and rest in knowing that only He is God. He is always in control and one day our faith will become sight and we will understand His great, grand, and sometimes totally perplexing plan.

"For I am convinced that neither death nor life,
neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future,
nor any powers, neither height nor depth,
nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from the love of God
that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Romans 8:38-39

June 12, 2009

So, That's Where Mom Works!

Dani is a very visual person and has been wondering where I go when I leave for work, so she and Jimmy came for lunch. After a quick tour we headed off to the cafeteria for luscious hamburgers, tater tots, and cookies --- a sure way to make her smile.

Here we are in the beautiful bright glass
lobby of the hospital.

My office.
Dani was looking at my
co-workers who were giving her
a thumbs up.
There you have it.
Come again soon!

June 10, 2009

A Fun Day at Work

Dani's Day Hab program had a laua where she made a grass skirt out of newspaper and wore a pretty yellow leis. It's cute to watch her sign "laua." She waves her hands to the left and then to the right like a Hawaiian dancer.

She never enjoys getting her picture taken but seemed to enjoy modeling her apparel.

June 8, 2009

A Dedicated Soul

I'm beginning to see why dogs are called man's best friend. They make you feel so special as they follow you wherever you go and greet you with gusto no matter how long you've been gone. In fact, the longer you've been gone the greater the celebration! It's like having a fan club and paparazzi minus the questions and flashing lights.

Little Cocoa Bean is only six months old and already a dedicated soul. He follows me every where I go, even to the bathroom. He doesn't care if I'm bathing, washing my face, putting on cologne or spraying hair spray. He sticks to me like glue.

Here he is parked by the porcelain bowl
before I have the bathroom door closed.

My view from the tub.
(What a sweet baby)
Cocoa's faithful company serves to remind me how I am to follow God; faithfully, no questions, and with total peace and contentment. Thanks Mr. Bean for your pleasant reminder!

"Whoever serves me must follow me;
and where I am, my servant also will be.
My Father will honor the one who serves me."
John 12:26

June 6, 2009

"A Fair Amount"

"Ok, what are we doing today?" my stylist asked as I peered in the salon mirror looking like a drown rat. "Oh...take off a fair amount. It's getting too heavy to style anymore." I said in all seriousness.

"How much is a fair amount?" she replied in her usual patient and considerate way. That's when I burst into laughter. Hearing my ambiguous request coming from someone else's mouth uncovered how silly I sounded. We both began to laugh and discuss how different her "fair amount" might differ from mine. Oh how I love a careful stylist who works hard to give me what I desire in a hair cut.

On the way home I got one last giggle as my silly request replayed again in my head and was reminded how important it is to be specific as we lift our prayers to God. Generalities like "Father bless him, be with her, or heal so and so..." are as loose as my asking Kathleen to take off a "fair amount." It covers so much ground you're likely to get anything.

God wants us to pray, in fact He commands it. (Isaiah 55:6 and Matthew 7:7) But we are instructed to be specific in our requests. Why? Primarily so we don't become lazy. General, rote, and non-specific prayers, while well intended, lose their sincerity and meaning over time. Familiar and common they prompt us to lose our intimate connection with God, which is the last thing He wants. Like Kathleen, God asks us to be thoughtful and specific so He can taylor His answers to our unique need in order to bless us beyond our wildest dreams. Now how loving and kind is that.

Remember, nothing is too big or too small for God. He wants you to approach Him sincerely with everything that concerns you. Your prayers are a sweet incense that He saves and savors. When you speak He listens and yearns to responds. Rest in this truth as you offer your heart to Him.

"... Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense,
which are the prayers of the saints."
Romans 5:8b

June 2, 2009

A Turn of Events

When the global economy collapse, it took Jimmy's job down with it. His job as an SAP consultant has virtually vanished leading us to make changes we might not have otherwise made. With no alternative but to switch things around, I have returned to nursing and Jimmy is pursing his once part-time hobby of photography on a full-time basis. He is Mr. Mom and I head off to work. It's a big change but the Lord has blessed each of us abundantly. Jimmy is no longer flying out every week living in hotels and eating out, as he's done for 11 years, and I am back into the profession I've always been proud to be a part of.

As the full-time caregiver of the home, Jimmy is doing a fantastic job. He cooks (and is excellent at it), cleans, mows, runs the dogs, does the errands, dishes, and laundry. Tonight I went to put Dani to bed and saw she had crisp clean sheets on her bed from her daddy's hard work today. What a pleasure to know she's in the good hands of her daddy.

Perhaps you have gone through some changes lately too. Please share what the Lord is doing in your life and how He's provided in the midst of it all.

"Trust in the LORD and do good;

dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture."

Psalm 37:3