Friday, October 31, 2008

A Hero of a Halloween

It's a bird....It's a plane...No, it's a SUPER HALLOWEEN!

*(In case you are wondering why his cape is maroon, a certain someone had his heart set on being an "Aggie" Superman.)

Happy Halloween, Y'all!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Shameful Family Secret Exposed

A few days ago, Bridget and I loaded our kids up in her minivan and headed over for a play date at Sarah's, along with our friend Angela.

As expected, within minutes, our children had scattered enough hot wheels, Lego's, dress up paraphernalia, and other various items across the house to entertain themselves for a few hours.

Somehow in the midst of multiple diaper changes, breaking up sharing squabbles and helping children in and out of costumes, we managed to have actual conversation.

One of the topics we discussed involved habits we are currently trying to break our children of and as we did so, those who had already found success in that particular area shared their motherly wisdom.

My area of concern?...The pacifier habits of a certain little boy.

Brace yourself, as I reveal that Park still sleeps with his pacifier (or as it is known in our family, pa). It looks hilarious to see my very over sized, highly verbal three-year-old sucking furiously on this itty bitty baby apparatus. Yet, there seems to be no end in sight.

In case you are wondering about the motherly wisdom I received on this subject, let me just start by saying this is why I love these people.

First order of business, Sarah reminded me that no adults we know still require one to sleep. And if Park does happen to be the first grown man to hold on to his pacifier habit, nobody will really know about it, besides his wife, who will already be joined with him for life by the time she discovers this quirky little problem.

Truly, she has a gift for putting things in perspective.

Bridget was quick to point out that anyone who scales the shelves of his closet to secretly obtain the treasured item might not be quite ready to dispose of it at this particular juncture in life.

It was at this point that I felt it necessary to fully disclose the seriousness of the situation.

You see, Park comes from a long line of pacifier hoarders, but perhaps the most serious offender of all is his Lolli.

When Lolli was 5-years-old, some family friends who had a small baby came for a visit. Upon leaving, the distressed mother of that unhappy baby realized a pacifier had been misplaced. Everyone tore the house up in an attempt to restore the missing item to the young child.

Everyone EXCEPT Lolli, that is.

It turns out that my precious, wouldn't hurt a fly mother FAKED looking for the beloved item. She waited until the unsuspecting guests had completely given up the rescue mission and left without it before she made her move.

The door had barely closed behind them before she swooped in and retrieved the MIA pacifier from behind the recliner. Making a mad dash to her bedroom, she stored the stolen treasure in her dresser, where she intermittently sucked it mercilessly for the next several years.

As I relayed the shameful family secret to my girlfriends, their eyes widened with amazement.

"Yeah, you are working against some serious odds," they said, thoughtfully assessing the situation.

That seemed like an opportune moment for Sarah to whip out the Pioneer Woman's sheet cake for consolation, as they reiterated that Park's wife will be the only person who will know that he still sleeps with his pacifier.

And it probably goes without saying that Lolli is not pushing for Park to be stripped of his pa, either.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Hope Floats

Today I took Park to story time at the library, followed by some time at the adjacent playground.

I was struck by how grown up he has become as he sat on his little square of rug, intently listening to the librarian. He excitedly sang about the monkeys jumping on the bed and stomped his feet to "If You're Happy and You Know It", glancing back at me every so often to flash a big grin.

In that moment, I thanked God for giving me some extra, unexpected time of having Park as my only child. My heart swelled with love as I showered him with my undivided attention. Despite my longing for another baby, God is revealing to me the joy in trusting Him with my current circumstances and fully appreciating the blessing of where He has me in this moment.

To be completely honest, some days I am much better at this than others.

Oftentimes I feel more like Peter, as he took his gaze off of Jesus after being summoned out of the boat. That calm tranquility of locking eyes with His Saviour quickly turned into a sinking panic as he changed his focus to the high waves that enveloped him.

Today, as we made our way to the playground I began to push Park on a swing that put us in close proximity to a conversation taking place between two other mothers. Both women had 3 small children of their own and they were discussing if they would have more children.

One mother said, "If we do, I will not wait long. I don't understand why anyone would have their children spread out. Don't they realize how hard they are making it on themselves? Their children will never entertain each other and they surely won't have close relationships down the road."

The other mother nodded her head in agreement and went on to tell a story about one of her friends who had a two year old and "wasn't even thinking of trying for another anytime soon." The two shook their heads in disgust as one of the women summed up the situation with, "If you have your kids further than three years apart, it almost seems like it wouldn't even be worth it to have another child."

Suddenly, I felt the tears welling up in my eyes, as the peace and joy I'd experienced in the library trickled away. I broke my gaze with Jesus and the high waves enveloped me in a big way.

Being that they were clearly oblivious to my presence, there is no doubt that they meant no harm by their conversation. But, in addition to being hurt by their careless words, I began to feel a righteous indignation boiling in my blood.

How could they be so ignorant? What gives them the right to belittle God's timing in other people's lives? How insensitive to speak so negatively of things they haven't experienced!

But in that angry moment, God reminded me that I, too, have been guilty of speaking with authority on things I know nothing about. Guilty of unintentionally making incorrect assumptions or insensitive statements when I wasn't the least bit aware of what that person's private life entailed.

Just the other day in Bible study I was looking at a beautifully put together, well groomed woman. I marveled at her cute hair cut and designer clothing, secretly thinking that she must be either materialistic or vain to put that much effort into her appearance.

Green eyed monster, anyone?

Imagine my shame when I mentioned how cute her haircut was and she responded that this was the first day she felt well in so long that she had decided to go all out in getting ready that morning.

She was in the throws of battling stage four breast cancer. Oh, and that cute haircut?... A wig, covering her precious bald head.

As women, why are we often so quick to go negative about other women? We are so full of opinions and overflowing with such an abundance of words, that we sometimes forget to use them to build others up; to encourage a sister in need; or simply to discern when NOT to speak.

My righteous indignation at the playground melted into a broken hearted repentance and a new realization.

It's high tide, friends.

Women all around us are facing unimaginable waves and being asked to get out of the boat and walk in faith. (Jesus did not say IF trouble comes, but rather WHEN!) The Bible makes it crystal clear that the key to weathering storms is to keep our eyes on Jesus. But perhaps just as important, I'm realizing that I don't want my careless words to be the stumbling block that causes someone else to break their gaze with Him.

Ladies, let's speak words of life to sinking sisters in need!

May the words of my mouth and meditations of my heart be pleasing to you O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Master of Disaster

Please allow me to introduce you to Captain Destructo (left) and his partner in crime (right).

And judging from how infrequently I've been posting lately, re-introducing myself to the blogging world may be in order, as well.

Hi, I'm Brittani and things have been a little hectic.

So until I return, I thought I'd leave you with the top 5 titles of some posts that I SHOULD have written lately:

#5) Our Closet Threw Up in Our Bedroom (and other tales of hubby's construction obsession)

#4) Hip Hop Hooray (the making of a student ministry video)

#3) On Pins and Needles (a quest for an acupuncturist)

#2) Smashing Pumpkins (a trip to the pumpkin patch gone wrong)

#1) Beady Eyes That Made Me Cry (caught in the crossfire of hubby's war with a mouse)

Hoping to expand at least one of these into an actual post in the near future......

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Life in the Slow Lane

In a few short hours we will be heading out to the lake to soak up some rest and relaxation that looks something like this:
And there is no doubt that hubby and brother-in-law, along with some very excited little boys, will also be doing lots of this:
Those same excited little boys will spend most of their weekend in a boat, digging in the dirt, or feeding corn to these:
Except on Saturday, where they will temporarily put dirt digging on hold so we can join up with our people:
Here's to a long weekend of book reading, Aggie football, time away with family, and slow paced living.

And here's to hoping that yours is equally as enjoyable!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Savoring the Gift of Motherhood

Last year, our pastor's wife, Lisa Young, began a new ministry called Flavour that meets on a monthly basis at our church. It is a place where woman of all ages gather for an hour in the middle of the day to be encouraged and inspired to use the unique "flavour" God has given us to influence our families, friendships, and communities.

Recently, Lisa came to Bridget, Sarah, and me, to share with us that God has been expanding that vision even further.

He placed a desire in her heart to create a brand new ministry of Flavour that would provide a program specifically designed for mothers of young children to come together for refreshment, rejuvenation, and to embrace this remarkable time in life. She wants Fellowship Church to provide a place where women in the same season of life can befriend one another and find encouragement and support from other mothers who are currently in the trenches with them.

Definitely qualifying as women in the trenches, Bridget, Sarah, and I were asked to lead this new ministry called Savor. (And I can't even tell y'all how well this has worked for providing us with a great reason to increase our number of Chili's nights!)

In all seriousness, the three of our lives have been so enriched by our friendships with each other and we are so excited to see all the relationships that God will develop through women coming together to savor the gift of motherhood.

If you live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, we would love to invite you to share this experience with us as we gather for the first time on Tuesday, Oct 7. Not only is it going to be fun and inspiring, but who can turn down free childcare?

Interested in more details? Click here.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Tooting My Own Horn

You know it's not a good sign when I haven't even started the post, and I already feel the need to preface it by saying I have never found humor in bodily functions.

Without getting too graphic, let's just say that any noise requiring an "excuse me" after it does not rate high on my laugh meter.

Even typing about this subject is causing me to turn three shades of red, but I'm enduring the embarrassment for the sake of having this memory recorded in writing.

Poor Park might as well have been a horn today because I can't even count the number of toots that left his little body.

And each time it happened, he would politely say excuse me, in between giggling hysterically. By about the 10th time in a row of this happening, I suggested that he take a few minutes to sit on the potty.

However, even after doing so, the problem was not solved. But after about 5 more excuse me's and the resulting belly laughs, Park suddenly got very serious.

Eyes wide with concern, he turned to me and said, "Mommy, I can hardly believe how much my bottom is talking today! I'm afraid it might not have any words left for tomorrow."

And thanks to that statement, I found myself giggling until the tears rolled down my cheeks.

Apparently, those bodily functions rate higher on my laugh meter than I gave them credit for.

Thank you, Lord for knowing this girly-girl needed a son. He has not only broadened my horizons and stretched my comfort zone, but expanded my sense of humor, as well.