Friday, September 26, 2008

Wealthy beyond measure

I celebrated another birthday yesterday, and once again when my family began asking me several weeks ago about my wish list, I couldn't think of a single thing I wanted. Not one.

Gathered around the table a week or so ago, one of my daughters pointed out that she had almost 10 things on her wish list. "I have everything I have ever wanted and more," I explained. "I have Daddy, you guys, some great friends, a wonderful church, a roof over my head, and plenty of food to eat. What else could I possibly want?"

I've tried so hard to impart to my children attitudes that are in stark contrast to the consumerism that bombards us all daily. From every direction come messages that we must have have the best! the prettiest! the newest! the fastest! the coolest! the most technologically sophiscated! the most expensive! stuff available. No sooner do we get one new gadget out of the box and on its charger before something newer hits the market and suddenly the thing we have has lost its luster. It is no longer desirable to us, because our friend has something we regard as nicer.

What a trap.

Avoiding those messages is one of the primary reasons the televisions in our home stay off most of the time. I want my children to learn contentment. The kind that Paul wrote about in Philippians 4:10-14.

"I'm glad in God, far happier than you would ever guess ... Actually, I don't have a sense of needing anything personally. I've learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I'm just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I've found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am" (The Message).

You can imagine my joy when last night before dinner, G-Man wanted to ask the blessing, and somewhere in the middle of it, he spoke these words: "And God, bless all the poor people and let them be rich just like we are. Give them jobs and food and money and a place to live."

May we all be filled to overflowing today with a sense of just how filthy stinkin' rich we really are. Not because our bank accounts say we are, but because of all that has been lavished upon us by God, the One who makes us who we are.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The best part of a spanking

A few days ago, the kids and I were running errands when G-Man remarked from the backseat about some mischief he was thinking about getting into. I can't remember the particulars now, but I do remember thinking how much I love five-year-old boys. They'll tell you anything. At least mine will. So, there he is sitting in the backseat dreaming up something naughty to do. Aloud.

I wasted no time telling him, "But, G, that's something that will get you in a LOT of trouble with Mommy and Daddy. I don't think that would be making a wise choice, do you?"

"No," he answered slowly.

"In fact," I continued just to make my point and drive it home well, "that would probably get you a spanking."

He sobered for a moment as if remembering how much he despises discipline of any variety, and then his face brightened. "But after the spankin' comes all the hugs and cuddles! That's my FAVORITE part!"

I had to bite my lip to keep from laughing out loud.

"Hey G, here's an idea," one of his sisters volunteered, "why don't you just skip all the DISBEHAVIOR (dontcha just love that word??) and go straight for the hugs and cuddles? You don't have to act ugly to get attention."

That's some advice I hope he takes to heart. For a very long time.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A side of me you've never seen before






I saved the best for last ...

Yes, I already know I'm turning into my mother, so please don't leave me comments to that effect. It's scary, folks. Really scary.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Dear Mom

Two years ago at this very moment, I was standing beside your hospital bed in Litttle Rock watching you take your last breaths here on this earth. I simply cannot believe that this much time has passed.

I have replayed those last hours at least a million times in my mind since you left us, and although it still hurts that you're not here, I now understand that you couldn't stay any longer, and I'm okay with that.

The kids and I talk about you all the time and speculate on how you and Aunt Mary are spending your time beyond the pearly gates. Just this morning as we walked to school, Big Sister wondered aloud if the two of you celebrated your birthdays at Luby's by sharing a dessert.

We will celebrate your birthday tomorrrow with one of your famous chocolate cakes and will send up a big bunch of balloons and sing Happy Birthday. I have to believe that you can hear us and that it makes you smile to know your special day is not forgotten.

Thanks once again for all the love you gave so freely and the wonderful memories you left us to remember. You will never be forgotten.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

As if life weren't complicated enough

I was standing in my driveway a couple of days ago visiting with my father-in-law and his lady friend when the mailman made his rounds through our neighborhood. I sent Big Sister to the mailbox to see if we'd finally gotten our notice from Ed McMahon that he would be bringing us a check for millions. No such luck. Big Sister placed in my hands a manilla envelope addressed to me, and immediate dread washed over me.

I'd been summoned for jury duty for the next three months.

"Oh. No." I said and closed my eyes. "Why me? Why now?"

Now let me just say right now that I am a firm believer in doing one's civic duty. I am a registered voter. I actually do make it to the polls for (most) elections. I pay taxes and try to stay abreast of local, state, and national issues . I help old ladies across the street and never, ever speed while driving. I am a model citizen.

But jury duty? Really. I have no time for this. I work a full-time job and have a few little part-time gigs on the side. I am a wife, mother, homemaker and am now taking classes to apply to nursing school next year. I hardly have time to eat and sleep these days.

"No problem," FIL said, grinning. "After you tell them that you're married to a cop, despise all attorneys, and believe that insurance companies are always wrong because of a judgment that didn't go in your favor 20 years ago, they'll never call you up."

I have never been so tempted to take bad advice in my life. Didn't say I was gonna, I'm just tempted, that's all.

News to me

Just about the time I was sure all the bills from my four-day vacation had rolled in (to the tune of over $45,000 ... praise God for good insurance!) I found in my mailbox today a $1250 bill for ... are you ready for this? A PROSTATECTOMY!

Wouldn't you think that someone at the insurance company would question why (and how) the same patient could have a uterus and prostate removed?

Wanna guess who I'll be calling first thing Monday morning?

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The observation of a child

If it seems like I've forgotten about the blog lately, it's because I have! About 10 days before the kids started back to school, I was lying in bed one night drifting off to sleep, and the thought suddenly went through my mind, "You know, I always said when I get all my kids in school, I'm going back and finishing that nursing degree I started working on eons ago. HOLYSMOKES ... ALL MY KIDS ARE ABOUT TO BE IN SCHOOL!!!!!!!!!"

No joke. I was out of bed and on the internet in 2.3 seconds flat. Within 72 hours I had been readmittted to the university and enrolled in the only pre-req for nursing school that I could possibly take this semester.

The only hitch has been that I'm homeschooling my oldest this year, so I tote her along with me to class two mornings a week. What a hoot that has been.

We sit in the very top row of a large auditorium, and she takes her computer and books along with the hope that she can "do school" while I "do school". After the first class, as we walked back to the bus stop, I asked her what she thought.

"I think you're going to make an A+ in that class, Momma, because you're not sitting there texting all your friends while class is going on."

Oh, how times have changed since I took my first college class more than 20 years ago!