"If the God you believe in as an idea doesn’t start showing up in what happens to you in your own life, you have as much cause for concern as if the God you don’t believe in as an idea does start showing up. It is absolutely crucial, therefore, to keep in constant touch with what is going on in your own life’s story and to pay close attention to what is going on in the stories of others’ lives. If God is present anywhere, it is in those stories that God is present. If God is not present in those stories, then they are scarcely worth telling." ~ Frederick Buechner

17 April 2013

Even in the Unexpected...

My husband's birth mother was a mere child of 14 when she conceived him.
"Children having children" doesn't even begin to express what I feel when I think about what that must have been like. N and I have talked several times, especially since our son was born, about how grateful we are that she chose to let him live...

... to bring him into this world...

... to accept that he was a gift and not an "inconvenience"...

... that her choices had made him part of her life story. 

I'm also immensely thankful for his grandparents, who made sure that his birth mom knew that she had options, that she didn't have to desperately turn to strangers in a clinic.

Tears burn my eyes and my heart physically aches when I consider what might have been...

And all the potential husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, siblings, friends who have never had the chance to bless and be blessed, to love and be loved on this earth. 

"Life is literally a gift -- precisely because the Giver wasn't required to give the gift at all." 

All those thoughts and feelings spinning and reeling in my head and heart since I read about Gosnell ... once again, she put it into poignant words, words I could not say.

Immensely grateful today for love and Love, which conquers all.

16 April 2013

In His Image

I was reminded of this truth this morning by Ann Voskamp: "The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble" (Nahum 1:7).

Soon after the news from the Boston marathon broke yesterday, John Piper posted something that has been going through my head repeatedly. He said that, as he watched the footage, he couldn't help but notice the profound empathy reflected in many of the people's immediate reaction to the bombs ... To run TOWARD the injured and not away to their own safety.

It it heartbreaking to hear of these frequent tragedies, and honestly, if we got reliable, global news all the time, the amount of daily tragedies would be overwhelming. My stomach tied up in knots this morning when I read that one of the victims was only eight years old ...
Someone's baby, just there to cheer on his daddy.

Martin lost his life yesterday. His dad and older brother only sustained minor injuries physically, but they are left with an incredible loss, and not only in Martin's death. Martin's sister has had her leg amputated, and his mother has been seriously affected with a brain injury.

In these times, I am grateful for the reminder that Love conquers all, and we who are made in His image have the capacity to love through the hate, to overcome, to persevere. We, too, can run the race of endurance, and we are assured victory, with no surprise endings.

Events like yesterday's are designed with the intent to instill anger, fear, and hate. Let us be angry, yes, angry at the injustice of a broken world that allows people to die senselessly every day, whether from the hands of an insane bomber or from basic dehydration, where mothers beg for a scrap of food for their babies, where there is no hope for medical care for some, where parents intentionally mutilate their children so they look more pathetic on street corners...

But let us not fear or hate, because fear and hate bind us. They hold us back from moving forward, from healing, from fighting the battle courageously.

We are created in His image, each and every one of us. I loved this reminder from Dove today that there is beauty where we don't see it, that each of us is lovely, especially to Him. We mourn with Boston today, but we will not be defeated by hate.

Love is greater.

Love conquers all.

Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.
Psalm 31:24 

14 April 2013


Our wonderful neighbors were enjoying the sunshine yesterday and doing some work in their backyard. B went over to say hello and was given this yellow rose to "give to Mommy." One of his latest phrases is, "Here you go." He even says it for himself when he receives things: "Here you go, B. Sank you."
We have five of this lovely clover patches around our backyard.
Newly transplanted shrubs
Gorgeous bunches of irises
More irises outside our bedroom windows
Plentiful roses in the front yard
So many buds!
Three rose bushes in the front yard, two in the back by the driveway
N with our very first lawn mower!
It's electric. No fumes, no pollution, less cost. Woohoo!
Here is a photo from this past Friday. He was decidedly unhappy with me for telling him we had to leave the playground.
The garden hose is a constant source of never-ending joy for B.
Oh, no! I've been spotted! Must run!

10 April 2013

More Sickness ... But Our First House Guest!

Well, our latest round of sickness proved that you can't judge a book by its cover ... or a pediatric practice by their walls. I'm a bit emotionally exhausted from trying to deal with them, so let's just say that some people missed their true calling in life when they mistakenly decided that they deserved to care for children. Since the several "incidents" we have had with this particular pediatric practice, I have heard of three other families who have had terrible experiences with them (and the specific provider with whom we had such an issue).

Needless to say, we have found a different doctor for Little B.

With all the sickness we've had this past week (RSV for Little B resulted in a terrible cold over the weekend for me and a tentative diagnosis of walking pneumonia or a slightly collapse lung for N -- "tentative" in that they didn't run x-rays, but he is on antibiotics and an inhaler), I didn't get a chance to post anything about our VERY FIRST HOUSE GUEST!

Our sweet friend Tanya, who was Little B's very first gift-giver and babysitter, came to visit us from New York last week for four days. We were all excited to have her here, but B was beyond thrilled. He enthusiastically helped get the guest room ready for her arrival and even insisted that we put some fresh flowers from our yard in a vase for her. He was very excited about picking her up at the airport (and seeing airplanes) and talked about "Miss Tang-yah" and her "big suitcase" for days preceding her visit.

Unfortunately, not only was B sick during Tanya's visit, a cloud of gloom settled over Dallas last week. Seriously, Texas? It doesn't rain hardly ever, and then, when we have a friend we want to take sight-seeing, it decides to rain for three days in a row?

Well, we didn't let the weather hinder us too much. The first full day Tanya was here, she and I actually ended up having an unexpected girly day together, because N decided to take a family sick day to stay home with B.

Yes, I know how blessed I am. It really was such a treat, to spend an entire day with a friend, doing things I never do!

There's a great chain of thrift stores called Plato's Closet that has several locations in the DFW metroplex that I had been wanting to check out but hadn't had a chance to. Tanya and I scored some great deals on tops, averaging roughly $3-4 per item. Not bad for gently worn, brand name clothing! We had planned on going to a couple different stores, but after doing so well at the first store (and all the time it took us to try everything on), we decided to stop for lunch. I couldn't let Tanya come all the way to Texas and not have great Mexican food, so we found a terrific little restaurant and enjoyed a pretty scrumptious lunch.

I'll interject here and say that I forgot to take my camera along that day, so there are sadly zilch photos to document our girly day. 

Well, during lunch, Tanya surprised me, saying that she was going to treat us to pedicures! She was a little floored that the last time I'd had a pedicure was over two years ago, when I was largely pregnant (and hormonal) with Little B -- and she took me to that one, too!

It was a bit of an adventure finding a good salon. My GPS took us to a residential neighborhood for the first place we tried. We pulled up in front of a nice brick home and thought, "Hmm, don't think that's it." We detoured through Sephora, where Tanya found waterproof liquid eye liner that was seriously waterproof, drove in front of the salon recommended by the Sephora sales associate and promptly drove away, laughing because it was fancy-schmancy and we were in jeans and flip flops. We finally found a great one right next door to the Chinese buffet N and I like (there's a very sweet waitress there who makes B laugh), near our realtor's office.

The next day, we visited South Fork Ranch, home of the TV series "Dallas."
Yes, that would be my curious son, trying to "figure out" the ATM.
He was delighted with these ice cream scoops and wanted me to "buy it, beep beep" (because that's the noise the scanner makes at the grocery store when we buy things).
We also went searching for bluebonnets, because really, we couldn't let Tanya leave Texas without having her picture taken in a field of bluebonnets!
We had originally planned to spend that afternoon at the Dallas Arboretum, but it was so rainy and gray, we shelved that plan. Which is probably just as well, because that was the afternoon that all the poop hit the fan with the pediatric practice we had been going to. I was so thankful to have Tanya, who is a certified nurse, there with us!

Anyway, despite the weather and the sickies, we had a good visit with our friend, and we can't wait for her to come back again. Hopefully, next time, it'll be sunny and warm and everyone will be healthy!

The remainder of the week looked pretty much like this:

09 April 2013

The Prayers of a Two Year Old

This afternoon, following a time out, Little B and I were having our usual cuddle time as we prayed.

Here is how the prayer went.

Me: "Dear Jesus..."
B: "Dear Jesus..."
Me: "Please help B..."
B: "Helping me..."
Me: "Make..."
B: "Cinnamon rolls!"

Shortly thereafter, he brought out his baby Bible and sat on the floor looking at the pictures.
As he got to the stories involving Jesus, he started chanting, "Lovee Jesus! Loving!" Suddenly, he stopped, bent down low so his nose was almost touching the page, and shouted, "WAKE UP, Jesus!"

I glanced down to see what he was looking at:
This does not bode well for whenever he has a younger sibling who is trying to take naps during the day.