January 4, 2014 Already?; Say What?


The calendar is already mocking me.

The calendar mocks me already. How is it the 4th of January? At this rate, I’ll be doing my Christmas blog for 2014 before I can say jackrabbit. Not that I would ever say jackrabbit, because why on earth would I? I mean, I think I’ve said jackrabbit like, never.

Anyway, I have until mid-March, early April off, and already I feel my vacation time is dwindling. I’m slightly panicked over it. Can we rewind those four days, please? (For those of you who get two weeks a year, or worse, one week a year of vacation, and are presently considering killing me…well, let me say, you, of ALL PEOPLE, should know how time flies while on vacation. I’ll stop while I’m ahead.) Honestly, I already feel the time flying. I’ll be hustling the garden season away before you can say jackrabbit, at this rate. (There’s that word again.)

My job is feast or famine. I am either working 24/7 till I drop, or I’m not working at all. And, when I’m not working, there is so much to catch up on. Sleep, for one. Bills (but I’m not working, so go figure). Doctor appointments. Car servicing. Sleep. Long walks. Organizing everything before spring when I’ll be working 24/7, again. Sleep.

Today, I had designated to update my resume, wanting it done before I leave for a ten day vacation. But, typical me, I got distracted. Look! Something shiny!

I did this, instead.


Scripture memorization for 2014


The Book Of John, my favorite to memorize, study and teach

In case you’re thinking I am oh-so-creative, I downloaded the pages from The Holy Experience blog. While pilfering the web, while sitting by the fire, while fiddling with my camera, while deciding if I need/want a new computer, while staring out the window, while flipping through seed catalogues (yep, that time already—so psyched). While doing anything but updating the resume, which I have now decided should be turned over to the hands of a professional. If I pay someone, it might actually get done.

I did compile my resolutions for the year, Scripture memorization obviously one of them. I tried to stay away from anything that involves heavy lifting, running shoes, or typing. Here’s my list for the year:

1. Be an encourager.

2. Drop the victim mentality and live fully, presently.

3. Love the young’uns.

4. Love Christ.

5. Have mercy.

6. Scripture memory.

I am doing pretty good, so far. I told the 19-year-old I liked his hair, which might qualify as a lie instead of encouragement, but hey he was happy. And, a 19-year-old happy is the same as a two-year-old happy. I’ll do dang near anything for that.

Number 2 is getting easier, a life long journey to realize it really isn’t all about me. Number 3 will be a piece of cake, number 4 not as easy, though I long for it to be. I’ll pray for it to be. I’m good at mercy…..when it comes to me. So, 5 should prove challenging. However, 6 will help with all of them. In fact, without 6, 1-5 wouldn’t happen. So perhaps, it should be number 1. And perhaps, not working on my resume but cutting out Scripture verses wasn’t a waste of time. Maybe it will prove to be the most productive thing I do this year. And maybe, it will slow time down. Because stepping into the presence of God, through the communion of his word, is stepping into eternity, where there’s literally all the time in the world.

Spare the Rod Grandma, Spare the Rod!!

So, we’re in church on Christmas Day, and what to my wandering eye did appear–well, not Santa’s reindeer. No, I was treated to domestic violence.  I exaggerate. Somewhat.

Listen I spanked my children. Yes I did. And, not because Scripture speaks to it:

Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them. Proverbs 13:24

But, because I found it to be the most effective means of discipline for the BIG STUFF. I know, not everyone agrees with spanking. These days, you’d be hard pressed to speak out on the issue if you do use that form of discipline for fear of someone calling DSS, but what I witnessed in church Christmas morning was not a spanking. In fact, it was not discipline at all.

Picture this: 10 a.m. Christmas morning, the church bells have rung, the pews are filled, hymns announcing the Christ child’s birth are joyfully being sung, when whack!, a GRANDMOTHER, not the mother, backhands a 3-4 year old boy for making typical toddler noise. It startled my sons and I, sitting two pews back from her with the in-between pew empty, so much so, that my youngest son instinctively put his arm around me, as if to protect me.

What transpired after that is actually difficult to write, so I won’t elaborate, but I actually wondered if we were secretly on that show, What Would You Do? 

And, as much as you might want to do something, it isn’t always in the best interest of the child for you to do so. Its possible the parent, or grandparent, will take their embarrassment out on the child later at home.

But really, HOW DARE SHE? 

I thought of my own toddler munchkin, who’d stayed at home with mom. What if someone dared backhand my two-year-old granddaughter for making normal two-year-old noise? My heart breaks.

Here’s what I wanted to say to the other grandma in church on Christmas: Spare the rod, Grandma! Spare the Rod! That’s one of the actual rights of a grandmother. We get to spare the rod, and spoil the heck out of the child. My sweetie will yell, “YaYa come get me,” when put down for sleep. And, I go get her. I know, drives the parents nuts, but as the saying goes,  The reason grandparents and grandchildren get along so well is that they have a common enemy. (Sam Levenson)

But really, what was killing me too, was the fact that this child stands a huge chance of growing up to hate Jesus, hate church, hate her. There’s the sadness. That he won’t remember singing, “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so…” he’ll remember dreading the whole church ordeal for fear of repercussions from Grandma–what big teeth she has!!

That’s what made me want to scream at her. But, I prayed instead, and not because I’m all spiritual, but because when I feel helpless, that’s where I head–to God. He knows what is needed far more than I do–for that sweet, little boy, for the daughter, who could not stand up to her mother, and yes, for the grandmother, who needed his grace all the more. I could only wonder, who had backhanded her? Who did not spare the rod on her? Grace, grace, grace.

When my children were little, I would pray before disciplining them. Lord, I would ask, what do they need? Grace or law? I couldn’t see into their little boy hearts, so I asked my heavenly Father, who loved them even more than I, the rod or the cross? Rarely, rarely was it ever the rod. The Cross, Cinthia. Show them the cross.

Grace, grace, God’s grace, grace that is greater than all our sin. (Julia H. Johnston)





Puking on Christmas

There was this one Christmas.

My oldest son standing at the top of the stairs throwing up. His younger brother could sleep Christmas morning away, reasoning that he had all day, and all school vacation to tear open and play with Santa’s loot, but not him. My oldest rarely fell asleep on that hallowed eve. He pestered his little brother until the youngest one conceded, and CAME DOWNSTAIRS BECAUSE SANTA HAS COME. My oldest couldn’t bear to close his eyes in anticipation of what the upcoming day would bring–Santa, family, celebration, church, joy–a day when the ordinary becomes extraordinary. He couldn’t bear for the day to have a flaw in it, and there he was, doubled over puking, unable to walk down the stairs. 

I could not fix it. I always thought I was supposed too. But, in less than 24 hours I’d have my head over a toilet while he played with his Christmas toys, sipping ginger ale. The day is sometimes just too much. It can be filled with so much anticipation that it rarely meets the expectation.

My oldest son now celebrates Christmas with his two year old, and wife. The two year old, my little Miss Priss, is more like her mother than her father, she takes the hits of life with a little thicker skin.

Miss Priss Decorating Her Tree

Miss Priss Decorating Her Tree

This year, on our way home from Christmas morning church service, I told the oldest, “I’m glad we go to church.” He didn’t respond because me being glad about being in church is not news to him. “Otherwise the day would be anti-climatic,” I said.  “After all the anticipation, and then the Christmas morning madness, if there was no church service to remind us that Jesus has come, well, it’s a let-down. But church does reminds us, and so its okay if the day isn’t perfect.”

My oldest thought about that for a second, reminding me of his father as he shifted gears, and made a right turn. He even bites his lip like his father does. He responded, “Agreed.”

I thought, I fixed it. I fixed that Christmas morning when he was puking, I fixed it for all of us. Or perhaps I should say, Jesus did.