Saturday, January 02, 2010

Stand By’s

I used to love to shop. I worked at Nordstrom’s and Dayton’s and had an employee discount.  I bought so much my mom got mad.  She counted 50 pairs of shoes and declared No more!  Soon after that at work we had a vendor visit and we all got free skirts.  Of course I had to buy a shirt to go with it.  Duh!  I was kind of glad to move to my dorm where she wouldn’t notice.

After getting married and having kids my shopping habits changed.  I didn’t have as much time or money or a discount.  But if I was desperate I could always go into Kohl’s or JC Penney and find something.  I still had command of the stores and the styles.

Things have kind of gone downhill since then.  Last week, I went shopping with my mom and sister and I couldn’t find anything, even at Kohl’s.  Seriously Vera Wang, that is not cute.  I can’t get into ruffled shirts.  Free flowing blouses make me look pregnant. Even the sale prices are kind of high compared to the thrift store.   My sister suggested I go into “Hot Mama”.  I wondered if they had hoodies with their logo on the front.  It didn’t matter we didn’t have time.  I knew I was doomed when I couldn’t find anything I liked shopping with no kids at my favorite mall. 

All I wear now are sweatshirts and jeans and I even have stand by’s for those.  But then those dreaded days come that I have to dress up for a wedding.  I’d be all over a desperation shopping trip if I didn’t have to take a kid to urgent care.  The last wedding we went to wasn’t a problem because it was summer.  I finally found some skirts that I like on the clearance rack.  I pair these with a black sleeveless shirt and a denim jacket, my favorite.  I like black a lot.

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But they won’t cut it today when it’s 20 below.

Last winter I had to go to a business dress dinner for my Dad.  I was terrified.  I wore the same thing I’m going to wear tonight. In fact, I think in the last seven years I’ve worn the same ensemble to every event I’ve gone to in the winter. I went straight to my standby from 2002 which I bought in desperation on my way to another wedding.    I wear them every single time I have to dress up.  In the summer I just sub in my black capri pants.

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I like things that are long, black and cover me up.  So I bought this jacket on clearance in 2003.  I didn’t buy the pants because I already had some really great black pants.  Unfortunately the jacket is a denimy navy blue. 

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So back to the basics I’ll have to go.

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What to wear with it? The choices are slim.  I think I have a problem.

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Black and denim are my best friends. 

In the Bible God wants the farmers to rest their fields every seven years.  So maybe it’s time to sabbatical my clothes and do something fresh.  Like a new pair of black pants and maybe some new black shirts and nice denim jacket.  Just what I had in mind!  I wonder if they still sell them?

Friday, January 01, 2010

The Night Before New Year’s

Twas the night before New Year’s Eve, and all through the house

not a creature was stirring, everyone was konked out.

There were plans for parties and sleepovers with friends

with hopes for a late night and a party that never ends.


We rushed home from Grandma’s and our Christmas fun

onto our friends we were ready to run.

Such good times up ahead to be had

in our house for the girls and their brother, the lad.


But then from the bedroom came a great cry

a sore throat and a fever that was pretty high.

A head hurt so bad it caused an up-chuck

Haven’t we had all this sickness enough?


New Year’s Eve day the sickness was more than a bother

We snuck in to the clinic at the eleventh hour.

The clinic was closing and our benefits were about to roll over,

“Yep, it’s strep throat” the nurse said with power.


Away to the pharmacy we went in a flash

How late were they open and do they take cash?


And then in a twinkling I heard the phone beep

Mike just had to have a key of which I had keep


Back home to Wrenshall we went in a dash

Then turned around quickly causing whiplash.


The pharmacy was open just a few more minutes

we got all the cards copies and paperwork finished.

We took our medicine and headed straight home

When not feeling well it is no fun to roam.


All the night we partied, we partied a lot

we saw some good movies and wiped up some snot.

We served up a cocktail of amoxicillin and ibuprofen

and tried to be quiet so the sick ones weren’t woken.

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Just when I thought I couldn’t take any more

of toys, blankets and bodies all over the floor.


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I thought what a night, what a horrible night

It’s New Years Eve, this just isn’t right!

I looked around at the pajamed diseased

and hoped that the sickness in the new year would cease.


Just when I thought I couldn’t be more depressed

I sat down and snuggled in for a rest.

We were all together safe and right cozy

What did it matter if some cheeks were too rosy?


I think when I look back at this holiday

“What a great New Years!” is what I might say.

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And then I might say as I cuddle with Snow White:

Happy New Year to all and to all a good-night.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Word to the Wise

Have you ever been stung by someone’s words?  Every time it happens to me it is harder than I remember. I hate being hurt. I can remember certain times when I was spoken to with a less than loving word that have stayed with me for years.  It happened again just yesterday.  And it hurts.  Even after forgiveness those words and the hurt they caused don’t go away.

Today I’ve been wondering how many times I have made someone feel crushed by my words.  Chances are – a lot.  I talk way too much.  I speak without thinking. That is not wise. Words are powerful.  The things that come out of my mouth have consequences.  The ones closest to me take the brunt of my quick tongue.  I often let frustration, anger or sadness have their way and come out in the form of a rude comment or harsh word.

I was just telling the kids about an object lesson I saw in Sunday School years ago.  Dylan was chosen to come up front. Bev handed him a tube of toothpaste and told him to empty it into a bowl. After he was done, she asked him to put it back in.  He gave her a helpless look.

Impossible right?  Because as easy as it squeezes out, once it’s out it’s out to stay.  There’s nothing that can be done to put it back in. That’s how it is with words.  They quickly roll off the tongue, but once they are out they can’t be taken back. 

I need to learn to let my words be few or at least fewer. 

Ecclesiastes 5:2-3

Do not be quick with your mouth,

do not be hasty in your heart

to utter anything before God.

God is in heaven

and you are on earth,

so let your words be few.

As a dream comes when there are many cares,

so the speech of a fool when there are many words.

Now that a lot of my communication is over email and Facebook, I also need to watch what I type.  People reading email can’t hear my tone or see my body language.   It’s easy to type a quick response without thinking of the implications because you are not looking the person in the face.  Some are people I never see and haven’t seen in more than ten years.  But I “talk” to them all the time.

Today while I am hurt over words spoken to me, I am remembering all the words I have spoken.  Were they spoken out of love?  Were the spoken to build others up?  Were they spoken in haste?

The problem is deeper than my quick tongue.  The things that easily roll off my tongue are born in my heart.  I have ugly attitudes and thoughts down there in the depths.  How am I supposed to control that?  Jesus addressed this when he was on earth.

Matthew 12:34-37

You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good?  For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.  The good many brings good things out of the good stored up in him.  But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken.  For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.


I need to slow down my tongue and fingers.  Words are powerful.  They can be used for great hurt or great encouragement.  They can be used to tear down or build up.  No matter how hard I work at it, sometimes I will use my words to hurt.  I will use my words for revenge.  I will snap back out of impatience. I am thankful that when I fail, God is faithful to forgive me.  He helps me forgive others who hurt me.

I don’t want my family and friends to think of me and remember hurtful things I’ve said.  I want them to know that I love them.  I want them to know I am their biggest fan.  I want them to be encouraged.

But more importantly I need to Christ to change my heart.  If my heart is soft and filled with His love, the things that pour out of my mouth and keyboard will be filled with love and grace. 


Psalm 19:14

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart

be pleasing in your sight,

O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Proverbs 16:23

A wise man’s heart guides his mouth,

and his lips promote instruction.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Resolved To Hope

I love Christmas and am always happy to see it come.  But I’m even happier to see it go.  By the time we make it through the marathon month of parties, programs, baking, shopping and travelling I’m ready to get the tree put away and get on with life.  I’m ready to bury the past year and look forward to a new one.

I’m not that eager to make new year’s resolutions though, because I know I won’t keep them.  I always have the same ones.  I am going to get organized.  I am going to exercise and eat right.  I am going to lose the baby weight since the baby is almost three.  I am going to keep my house clean.  I am going to make the most of each day.  I am going to be a better wife and mom.  In other words, I am going to be perfect. 

The stores certainly understand what we wish for by putting all their rubbermaid storage bins and treadmills up front and on sale.  I don’t think there is anything wrong with making resolutions.  The problem is that we’ll never be able to get to that place of perfection. 

A new year and a new start is the time for hope.  Hope is the heartbeat of the continual desire to be more and have a fresh start.  We long for a better future.  We hope. 

Hope is part of how God made us.  We desire the perfection that he created us for.  Perfection that is not of this world now tainted with sin. 

Romans 8:20-25

For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. 

We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.  Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.  For in this hope we were saved.  But hope that is seen is no hope at all.  Who hopes for what he already has?  But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

All our cravings and desires that we write down on the first of the year are really looking for Christ.  He is Hope.  He brought hope to this world at Christmas but by New Year’s we are looking for it in the exercise or organization aisle at Target.  We can’t find it there.

Christ put hope in us when he made us. 

Colossians 1:27

To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

We can only find it in Him. We can find hope in knowing that someday we will have it all for eternity.  If you are looking for it anywhere else you will be disappointed.  I will be disappointed around January second or third that I was unable to keep my resolutions again.  But I’ll never be disappointed in the hope of Christ and the peace that brings.

At the top of my list for 2010 is to hope in the right thing.  The One that will bring hope to my life every day, whether I’m getting up and exercising or not.  Whether my house has all the toys in place in their little plastic boxes.  Whether I have a bad day and am not the best mom.  Christ offers hope despite all my imperfections. 

If you don’t know the hope of Christ, make that your resolution for 2010.  He is waiting for you with open arms full of love and hope. 

Lamentations 3:19-23

I remember my affliction and my wandering,

the bitterness and the gall.

I well remember them,

and my soul is downcast within me.

Yet this I call to mind

and therefore I have hope:

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,

for his compassions never fail.

They are new every morning;

great is your faithfulness.