Friday, December 7, 2012

The Name

I was thinking the other day, while driving in my car, about the name of Jesus.  More specifically, I was thinking about the honor and the privilege that I have in being able to speak it with boldness and confidence.

I was thinking what a wonder it is that I'm allowed to breathe out the syllables of His name at all. 

I can't really explain it, but I bet if you got alone by yourself for a minute and closed your eyes and really concentrated on Jesus and Him alone for a few'd begin to possibly understand the magnitude of what I'm speaking about here.

Jesus is awesome, and awe-inspiring...not to mention Holy.  To be in His presence is to not only be instantly filled with love and adoration, but also horror.  Horror at the sin that has now been made glaringly apparent in His light.

Imperfections that once seemed minor and inconsequential are now unmasked for what they truly are...pure, stinking, rotting death.  Separation, rebellion, disobedience.  Evil.

Surely someone with such defilements would be completely reviled by The Holy One.  Someone who bitterly rages about having to forgive that certain someone over and over while blithely overlooking her own shortcomings and need for constant forgiveness...that type of hypocrisy would most certainly be shunned by The Eternal right?

Instead, we are granted the unspeakable grace of being allowed into His Presence at the merest whisper of His Name, and when the Light shines on all those imperfections, we are offered a trade. 

Our weakness for His strength. 

Our frailties and disease for His wholeness and healing.

Our utter depravity for His righteousness.

On and on the list goes.  His goodness knows no end and His kindness endures from generation to generation.

There is only one catch to this whole deal.

We must choose to trade.  We cannot knowingly hold onto evil with one hand and expect to touch His heart with the other.

We must choose.

I'm sure you've noticed the silence here at Mimi and Butterbean these past few months.  Perhaps someday I'll be able to share about it all, but at this time, part of my choosing means letting all of what has passed...go. 

And so...once again I breathe The Name of Names. 

It is at once a prayer and a praise, for things I'm letting go of, and the things I will receive in this ridiculously upside-down trade.

Pray with me?  Choose with me?

Let's let what has passed in the old year go its way.  And as we breathe in and out, uttering the Holiest of Holies, may we let the Light wash over us and fill us with joy and hope for the new year to come.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Season Of Shut Yer Mouth

Well...y'all...Mimi has been going through a time.  A time.

*insert deep dramatic sigh here*

On a lighter note, I have discovered that I'm somewhat in love with Duck Dynasty.

Have you seen it yet?  Oh my word if not, then please do all you can do to clear your schedule and take a gander.  It's a hoot.  It's clean, funny, and for once, there's not a bunch of scantily-clad 40-ish women doing all they can to destroy one another's weave.


As I type, a Duck Dynasty marathon is on and I've laughed more this evening than I have in a while.

Because...did I mention I've been going through a time?  To say I've been a bit concerned and a little on edge lately would unfortunately be an understatement.  And to make matters worse, the lesson for Mimi through all of this hand-wringing and teeth-gnashing has been to keep her mouth shut.

Which is not exactly something I'm familiar with, all bloggy evidence to the contrary.

And if I go a bit further here and be really brutally honest real problem hasn't been my real problem has been me.

I still have a control issue.

The good news is...I am making strides and while I've suffered a lot of defeat...I've also had some small victories.

So yay God.  You're awesome and Holy and Wonderful and all that I need.  You're faithful when I'm faithless and have patiently endured my raging and tenderly calmed my fears.  I am Yours...I belong to with me and mine as You see fit.

And oh...if You could somehow arrange a meeting between me and Phil and Miss Kay...that would help to heal a lot of wounds.  Because they own lots and lots of guns, Jesus...and I have a feeling Imma need one soon.

Just kidding.

Sort of.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

One Year Later's here.  The anniversary we didn't want to have. 

It's been one year since you left us.  Well...maybe I should correct that.  You left us a long time ago, but your body didn't give out until a year ago.

A lot has changed in this past year.  A lot has stayed the same.  I'm still married to your son.  I still love him and he still loves me (most times) and we still fight to stay together every day.

Your grandbabies are now adults mostly.  K will be 20 this year and C will be 18.  And your great-grandbaby...sweet Butterbean, will soon be a year old.  You never got to meet her in the flesh.  You left 6 weeks before she arrived.  6 measley weeks.

You would not believe how much she is K made over.  You would be in love with her and she would be in love with you.  I wish that the anticipation of her arrival had been enough to convince you to stay. 

I wish we would have been enough...your family.  I know losing your husband six months earlier was hard.  It was unbearable for all of us.  But couldn't have fought a little harder?  Worked a little more to find a reason to live?

Butterbean has her mama's eyes.  And the exact same hair.  There are days when her Bops and I look at her and it takes our breath because she reminds us so strongly of K when she was that age.  She'll be walking in a few short weeks.  And not long after that we'll be celebrating her first birthday.

And we'll be thinking of you.  And wishing you were here.

I remember when K turned a year old and those first years as a mother.  Man, I was so insecure and so uptight about everything.  You and I definitely did not see eye to eye on a lot of things as far as she was concerned, but there was one thing I was never in doubt about.  I knew you loved her.

Probably in ways you didn't even think you could love.  I'm sure it took you by surprise.  I know you didn't want to be a grandmother at that time.  I know you were too young.

I know because I'm too young. 

But none of that mattered once the baby arrived.  All that mattered was her and making sure she was loved and spoiled in all the ways a granddaughter should be.  I'm sorry I ruined some of that for you by being so insecure and so worried about things that didn't matter.

I'm sorry I helped to make it into a competition for you.  I get it now.  I know what it's like to try to erase regret by trying to be Mimi Supreme.  I'm trying not to do that to K but it's very hard.  She doesn't have the benefit of hindsight like you and I do.  I keep trying to remember that, but I fail at it a lot.

I believe that you have finally found the peace that eluded you here on earth, because I believe in the mighty hand of our merciful and just God.  I know that you see and know now, all the things you couldn't see and know before.  And I'm glad.  I'm glad you can finally see all the love that we have had for you all these years.  I'm glad you can finally rest enough to let it in.

I just wanted to say that to you today.

And that even through all of the crap, and the what ifs, and the wishing it could have been otherwise...we still love you.

I still love you.

I wish you were here.  *sigh*

But you're not.

Anyway...happy anniversary.

Friday, October 5, 2012

And Sometimes...All You Can Do Is Grab A Bag Of Popcorn And Enjoy The Show

GEEZE-O-PETE!!! When did October get here?  What happened to September? Or July for that matter?

I suppose what I'm trying to say here is...well I don't know really what I'm trying to say.  I'm sure it was something nifty about time and Jim Croce and a bottle.  Or it could just have been about my lack of discipline and getting behind on stuff.

Something to that effect.

Anyhoo, I think when last we spoke I was tellin' y'all about my brush with the stripper pole.  Turns out, that was not to be the only time during vacay that I would almost come in contact with the exotic dance industry.  Oh no. 

After much back and forth with our friendly GPS lady and approximately 11 U-turns...we finally arrived at our destination (completely intact and only slightly worse for wear).  We were pleasantly surprised by the ocean view from our condo "balcony."  I put the word "balcony" in quotation marks because it was only about a foot wide.  Two people could fit out there, but your behind would definitely be smooshed up against the sliding glass door.

We snapped some quick pics of the kids faces as they got their first view and then we did what normal people do...we dropped our bags and hightailed it out to the beach.  Now, in order to get to the beach, we had to go down one floor to the lobby and walk past the pool and hot tub.  As we were walking I noticed some people out there that were a bit, well, out of the ordinary...but I just chalked it up to "Hey we're at Myrtle Beach" and tried to keep up with the kids as they ran pell mell to the ocean.

A while later we dragged the kids away from the ocean in order to feed them dinner.  We only accomplished this feat with promises of returning as soon as possible.  We got cleaned up and hopped back in the car (oh joy! rapture!) in search of grub. 

Now, I should remind y'all...I have never had to drive myself around Myrtle before.  I was therefore, immediately lost.  But we had our trusty GPS lady to guide us and what do you know...only 3 minor U-turns and one trip through the North Myrtle "red light" district later (see paragraph #4)  and we found a suh-weet little Mexican restaurant. 

We walked in and almost walked back out because someone had seriously doused the entire place in Pine-Sol.  It was nauseating.  We considered leaving but we were pretty much done with all the "being in the car" so we decided to stick it out.  PSA: Mexican food and "pine-fresh scent" do not go together well.

After dinner we headed back to the beach for one last dip before collapsing into our beds.  Keep in mind we had been up since 4:30 in the am.  Y'all we were tired.  Which might help you understand the whys and wherefores of what happened next.

My friend began working her "mom" magic and somehow managed to get the littles calmed down enough to drop off to sleep.  We had turned out the lights in the condo and were settling down ourselves when the people I had noticed earlier decided it was PARTY IN THE USA time.  Because spending their whole day doing shots at the pool-side Tiki bar hadn't been enough.  And lucky for us...our room was right over the pool/hot tub area.  So we got to hear every bit of slurred conversation and "friendly banter" happening between the guys and the gals.

One of whom started to get really upset.  Girlfriend and I peeked through the curtains and noticed that one of the party-goer guys was a little on the short side.  Someone had called him on it or asked him about it and I don't know what else was said but it must have been bad because next thing we know, homeboy is up out of the hot tub going "Come AT me BRO! Come AT me!"

Now y'all...Mimi is all about people of all shapes, colors and sizes.  So please don't hate me for saying this...but the sight of that little man dripping wet and hopping (I kid you not...he was hopping) and screaming...well it was somewhat humorous.  It didn't help that we were slap-happy by that time either.

After the initial chuckle or two, when things didn't seem to be calming down, this was the point when Girlfriend started getting a little mad herself.  We were TRYING TO KEEP TWO KIDS COMATOSE UNTIL AT LEAST 6AM FOR CRYING OUT LOUD.  It was 11pm and the rules clearly stated (we knew because being the nerdy girls we are...we actually read them) that 11pm was quiet time.  Girlfriend wanted those peeps gone.  I just sat back (see blog title) to see what would happen.  Plus I didn't want to get in her way.  She was getting this strange twitch in her eye and mumbling something about sleep so...I just tried to survive.

Girlfriend marched to the phone...picked up the receiver and called the front desk.  Yes.  She TOLD ON THE PARTY-GOERS AND THE ANGRY LITTLE MAN.  It should be mentioned here (because my wordcount isn't NEARLY long enough and you haven't been completely bored to tears yet) that the front desk guy was all of 150 pounds soaking wet.  And his name was Richard.  Not Rick.  Not Ricky-Bobby.  Not Studly McStudmuffin.  Just Richard.

BUT...he WAS covered in tattoos so we were hoping there was enough toughness in him to get the job done.  We were especially worried that Richard might have to tangle with the ANGRY LITTLE after Girlfriend hung up we did what normal, mature, grown-up Christian ladies would do.  We peeped through the curtain to watch the show.

Home-boy Richard was brilliant.  Those people argued and whined...but Richard the Night Manager got them out.  We were high-fiving him and giving him the thumbs up and telling him (from the safety of our second floor room and behind our curtains) that we had his back.  At this point, Richard turned and LOOKED UP AT US and gave us a thumbs up.  And that's when we realized the sliding glass door was OPEN and he had heard us.

Every. Word.

Mortification.  It's a definite buzz-kill.

Tune in next time for the story about the one-legged lady and Lt. Dan.  No, I am not kidding. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Cracker Barrel And The Stripper Pole

You know what two phrases are rarely heard together in a sentence?

"Stripper poles" and "Cracker Barrel."  But today, friends...prepare to be amazed as history is in the making where these two phrases are concerned.

Only in my world could they ever be together.  A fact for which I thank God for...truly.

Now, I love ye olde "CB" but I am in no way affiliated with that corporation, nor am I being paid to mention anything about them.

I just like to eat there.

And a few weeks ago, whilst on yon vacation...I decided to stop there.  To eat.  With my friend and her two littles.

The only problem with it was, we were in South Carolina and apparently, they do things a bit differently there.  In my neck of the woods, when you walk in to a CB, the dining hall is always to your left, and the general store is to your right.

Not so in South Carolina.  It's all backwards.  So after hitting the bathroom up and mentioning all the geographical oddities of this particular locale...we commenced to being seated and eating breakfast.  It should be mentioned here that Girlfriend's four year old has an appetite that is approximately the size of an ant.  She's a little stick figure with white blonde curls and gorgeous blue eyes that swallow her whole face. 

She is lethally adorable.

The one thing she does love to eat in any sort of measurable quantity is bacon.  Because...who doesn't?  Even if you don't eat it because of diet're still craving the salty, crispy goodness of porkfat.  Yum.  So...Princess Pea (as she shall henceforth be named) and I ordered ourselves a nice helping of bacon.

At which point Princess Pea says, "You wike bacon too?"  And I said, "Psshhhttt...yeah...I lurve bacon!"  And then she giggled and squirmed and put her hand up to her mouth to whisper to me, "You and me can be bacon buddies!" *snort giggle giggle snort*

To which I replied solemnly, "Yes.  Yes we can."  And so we are even to this day.

Now during this whole exchange, the eight-year-old was discussing with his mother what he would have and so on and so forth.  When the food came out...he took two bites and declared loudly to all within hearing range that "This is the best food I've ever had!!!"

Have I said to you that I love these kids???  I mean...they are foodie geniuses!

Eight-year-old declared and avowed his love for his meal again to our waitress, who then proceeded into the kitchen to tell the cook...and buddy boy got a huge thumbs up from our table.  And eight-year-old's day was made when the cook waved enthusiastically in response.

And then we all rolled out to the car...having eaten so much bacon and such that we could no longer walk.

I tipped the waitress with some "ones" from my "stripper stash."

Oh wait...I forgot to tell you about that part.

Prior to the culinary episode at CB...we had stopped at a gas station.  I walked into the store to pay because all I had on me was cash.  Large bills.  It was a bit early in the day and the cashier only had ones, so she asked me if it would be ok if my change was a bunch dollar bills.  I said, "Sure."

To which she replied, "Just tell everybody you got them at the stripper pole last night."

To which I said, "Alrighty then."

And then I thanked her for thinking I had the flexibility and dexterity to be able to work a pole.

At my've got to take the compliments where you can get them people.

So please bless the Cracker Barrel people who have to serve copious amounts of bacon to weary travelers who can only tip them with cash that may or may not have been earned at a stripper pole.  And bless the gas station attendants who have the optimism to believe someone whose physical shape largely resembles that of a bowling ball...would seem desirable enough to have warranted that many dollar bills.


Tune in next time folks when Mimi throws together the phrases, "Angry Midget" and "Hot Tub."

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Driving In The Car With Kids...A Guide

So I promised a second part to the whole vacay story.   So this week, in not-so-Paul-Harvey-esque fashion, I promise to relay the "rest of the story."

But first...a list.  Consider it a guide of sorts.

You're welcome.

1.  If you're planning on driving a car with a friend and two kids in the backseat for a significant distance, make sure you wait until the last minute to pack so that you won't go to bed until 3 hours before you're supposed to leave.  And then as you slide into the driver's seat...tell your friend that you didn't get any sleep.  This is to build up her confidence that she and her offspring will survive the drive.

2.  Make sure that your route is filled with as many mountainous roads and switchback turns as possible.  This will ensure that your friend at least will stay awake even if you can't.  Also, if you're gonna go off the side of the mountain...then at least one of you should get the "full effect."

3.  Don't be afraid of eighteen-wheelers.  Get as close to them as you can. If you can coast in their blind-spot, so much the better!  This will give your friend an opportunity to get closer to Jesus, as she will certainly call out His name several times.

4.  Take the time to plan a vacation at a destination you've never actually had to drive to before.  This will give your lazy GPS lady a workout and goodness knows she needs one.   It will also give your friend something other than the door-handle to clutch as you go barrelling around those switchback curves.

5.  Get friendly with your gas pedal.  This is because your lazy, good-for-nothing, cheap, worthless GPS lady will give you wrong directions...and you'll want to be able to show off your donut skillz while performing numerous "legal" u-turns in traffic.

6.  Be observant.  You want to make sure to point out those stop signs and various shrubbery to the kids because they might not have noticed them the first 8 times you passed them.

7.  Don't forget to call your husband en route to let him know that your tires feel funny and your engine light just came on.  Do this in front of your friend...that way you kill two birds with one stone and can possibly spark a revival, as this will up the amount of spirit-filled prayer that your friend is now doing non-stop; not to mention all the "special" language now being uttered by your husband (who is hundreds of miles away).  Remember, where two or more are gathered together....

8.  When filling up your tank in a strange city, go to the one with bars on all the windows and a parking lot filled with "hooptys" bouncing lots of bass and gangsta rap.  This will help the two youngsters in the backseat get the full message behind Elvis' classic hit "In The Ghetto."  Because vacations don't always have to be filled with fun and sun.  They can be educational too.

9.  Take only cash with you.  That way, when you're in above-mentioned gas station, you can flash it to any and all passers-by as you go in to pay.  But make sure you take your car keys with you into the station, as your friend may by now be slightly over-reacting and won't unlock the car door without a certain amount of "encouragement."

10.  Buy candy for the kids to gobble up in the back seat.  This move cannot be overstated as it will improve the chance for a full sugar melt-down right as you're pulling into your destination and are getting ready to unload the car.  Your friend will appreciate the fact that her kids have demonstrated their vocal abilities to the entire establishment, because who doesn't love a "grand entrance?"

So...that's it.  My guide to traveling by car with other people.  And kids.  I have no copyright on this guide, so feel free to tweak it with your own special variations and make it "yours."

Also, no children or friends were harmed in the making of this guide.  At least...not physically.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Time For Silence

In my opinion, today really isn't a day for a lot of words.   I wanted to post about the rest of my trip, but to do that would dishonor the day.  Instead, my thoughts wander once again with the rest of the country back over the past 11 years.  My thoughts wander, and I wonder.

After all this time, I think that the people lost in the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and Flight 93 weren't the only ones who died that horrible day.

Thousands of military personnel from all over the world, Iraqis, Afghanis, and Pakistanis have also died paying the price for one man's hatred.

The America I grew up in died that day.

Today many will vow to never forget.  Many will grieve again and cry as they see the images of smoke and utter chaos again.  Many will share their memories of where they were the moment they heard the news.

Some will stir up old anger and fear.

Some will stretch out yearning arms for lost friends and loved ones...and find only empty air and the pain of memory.

Some will comfort themselves with the thought that Osama Bin Laden is dead.  Justice has been served.

Or has it?

As I isn't a day for a lot of words.  It is a day for introspection.

I admit I have spent a lot of time in the past 11 years shaking my fist at the "enemy."  I've chanted "USA! USA!"  I've flown the flag and cried with the rest of the country. 

And now I begin to question. 

2,996 individuals died on September 11th. 

Estimates range from 110,000 to over one million military personnel, insurgents, civilians, journalists and government contractors have been killed in the resulting wars.

My father served in the military for 22 years.  I have the utmost respect for our brave men and women in uniform.

So I ask this in humility...with respect and no small amount of trembling.

Has it been worth it?

I wonder how the 2,996 people who died in the planes, the Pentagon, and the Twin Towers would answer.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

In Which I Tempt Fate A Second Time

Y'all.  I believe I have documented somewhat my feelings about myself interracting with nature.  Don't get me wrong,  I like nature and I think it's good and stuff...but it could be so much better if it were devoid of bugs and had better air conditioning.

But last the self-sacrificing Christian I am, I ventured out once more in the name of friendship and freedom.  As in "free lodging and food" freedom.   An issue which I'm sure our forefathers would have included in the Constitution had there been such things as condominiums and vacation resorts in their time.

Instead of rolling down the river, this time I was at the beach.  I shall not name the beach except to say that it starts with "Myrtle" and ends with...well..."Beach."  I haven't written about it until now simply because I'm lazy the words wouldn't come out.  It was a trip of epic epic-ness in a way that only those who are in love with Dr. Sheldon Cooper and the movie The Great Outdoors can understand.  The selection of wording must be just right so that you too, Dear Reader(s), can experience what my friend and I experienced last week.  You lucky dog(s), you.

A couple of months ago, a very sweet friend of mine mentioned to me that she had an opportunity to go to the beach, but no way to get there.  She sort of asked in an off-handish way if I would be interested in going...I'd just have to drive and provide the gas and she would take care of the rest.  In what I can only describe as a cranial infarction, I said, "Sure! I'll go!"  Obviously I had completely blocked out my previous flirtation with paralysis a few short months ago and had now opted for certain death by various and sundry means on our nations coastline.

Now I should note here that my friend and I had heretofore spent a little time together, but nothing like this.  I mean, 10 hours in a car and then 4 nights together with her two littles?  It had not yet been attempted.  At this juncture I should also tell you that I adore her kids.  She has an 8 year old boy and a 4 year old girl.  In my opinion...this is the best age to take your kids anywhere.

My friend had been to the ocean before...but her kids had not.  So we were both kind of pumped to see the reactions on their faces.  I had mentioned to my pal that we would leave super-duper 6am...(and we all know what a fan Mimi is of pre-sunrise activity) and that the kids would probably sleep most of the way there.

It was at this point when my friend patted my shoulder and got this sad, yet loving and sympathetic gleam in her eye as if to say..." sad, strange, little's been a while since your kids were small hasn't it?"  I shrugged it off as Mom-jitters.  You know, the kind where you really want people to think your kids are the greatest thing since sliced bread and you're nervous and tense that what they're really gonna do is make people think that you and your husband should be henceforth banned from ever procreating ever again?  Sort of like Honey Boo Boo's parents?

Yeah...Mom-jitters.  Not that I've ever had them or anything.  My kids were angels I tell you.  ANGELS.

We got the trunk packed up in a fashion would have made R. Lee Ermey proud, got the kids buckled into their carseats and proceeded to put the pedal to the metal.  Or something like that.  Actually, I went the wrong way right out of the gate, but it was all good because I needed to stop at the gas station to top off the tank.  (That's my story and I'm sticking to it!) We got that done and I get back in the car and I kid you not...we had come all of 2.5 miles and we needed a potty break.

Yep.  It had been a while since ol' Mimi had gone on a trip with littles.

There was a Hardee's across the street from us which also happens to be the primo spot for all the local geezers to get together for breakfast and solve the world's problems.  I know this because there were two of them who stared at us upon entry and exit of afore-mentioned potty break and made us feel as though we had tread carelessly on sacred ground.   Like we had let the kids pee on the Lincoln Memorial or something.  I waved to them as my friend shoved her kids into the back seat and we peeled out of there like two bananas.   (Get it? Peeled? Bananas????)

Clearly...we were off to a super-duper start.

To Be Continued...

Monday, August 20, 2012

See...This Is Why I Need To Carry My Camera Everywhere

I saw Elvis on Saturday.  I had no idea he lived here, but apparently he's living the good life downtown.  I'm happy to report to you that the white jumpsuit with exaggerated collar and huge belt are still in play.  Although I do wish he would get his tailor to use somewhat thicker material. 

Because Mimi really didn't want to see that much Elvis.

I know it sounds too good to be true being as there was a funeral and a grave (which we all KNOW is fake) and this is the reason why I really do need to carry my camera with me.  Because truly, some things just require photographical evidence.  The camera on my so-called smartphone is not very smart so it's no use to me at all.  Plus, I'm a somewhat semi-professional photographer so isn't there some sort of unwritten rule?  Aren't there like, the Ten Commandments of Canon?

If anyone out there knows the answer to that...feel free to holla back at me!

In other news, I had to be at the hospital unexpectedly on Saturday.  Not for medical reasons, but because as stated above, I'm a somewhat semi-professional photographer.  I do newborn portraits for Bella Baby Photography on a part-time basis. 

It's a fantastic job...I mean, hello? Newborns?  So delicious!  I could eat up everyone of those precious littles!  (Not literally. I'm sure you knew that but, just in case...I don't mind a little PR, but that headline on CNN might not be the kind of PR Mimi needs.)

(Notice how my use of "PR" makes me sound like I know what I'm doing.  Or not.)

(It might just make me sound like a big ol' idiot.)

(Have you noticed that I like parentheses?  And rabbit trails?)

(SHHH! I'm hunting WABBITS!!!)

(Oh dear, I've totally de-railed.  It's Monday.  That'll be my excuse.  Sorry.)

So yeah...hospitals.  I was at one.  On Saturday.  Yep. 

The point that I'm not making very well is that even with photographing scrumptious little babies and spending all my time on what I consider to be the happiest floor of a can still be a depressing place.  There are babies born every day into precarious situations that make little sense to me.  And it's a wonder to me that in a place filled with sickness and is still bursting forth.

But then, that's our world isn't it?  It's crazy that on this sin weary planet, right smack dab in the middle of the enemy's playground...there are new beginnings and light and life everywhere.  This is an awesome testimony to the power of our God.  He truly is all around us.

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
   If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
 If I take the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
 Even there Your hand will lead me,
And Your right hand will lay hold of me.
 If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me,
And the light around me will be night,”
 Even the darkness is not dark to You,
And the night is as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are alike to You.
Psalm 139:7-10 (NASB)

Isn't that last line wonderful?

It makes me feel safe to know that even when I don't know what's going on, and I can't see my hand in front of my face...God sees and knows and nothing...not even darkness can overwhelm Him.

I do however wish that darkness would envelop Elvis a little. 

Because y'all...that white jumpsuit was just a tad harsh on the eyes.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

My Baby's A Senior...Wait..What?

JEEZ-O-PETE y'all!!!  My sweet son, the one I introduced y'all to little bit ago?  Is now officially a senior in high school.


(I'd upload a picture, but really...does anyone want to see a middle-aged, slightly plump woman lose it?  In some cases...the imagination is truly much better than the reality. Trust me on this.)

We took him to Waffle House to eat breakfast this morning. Because nothing spells "class" like a side of hash browns, smothered, covered and chopped. 

I don't know if I've ever mentioned this to you all before or not, but Mimi is not what one would term as a "morning person."  That's usually why my posts (what there are of them these days) usually don't show up until after 10 in the am.  Because that's usually about the time my speech starts to become coherent.

Add to that a wee bit of hunger and a smidge of impatience, and PRESTO! All of this non-morning person-ness ended up in a slightly unpleasant encounter with our waitress. 

It all started innocently husband refused to order any breakfast and I was concerned, and was all "Hon-EEE you need to ORder something." (I'm sure the whiney tone in my voice blending with the Bob Seger tune blaring out of the jukebox added just the right touch of ambience and tranquility for our little family outing.)

As soon as the words popped out of my mouth the waitress said to him, " just got the EVIL eye."

Now y'all...I know what the bible says about showing mercy and forgiveness and what-not.  But as I said, my brain doesn't work well in the wee morning hours of 7 - I may have forgotten all about Jesus and Peter's little chat about the 70 times 7 stuff. 

That waitress may or may not have been given a tip.  Because really?  Random strangers calling you out on your non-morning glory ways just does NOT inspire generosity in most cases.

So you can see how my son's First Official Day Of Senior Year started off with a real bang.  He got to see his mom being a paragon of Christian compassion and overflow with desire to be "Jesus with skin on." To all you young mothers out there, if you EVER need advice on how to send your kid off properly to school...I'm your gal.

I'd post a picture of how thrilled my son was to have started school this morning, but it turns out that my smartphone is not so smart.  I told it to upload a picture to FB this morning at roughly 7:15.  As of now it has uploaded exactly 0% of that one little picture. 

Whoever said we don't war against flesh and blood must not have ever owned a smartphone or eaten at Waffle House.

Monday, August 13, 2012

This Post Brought To You By The Letter "B"

"B" as in Butterbean.  It was all Butterbean all the time at Mimi's house this weekend.  She recently turned 8 months old and is no longer the sweet little bundle that loved to be held and jiggled and whatnot.

She is now a sweet little busybody who has learned to crawl and climb.  For Butterbean, it's all about the adventure...the more dangerous something is, the more she's attracted to it.  Toys?  Pah!  Those are for babies!!!  Give her the electrical outlets!  She wants to feel the burn! And as for Mimi?  She's just another stepping stone to that towering summit known as the living room sofa.

(If I haven't lost 15 pounds from chasing and climbing after her, then my scale is clearly broken and needs to be destroyed.  I sense a little DIY project coming on!)

The 'Bean has also discovered my laptop and her favorite thing to do is

yrghqa;ekcx,v a;sldpzy q/kzncv;yeioruhoidfhgn/z,.mcn a[weiurjngayghop;431038947urhofnSDmnfq03481p;3orlhnfdvbbg/eiwtyiu-387658tjg.

That last bit there was typed by Butterbean.  It says...."I love Mimi's keyboard."

('Scuse me while I wipe up the drool.  Sorry.)

When she gets hold of my laptop I have this image pop into my mind that somewhere in the bowels of a mountain in Colorado, the W.O.P.R. is booting up for another nice rousing game of Global Thermonuclear War and some military commander is saying, "Take us to DefCon 5."

But that's just me and my little friend known as, "Paranoia."

Don't judge me.

Anyhoo...the 'Bean also has 6 teeth now and I have a nice imprint of them on the fleshy part of my forearm.  She was kind enough to give it to me last night.

Butterbean is also working on learning what the word "no" means.  I have a feeling from some of the looks she gives me that she already knows the meaning, she just doesn't care.  But that couldn't be true could it?

Not my sweet, precious little grandbaby! 

If anyone has some Prozac they could lend me...that would be awesome.

Just kidding.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Running With A Limp

Today's post is somewhat introspective and might appear to ramble.  If you get to the end and say "Well...there went 10 minutes that I'll never get back," don't say I didn't warn you ahead of time.

Do you remember that amazing footage from the 1992 know, where that guy is running and he pulls a hamstring during the race?  Don't remember? Take a gander...

This young man had done everything he was supposed to do.  He had trained, he had eaten all his veggies, he had the support of his team, his family and his country.  He was out his calling...he was running in perhaps the most important race of his life.

He was doing what he loved...and he got hurt.

Isn't that the way of it sometimes?  Life is hard.  And that doesn't end just because you're a Christian.  Instead, in many ways, life just gets harder.

What's interesting to me is in the interview segments.  The commentators are all saying, "Oh, that's so painful, I never could have gotten up."

So what made him get up?

Pay attention to what Derek himself said about the incident.  He said that when the pain died down, he remembered where he was and what he was doing.

In essence, after the initial shock and pain...he remembered that he had a purpose.  And his purpose (in this instance) was to run.  So he gets up. And the end...when all he could do was hop...someone comes down from the stands, puts his arm around him and helps him to the finish line.

You all already know it was Derek's daddy.

Listen friend, and you know who you are.  You stepped out in faith to run...perhaps believing that the victory would be yours this time.

And truly, it is.  Just not in the way you imagined.

The pain is probably really intense right now, but it doesn't have to end you.  When you get your breath back...remember.  Remember who you are, why you're here, and most of all...remember what you are doing.

And then get up and keep going

Limp, hop, crawl or whatever you have to do...but keep. going. 

At some point down the line...and maybe it's already happening...your Daddy is going to meet you on the track...and He's going to put His loving arms around you and make sure you get to the finish line.

Don't give up.

Because in this race...that's the true victory.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Well She Started Off With A Bang...

But now I've just sort of petered out to a dull phfbbbbtttt.

(That's the closest I can come to spelling out the sound a balloon makes when it's being deflated.)

In other news...have I ever told y'all about my beautiful son?

I've never introduced you?  Oh.  Well.  I'm a shoo-in for Best Mom Award then aren't I?

Here's a picture of him from about a minute ago...

Actually...that's not right.  My son will be 18 years old in December.  But it FEELS like it was a minute ago. *sniffle, softly crooning Precious Memories*

He's heading into his senior year of high school. (Oh my word I feel the ugly cry coming on...gimme a minute...)

Ok...sniffle...I'm back.

Where was I? 

He's my baby/man-boy.  At times he flummoxes me with the thoughts that come out of his mouth.  We can be sitting next to each other on the couch and laugh over...nothing.  Not just little haha laughs.  Knee slapping, mouth-open-with-no-sound-coming-out-tears-streaming-out-of-our-eyes type of laughing.  (My husband usually just looks at us like the nerds we are, shakes his head and goes back to watching ESPN or whatever.)

He's the funniest kid and the most aggravating.  He's passive-aggressive, so when I tell him to clean his room he says "Okay" and then conveniently forgets.  He also plays football for his school.  Go figure. (He would describe himself as being a lover not a fighter...but that when it comes to football all bets are off.)

He has a tremendous heart and..ahem... personal note to you females out there.  The first one of you to break his heart, I will personally come to you and scratch your eyes out.

He might be passive-aggressive, but I'm just plain-old aggressive because I am his MAMA.  And honey, you better know if you mess with're definitely gonna be dealing with me.


That should keep him from having a serious relationship for about 40 years or so....

Back to that sweet heart of his....Butterbean is ga-ga over him and when he walks into the room, I no longer exist for her.  He hugs everybody.  I've had women in my church come and tell me how much it means to them that he hugs them, or smiles at them.  He's just a good guy.  Not perfect by any means (note room cleaning paragraph above) but good.

He's been at football camp this week and, well, I'm missing him a lot...and thinking about what next summer will be like when he leaves...and won't be coming back in a few days.

This son has given me so much.  He actually tells me, the screw-up mom of the century, how great I am and how grateful he is to have me.  And not just when he wants something either.  I don't know how I will learn to live my life without having him there to greet me at the door each day with a hug and a "Hey mom, how was your day?"  I mean, how does any woman learn to wean herself from that much love?

Oh yes, he's given me a lot.  This man, this boy, this gift to me from a gracious God who knew I would need him so much. 

And my fervent prayers, whispered in hope and in desperation each day, are that he has received from his father and I the firm footing and solid foundation that he will need to succeed.  That he knows he is loved for the mere fact that he exists.

Do you know that son?  Do you?  I don't love you for what you do, or who you are...I love you because you live and breathe.

Oh son...this is my desire for you, that the love you have shown will be given back to you shaken down, pressed together, and running over.

I love you...beautiful boy.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Does This New Blog Header Make Me Look Fat?

Hey y'all!

Notice anything different?

Hint:  I already gave it away in the blog title.

Extra Hint:  Scroll up and look at the title of the blog.

Didja see it?  YEAYAH BAY BAY!

That's what I'm talkin' about!  The 'Bean and I have got our sassy on and we got a whole new look.

What do you think?  Do you love it?  Do you LOVE IT?  (Not like biscuits and gravy I know...but still...squee!)

My sweet internet pally Jessica Bowman of Bohemian Bowmans designed it and it is so us.  I don't know if you've noticed or not...but Butterbean and I are not exactly highbrow.  We ain't lowbrow neither (take THAT Hodges and Harbrace!) but we are what I would call...lived in.

Know what I mean? 

Some people keep their living rooms immaculate.  They've got plastic covering the furniture and everything is just so and it's more a museum than it is a place to dwell.  Then you've got people who live like pigs and never clean, and the only things more numerous than the children are the dogs.

The 'Bean and I are in the middle of that spectrum.  We are not spic and span...we are lived in.

So...(aren't you so mesmerized by all this nothing-ness?) Jessica and I talked back and forth all evening last trying to convey all my crazy to her and she doing her best to understand what I meant by "I love that color but it's too blue...let's try chocolate brown."  Because everyone knows that chocolate brown is the next color in the spectrum after blue.

Why the dandelions?  Oh I'm so glad you asked.  (You didn't but let's just go with it) I loved the dandelions on the basic theme from Blogger.  It spoke to me.  They're a bit of whimsy but explanatory in a way.  Those little seedlings are on the wind with no control as to where they'll land or how everything will end up.

That's me and Butterbean.  Our tagline says "We have no idea what we're doing but we're having fun anyway. So there."  And truly, as evidenced by the posts and the writings on this blog...we have no idea whatsoever as to what we are doing.  And we're ok with that.

And the brown paper bag?  Honey that's us again.  Plain old brown paper bags.  With a splash of green and chocolate brown for color.  No plastic for us thank you very much!

What you see is what you get.  We hope you like what you see, but if you don't you don't. 

We are just little seedlings floating on the wind.  We might land in good soil or we might land in poo.  Who knows?  But wherever we land, we know it's gonna be alright because eventually the wind will pick up again and take us to our forever home.

Which almost kinda sorta makes sense.

Kind of like this blog!

Until next time...keep a' floating!  And if you hear Kansas playing "Dust In The Wind" softly in the background don't worry.  It's just gravy for the journey friends...gravy for the journey.

Monday, July 23, 2012

On The Road To Emmaus...Shaun and Micah

Can I be honest with you?

Sometimes I feel like I just am not getting Jesus.  It's like I read the words...but nothing's clicking.  No pistons firing, no lightbulbs going off, no shouts of EUREKA!!! Just a lot of "BLAH BLAH BLAH" interspersed with some "YER DOIN' IT WRONG!"

The Lord is speaking plain English (I read the NASB...that's how I know it's plain English) but we apparently still aren't speaking the same language.

It's frustrating sometimes.

Then, there are moments of what I would call almost clarity.  The times when I get it but I can't describe what I'm getting, I just know I'm getting something

Like back in the '70s when your dad is up on the roof messing with the antenna and all you see on the channel is squiggly lines but you can sorta kinda make out a know something's happening...but you're not really sure if it's Monday night football or a rerun of M*A*S*H*.

(Oh?  What's that you say?  You're too young to remember anything other than cable tv?  Being a good southern Christian woman I can't say things like "Shut. Up." or "I hate you."  So I'll just say, "Bless your heart.")

Then, there are some days, when just like the travellers on the road to Emmaus, someone breaks bread and blesses it.  And the scales fall off of your eyes and you wonder how, HOW could you possibly have missed something so simple?

My stalking victim internet BFF Shaun Groves and his assistant Micah Watson came to visit last evening to sing and talk about Compassion International.  Micah quietly and efficiently assisted Shaun with the sound and video stuff, instructed us newbies on what to do, and got the paperwork in order that would make its way all around the world to let the least of the least know that somebody cares about them.

It's not the type of job that gets a lot of applause or thanks from anyone other than maybe Shaun. 

I spoke with Micah briefly about himself and found out that he has been an itinerant worship leader for youth.

Here's a guy who has his own dreams, his own calling...but those things are put aside for the moment so that he can be a servant to those who have absolutely no possible way of rewarding him or recognizing him for his efforts.  (Well hello there humility...thanks for putting the smack-down on my ego!)

Then, there was Shaun. 

He had hoped for an audience of maybe 100 - 150 people.  He got 30. (Hey, if you ever need me to promote anything at your church...I'm your girl.  I can attract tens of people.)

Thirty.  I'll say it again.


That's it.  That was the whole enchilada.  And you know what Shaun did?  He sang and spoke with as much passion, as much intensity as he would have had he been singing at the Dove Awards.

Speaking of being blind...come on Dove Award people...get with the guys really need more Shaun Groves'es in your show. (Groves'es? Grovii? Flock of Groves'?)

Guess what else?  Jesus showed up.  He was there in the songs, in the stories, in the uplifted hands and the giving of thanks from a bunch of beggars and thieves who had been transformed and made holy.  He was there as those same beggars and thieves reached out to sponsor kids...strangers from all over the world...because really?  How could we not have responded to a Gospel so plainly crystal clear?  So...simple?

Even I got it.

So, thank you Shaun and Micah, for travelling with us for a little ways on the road...for opening eyes and hearts once again to the blindingly glorious simplicity of Jesus and Him all laid down and broken so that the whole world might be made whole.

(And Micah...just wanted to remind you of something I'm pretty sure you already know.   All that paperwork and tabling and sound check stuff? That is not wasted time buddy.  Not at all. Oh, and sorry about the hugging thing.  I tend to get nervous around people who are sort know...famous.  One day I'll have to tell you about the time I ran into the local weather person at Target. Not. Pretty.  Not pretty at all.)

To the two people who read this blog...if you weren't able to be there last night, I'm sorry.  But you can still help.  If you'd like to learn more about Compassion International and what you can do, click on the Compassion logo in the upper right corner.   From the bottom of my heart and on behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves...I thank you.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Randomocity...If That's Not A Word It Should Be

Well...if you were looking for something meaningful to read today...look away.

This week has had a touch of the crazy, and it doesn't look to calm down anytime soon.  Would anybody happen to have an extra box of Calgon they might be able to lend me?

(If you don't get that're too young to read this blog.  Go outside and play.)

My daughter got a job. (And yes, that IS the Hallelujah Chorus you're hearing right now.) 

We're obviously a tad excited about this news since that means we might actually get to keep a dime or two of the extra $20 we're able to put back each month. 

(Shout out to Big Oil.  Thanks for sucking up my retirement these past few years.  'Preciate it!)

As a result of this deliciousness...we get to spend a few more hours with Butterbean each week.  *Slight nervous giggle.*

K started her new schedule on Saturday, and since I had to work, Butterbean and Grumps got to spend a whole day together.  I'm told it started out really well.  But by the time I got home...things had veered a little south. 

I saw her and immediately was like, "Ummm, honey?  Why is Butterbean's eye swollen?"

Turns out she was taking a nap in Mimi's bed and woke up.  And decided to do the dying inchworm.  Resulting in her hitting her little head on our window sill.  Which is totally my fault because really? Who has been a leetle lax in buying Butterbean her own little bed to sleep in at Mimi's house?

Me, that's who.  Oh but we are fixing that situation y'all.  Yes ma'am.

So the 'Bean's right eye is now a little puffy and purple and when she smiles (which is pretty much constant) her eye disappears completely.

Poor baby.

My husband of course was riddled with guilt because who wants to be the cause of their grandbaby's first black eye? 

On top of the schedule change, and the black eye...I'm trying to get ready for Shaun Groves.

Work over the weekend was not very fun...probably because I knew Butterbean was at my house...and I missed church which is never a good thing for me, then the news of Matthew.

So to say I'm a little off my center would be an understatement.

Shew-ee what a lot of randomness!  I'm sorry.  Maybe tomorrow you'd like to hear about my bursitis?  Not that I have that...but I could make something up to sort of keep the flow of boring alive.

I'm afraid I'm becoming my grandmother.  Next thing you know I'll be forgetting where I put my cell phone and start searching high and low for my car keys while they jingle jangle quite pleasantly from my pinkie finger.

Oh wait...I did that this morning.

Tune in tomorrow Golden Girls fans when you hear Mimi say...

Hmmm...what was I going to say?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Where God Is...(For Sandwich)

Yesterday was a mix of God moments and profound sadness.  I woke up and got ready for my day, and for some reason that I don't remember now, I checked my Facebook.

I rarely do that on weekends.

I saw a post to my newsfeed that a toddler had died in a housefire. 

Normally, stuff like that makes me go "Oh, that's so sad...that poor baby", and then boom, I'm on to the next status update. 

Yesterday was different. 

I had known this little boy.

Last year I had the privilege and honor of being asked to serve in a small church here in our area.  Their Pastor contacted me and I agreed to come for one year.  With my Pastor's blessing and the prayers of my own church family, I set out to do what I could to help.

I ended up working with the children.  Never in my life had I ever done so before, it wasn't my "calling." (Which I've noticed that working with children is hardly EVER anybody's "calling" in the church but that's a gripe for another day.)  But these babies...all I can say is God put a love and a desire to help them in my heart.

Armed with nothing but blissful ignorance I stepped into the Children's Church arena.  My plan was simple.  Bribery.

(Hey, I'm not above it.  Pop-tarts and juice work wonders I can tell you.)

And over the course of several months I fell in love with the children of that church.  Quickly I found out that each of them had God-sized problems.  I won't go into details, but these kids needed Jesus to be more than just a figure in a storybook.  They needed Him to be real, and right in the middle of their stuff.

Over and over I heard these babies pray not for themselves, but for their moms, dads, grandparents, brothers, sisters, friends and teachers.  Their prayers weren't filled with "thees and thous and therefores." They were simple prayers that cut down to the chase.  I guess when you're seven years old and your mom needs to be healed from brain tumors, you aren't really into beating around the bush. 

In the church there was one precious family with six children.  The youngest was a sweet blonde haired boy with chubby cheeks.  His name was Matthew, but his brothers and sisters all called him "Sandwich" for reasons I don't remember.  I'm guessing it was because the boy loved to eat.

On Saturday, this family's life was altered forever.  They lost Sandwich and all of their belongings in a terrible housefire. 

As a mom, and a grandmother, I cannot fathom what it would be like to wake up one morning and life is normal and then the next day it's not.  The pain and the confusion and the fear must be unspeakable.

But yesterday, as much as I was thinking of this sweet boy's mama...I was thinking more of his brothers and sisters who must be wondering right now where God is.

Oh my sweet babies.  If you're reading this with your mama and your grand-mama...let me say this.  I love you guys.  But as much as I love you, and as much as your mama loves you, and as much as your teachers and your church loves you...if you could add all of that love together it still wouldn't come close to how much Jesus loves you.

In fact it wouldn't even be in the same universe.

Jesus loves you that much.  Maybe right now it's hard to see Him, but babies, He is not lost.  He is not on vacation.  He has not forgotten about you.  He has not closed up Heaven and left you alone.  In fact, if you'll pull up a little closer to the screen I'll let you in on something.

I'll tell you a secret.

I know where God is.

Right now, at this very moment, God is with you.  He's the one giving you strength to get through each day, and bringing in helpers who will give hugs, clothing, food and all kinds of different stuff. As a matter of fact, all over this place, everywhere that people can read your story...strangers are praying for you.  People that God put into place long before this ever happened...are on their knees talking to Jesus about your family and asking Him to meet your needs. 

And babies?  Jesus is listening.

God is with you, loveys.  He is with you. 

(For anyone reading this post, a fund has been set up to help pay for funeral expenses and to help the family with the loss of their everything.  Make donations payable to Nehemiah Church with a memo For Matthew Parker. Mail it to P.O. Box 111, Corryton, TN 37721.  Prayers for this family are also needed and appreciated.  Thank you.)

Friday, July 13, 2012

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Work Today...NOT: Friday Fixins

Yeah, so I guess it's time I face the music and admit I'm in a bit of a slump here.  I think it all started the other day when I asked my daughter if I could post about Butterbean beginning to crawl and she said, "Oh yay!  Mimi will finally have something interesting to talk about!"


Actually, it's not her fault.  It's mine.  I've been over-thinking things and not really writing for myself. 

I started this blog because I love that little Butterbean.  And I want to catalog as many little moments as I can during this first year of her life.  And's flying by so so so quickly.

This little area of digital space is my way of trying to grab time and hold it hostage so I can look at it anytime I want to and remember.

I want to remember the time she started that weird growling noise.  At first it made us laugh but then we were wondering if we should perhaps call in an exorcist.  Because it got a bit extreme.

Then there was the screaming phase.  Where all waking moments were filled with high pitched screams that would have scared Michael Myers himself.  Again, we it her hearing? Is this normal?

It's amazing what you forget from when YOUR children were babies.

Which, again, is the purpose of this blog.

I want to remember the look on her face when she rolled over for the first time right in the middle of our women's Bible study.  I want to bottle up the scent of her head right after her bath when she's laying against me all sweet and drowsy and sucking her thumb...ready for nighty night.

I know there are lots of wonderful moments ahead...but the joy I've had can't be measured or contained or even described.

It can only be remembered.

My sweet, sweet're just seven tiny months old right now.  You're working on your crawling, you've got two sweet little bottom teeth, and another tooth up top is trying to push it's way through.  Your smile and precious laugh make every bad, stressful moment fly right out of my head.  You love your Uncle Chris and follow him with your eyes and your smile as soon as he walks into the room.  And he loves you right back...always anxious about your well-being and making sure you're ok.  And oh, how he loves to make you laugh.

Your Bops/Grumps/Mr. W did his level best remain aloof at first (because he's a man and men don't do mushy very well) but he couldn't help himself.  He fell head over heels for you and now spends a lot of his time throwing you up in the air and making my heart stop.  He does this because you love it and I don't.  So you win. 

Someday Butterbean, when you're older, if the internet is still chugging along...I hope you stumble across this space and remember and know how deeply and richly you were loved.  And how incredibly thankful I am to God that He gave you to us.

Love, your Mimi

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Well this past weekend we had a big event around here. 

Butterbean has decided to start crawling.  I knew time was limited a couple of weeks ago when she decided to start sitting up by herself.  Is it bad that I want to keep her in this sweet and soft baby skin of hers forever? 

Yes I'm totally selfish.  You can say it.  It's ok.

Butterbean dropped by for a visit last night and as usual, I laid out a quilt on the living room floor and put her on her tummy.  Then I plopped down beside her and began my ritual of staring at her playing with her and acting goofy.

Because that's what perfectly sane adults do when a baby is around.

Anyway, now that she's figured out she can move her body toward an object of her desire, she's wearing herself out exploring the edges of the quilt.   Sometimes that's a lot for a little girl with roly poly baby fat arms and legs.  She gets a little tired from living on the edge.  Of the quilt that is.

And then sometimes she's just downright lazy.

Last night after gumming our way through the story of Abraham's servant playing matchmaker, we read a few Susan Boynton books.  (Don't ask me the titles.  I don't pay attention...I just read)

Butterbean likes those books.  They are made of stiff board and she hasn't figured out how to get the edges into her mouth so...I guess that's good.  But the funny thing about it was watching her chase those books around the quilt.

She would grab one and it would fall out of her grasp.  She would grunt, get her behind up in the air, lay her head down on the quilt and then stretch as far as she could and her legs would propel her forward.

She looked like a dying inchworm, but she was getting it done.  And then, at one point, she just couldn't stand it anymore and she looked at me and cried a bit in frustration.

At that moment I had a choice to swoop down and be the hero and give her what she wanted, or I could let her figure it out herself and allow her to grow a little in the process.

It was a toughie.  I always want Butterbean to be happy.  But sometimes, happiness isn't as necessary as we think it is.  Sometimes it's important to go through a little frustration and a little pain in order to grow and become stronger.

It wasn't easy to watch her struggle, but I knew she could do it.  I had faith in her

You know where this is going don't you?

Think on it.  Who watches us while we struggle and try to learn to walk in this grace that has been lavished on us?  Who has us?

Yep.  You guessed it.  He does.

So what if we all look like dying inchworms?  So what?  So what if we need a breather every now and then and just have to look at Jesus and cry?

So what?

Here's what's gonna happen.  Butterbean doesn't know this yet, but I do.  Eventually...she's going to get it.  She's going to learn to crawl.  And then she's going to learn to walk, and run.

And will you.

Be encouraged sweet one.  Your Heavenly Father has His eye on you at all times and He has faith in you. 

You can do it.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Almost Famous

Happy Monday y'all!  I don't know if you know this or not, but you are reading the blog of someone who is internationally known.

True story.

I was looking at the stats for this blog the other day and TEN WHOLE PEOPLE have seen it.  And one of them was from CANADA!  We're goin' global baby!

Butterbean and I are on our way y'all.  Soon it'll be nothing but champagne and caviar.

Well, not really. I hate fish, so I'm pretty positive I wouldn't want to eat little fishie eggs. Gag.

Also in the works, my internet BFF and already famous and global soft-rock-star/mom blogger Shaun Groves is coming to visit.  Not me personally, but my church.

He'll be hitting up the big town of Seymour on July 22nd and singing us a few tunes and telling a few tales and hopefully giving us some tips on how he does his hair.

Plus he'll be talking about what he does with Compassion International...which is the TRUE reason he's coming.  Not to meet me or anything.

Even though I'm totally almost famous.

If you happen to be out this way and don't have anything better to do that evening...stop on by and say hey.  Butterbean and I will be there and of know..Shaun will be there too. 

Hope to see you there!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Friday Fixins...AKA...See, What Had Happened Was...


What a week.  And a half.

The two of you who have read this blog faithfully may have noticed that I've been a leetle bit........oh how shall we say...absent.

Well here's the scoop.

Last week was my mama's birthday.  The big six-oh.  And she wanted my brothers and I to gather up the grandkids to all get together for the celebration.  And let me tell you...what mama wants...mama gets.  Mostly because she doesn't ask for much.  So when she does, it's pretty much a momentous occasion.

And since I like living...the hubs and I packed up the kids + Butterbean and went to LA because that's where my brothers live.  And because that's where mama said we were going.  See above paragraph.

For all of you that aren't from the South (I'll pray for you) LA means Lower Alabama.  (Not that place out west in California. Now y'all I'd rather walk on my lips than to criticize somebody (name that movie) but that place, meaning California, is weird. It makes "Deliverance" look like a Sunday picnic in the park.)

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...Mama had found a nice little house for rent on the lake and we had a glorious time eating, laughing and swimming.  Then it was time to come home and what with work and the Fourth of July and all (Happy Belated Birthday America!) this little blog has suffered from some neglect.

I apologize.  But there anything that shouts Y'ALL COME ON IN AND TAKE WHATEVER YOU WANT like blogging about being on vacation while being on vacation

I think not.

On the upside, I got to spend lots of time with the 'Bean and honey that is all a person could ever want in this world.  Especially a Mimi who can't get enough of those roly poly legs and that sweet smile.

We've talked a bit about how much I love to read her little bible to her when she's around, and I'm still looking for a cloth one, because her top teeth are just refusing to come through.  Which means she is gnawing on EVERYTHING and the drool production is THROUGH THE ROOF Y'ALL.

I had to save poor Noah from another flood the other day during storytime.

And I don't wanna talk about what almost happened to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  But I will say that mealtime and storytime just should not go together.  Lesson learned.

Anyhoo...(the banality of this blog is just astounding ain't it) all that to say...we're back.  And we missed you.

Hope your week has been glorious and your weekend is full o' fun.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Ever been to a dance? 

Have you ever endured that sweet agony in the weeks ahead of hoping and praying that special boy would take notice of you and ask you to go to prom with him?

Or homecoming?

I was fortunate.  I had those experiences when I was a schoolgirl.  Unfortunately, I was so down on myself that I never was able to let go and have fun.

I couldn't really believe that the boy was just interested in taking me out and having a fun time.

I couldn't really believe that I was pretty enough or interesting enough for that kind of attention.

Isn't it terrible what we as girls miss out on because we cannot get out of our own heads?

Sometimes at my church we sing a song that was written by a guy named Paul Wilbur.  It's called "Dance With Me" and the whole song is taken directly out of the Song of Solomon.  I love that song.

This past Sunday we were using it as part of our worship time and I heard the Lord speak to me and remind me of those awkward times when I was a girl.  He showed me that sometimes, I still think of myself as having two left feet, or being too fat, or too old, or whatever excuse I can think of to put up walls between He and me.


After all these years and all the grace He has shown me, I still look at myself as not good enough.  And you know what?  I'm NOT good enough.  Which should be a freeing thought.

He doesn't love me because I'm pretty.

He doesn't sing over me because I'm sexy.

He doesn't rescue me because I'm thin.

He doesn't save me every day because I'm young.

He doesn't redeem me because I'm a good person.

He. Does. Not. Need. Me.

I have absolutely nothing to offer in this relationship, and we are.  He has exchanged my ashes for His beauty.  He has given me His strength in exchange for handing Him my fear.  He has granted me gladness for all of my mourning, and He has kept every tear I have ever shed.

So in light of this...what is stopping me?  Nothing that I am has stopped Him or caused Him to back up and say,"Whoa...hold on there sister...let's rethink this thing."

Let me repeat that for you.  Nothing that I am, or have been, or will be, has stopped Jesus from loving me.


What a Saviour. 

Ladies...let me encourage you...I don't have this thing all figured out.  It's mind boggling to me as to why the Creator of the universe would ever bother with me...but He has.  And I'm guessing He has cast His glance your way a time or two as well.  Am I right?

We have been invited to the party of the Ages.  Ladies what are we waiting for?  We don't have time to be wallflowers. 

Let's dance.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Livin' Large At Mimi's House

I could alternately title this post...Never Give Butterbean Control Of The Spoon.

For what you're about to see...I'm sorry.  I couldn't help it.  It's been discovered that Butterbean likes bananas.

So...I gave her some.

And she ate them.

Butterbean: Hey Mimi...could I have the spoon back please?
Me: you're not doing so great with it.  I think you managed to get some up MY nose.

Butterbean: Ha ha ha...that's funny Mimi.  Now, give me the spoon.
Me: Look, your mom is supposed to be here soon and I don't even know if this is legal or not...
Butterbean: Mimi...don't make me do the face...
Me: What face? I don't know what you're talking about! *nervous chuckle, looking nonchalant*
Butterbean: *long dramatic sigh*

Butterbean: THIS FACE!!!
Me: *muttering to myself* Must resist...must clean baby before K gets here and bans me from babysitting...must...stay...strong...

Butterbean: Ok's about a little hug?
Me: *sigh* I'm not going to survive the first year am I?

Butterbean: NOPE!

Help meee.

(Oh and by the way...please disregard the cushions, blankies and assorted whatnot in the background.  I live a real life in a real house.  Thanks y'all!)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday Fixin's

I'm running a little late today because I wasn't sure what I'd talk about today.  Then I decided on a topic, but my thoughts aren't organized and I'm rambling and typing on the fly.

All that to say...this post may or may not make sense.

If you'd like to read a blog written by a real writer...well then I'm sorry but this is not the place for you.  I'm a Mimi with access to the internet.  That's about it.  That's the whole enchilada.


As you may or may not know, on Fridays I like to talk about ways we minister Christ to our littles and grand-littles.  So far we've talked about drool, singing, gnawing on toes, bible reading, growing teeth and living the life of Christ as a daily example.

Not necessarily in that order.

One element I think that lots of Christians take for granted is prayer.

Such a simple act...yet so powerful. 

Since Butterbean made her appearance, I've found myself praying more than I ever have before.  I wake up in the middle of the night praying...and Sweet Vidalia Onions that is not a practice I'm overly fond of.  Because Mimi likes her sleep y'all.  Yes ma'am.

And in those bleary, groggy, comatose a.m. hours, I do tend to wonder if any of it does any good.  I mean, no use losing perfectly good REM cycles for no reason right?  Of what purpose are all these words spoken so urgently in the darkness? 

I'm reminded of Paul's words to the Ephesians. 

Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

I don't know why I wake up sometimes with Butterbean's name on my lips.  Maybe it's stress.  Maybe it's anxiety.  Maybe it's just that I think about her a lot.

Or maybe...there are things going on.  Things I can't see, or hear, or taste, or touch, or smell.  Things I can't fight with charm or my talent or my good looks.  (Not that I have those things, but if I did...)

Maybe, just maybe, there are some battles that can only be fought with prayer. 

Or maybe I'm just a living my life a little too much on the wack-a-doodle-doo side.

I don't know.  I do know that my Papaw thought I was worth a little sleeplessness. 

And if I was worth it (gosh think about that...that's a whole nother Oprah show right there...somebody thought we were worth praying surely my little Butterbean is worth it.  A zillion times more worth it.

What about you?  Do you take the praying for granted and think maybe it's a little overrated?  Or do you pray, pray, pray and pray some more?

Here's a thought...can I pray for you today?  Do you have a need?  You don't have to say specifics if you don't want...but if you could use a little help today...let's lift each other up shall we?  Feel free to leave your request in the comments section and let's "have a little talk with Jesus."

(Sorry.  I'm Southern.  It just comes out.)


Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Voice

I don't know if I've mentioned this or not, but I help out a little on our praise team at church.  I'm not Christina Aguilera...but I'll do in a pinch.

I really enjoy singing to God.  It's one of the ways He uses to connect with me in the depths of my deep.

(I realize that last sentence sounds maybe a little pretentious or esoteric or stupid or some other big fancy word...I apologize.)

(But it's true.)

Naturally, I also love to sing to Butterbean.  She's sort of a captive audience right now since she doesn't know how to escape crawl yet.  It's a total win win.

She came to visit Tuesday evening (squee!) and I had the fun task of getting her to go to sleep.  Back in the day say, oh, 3 or 4 weeks ago...she was really easy to go to sleep and she was a great napper.  Lately she's been somewhat of a...shall we say...*insert air quotes here* challenge.

It appears that looking at the back of her eyelids has suddenly become unappealing to her.

So she and I went to the bedroom and we rocked and I sang and she listened and drooled and chewed on her blankie and played with her toes, and I sang some more, and she would lay her head on my chest and rock with me.  But the sleeping part?  Nopey.

Finally, after singing every Willie Nelson song I could think of (not really.  Sorry.  Big n Rich just sort of popped out...eww) and 14 repeats of "Great Is Thy Faithfulness" she finally (have I said that already?) closed her eyes.

Y' was a good thing because I was sung OUT.  I was so desperate I almost started singing The Barney Song.  And given the amount of loathing I have for that show (not because it's BAD but because my daughter made me watch it over. and over. and over.) I feel sure I would not have been able to get through that without needing copious amounts of alcohol Christian and Spirit-filled therapy afterwards.

My husband and daughter were in the living room when I came out and my husband says, "Gosh babe, I was feeling so sorry for you.  That was a LOT of singing."

My voice.  It carries.

And you know what I say to that?  A big fat "whatever."  In fact, I think now that maybe 'Bean wasn't being ornery. She just liked my singing. 

A lot.

So Christina listenin'?  Be glad that I'm a Mimi.  Be very glad.

Because if ever I was to show up on your stage honey, it would be on like Donkey Kong.

'Cause Mimi can throw down some Barney.

Yes ma'am.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Bread Continued

Since receiving Ara's letter, I've been mulling over her decision to reach for the bread.

Children often see through things so clearly don't they? 

She had already chosen new clothes (being a girl...that's pretty much a given right?) so there were obviously other choices available to her.  Maybe some toys or candy, but she didn't choose those.

She chose what would give her sustenance.

I can't say that I would have done the same.  I would have gone for the candy or a Barbie doll.

Can I be a bit transparent with you here friend?  Can I say to you what is really wrecking me right now?

I have been blessed with so much that the sustenance...the true substance that gives me life...has become boring in my eyes.  My heart tends to wander to the glitzy, the shiny, the empty.  I have not learned how to be content.  My heart starves because I don't choose life and I am often left wanting more.

But there's never enough to fill that wanting.

Isn't that the way of it?  Isn't that what Eve's problem was?  She was fed by the Holy, and clothed in the Eternal, but it wasn't enough.  She wasn't content in her heart and she was drawn away.

Oh boy.

How is it that one pushes a button on the internet, thinking she's going to help be the hands and feet of the Saviour...and then ends up being the one who is being saved?

It is the mystery of grace.

Jesus, in a world of Ding-Dongs and me to choose bread.

(If you would like to learn more about Compassion International, or are interested in sponsoring a child, please click on the link to the side of this post.  Thank you in advance!)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Opening the mailbox, I see the envelope with the familiar blue logo on it.  Like that scene in "A Christmas Story" where Ralphie gets his decoder pin in the mail, I excitedly grab the envelope, grabbing and squeezing to try to get a sense if it's a letter from one of my babies, or just a notice.

Today's a good day.

It's a letter. 

For a little over a year now, my husband and I have been sponsoring kids through Compassion International.  We have a boy in Ecuador and a girl in the Phillipines.

I hurry into the house, ripping open the envelope as I walk.  I throw my keys down on my dining room table and plop down in one of the chairs to read.  It's a letter from my Filipino baby's mama.  Ara just turned 6 years old in January so her handwriting skills are still developing.  Her mama writes to me for her, with the help of one of Compassion's volunteer interpreters.

"Thank you so much," she writes, "for Ara's birthday present.  She was so excited to go to the Compassion store and pick out her birthday gifts.  She chose a new dress, underwear, shoes, and bread."


I read the sentence again.  There it is...I was right the first time.  Bread.  For her birthday.

At the top of the page are little drawings scrawled by little brown fingers.  Little baby hands that should be plunging gleefully into a chocolate cake with thick pink frosting and tearing into birthday presents covered with Barbie wrapping paper.

Instead, she's reaching for bread.

My husband comes in and the words come fast and hot.  "She chose bread!" I voice thick with tears.  My husband comes and reads the letter.  Silently he shakes his head.  He looks away, eyes shiny and gives thanks once more to God for what we have been blessed with.

I hang the letter on the refrigerator which is full of food, some of it wasting away.

My heart is wrecked.  I turn away and do the only thing I can do at the moment.

I pray.

(If you would like to learn more about Compassion International, or are interested in sponsoring a child, feel free to click on the button to the side of this post.  Thank you in advance!)

Monday, June 18, 2012

If The Tiara Fits...

In my family, there's a story we like to tell about my daughter.  She was in the second grade when her daddy noticed banners announcing sign-ups for youth softball.

And oh, how his eyes lit up and lo, the excitement was palpable when he asked his young progeny if she'd like to try playing softball.  She energetically nodded her head and although I knew she was really in it for the uniform, I agreed to let her play.

(I must interject here that I am not what you would call a sedate fan who quietly enjoys sporting events and doesn't speak above her "inside voice."  I'm a bit "appreciative" you might say and somewhat... "expressive.")

(I think the term I'm looking for here is LOUD.)

K played second base and one bright sunny saturday I was "appreciating" the game when I noticed my sweet princess running onto the field and her shoelaces (cleatlaces???) were untied.  With a stage whisper at the same decibel level of 747 preparing for take-off, I got her attention and told her to tie her shoes.  To which she put her hands on her hips and said, "I CAN'T!!!! I'VE GOT MY GLOVE ON!"

She had what you might call a touch of the melodrama.  And while I have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA where she got that from, I do believe she may have passed it on.

To Butterbean.

Y'all might have noticed that yesterday was Father's Day.  'Bean and her mama and daddy came over for a late lunch after church and let's just say somebody needed a nap.

Her mama laid her down on my bed and walked out and closed the door.  (2nd interjection: I must admit ..this always amazes me when she does this.  Because the crying and the whimpering? It melts me.  I am powerless to resist, but her?  Ice in her veins y' in her veins. *shiver*)

We sat in the dining room and listened in awe at the sounds coming from my bedroom.  I could have sworn someone was in there strangling a chicken, but was my sweet Butterbean doing her best to squeeze out some tears so people would pity her.

Finally she managed to reasonably mimic a true cry and I couldn't take it anymore.  I peeped in on her and her dedication to her performance rivaled anything Sally Fields has ever even thought about doing.

She was laying in the middle of the bed flat on her back.  Her arms were straight down at her sides and her legs were up in the air.  Her eyes were squinched shut in concentration and she would take a breath and squawk.  Take a breath and squawk harder.

I must have made a sound because suddenly her eyes popped open and when she saw me she was all "UH-OH..THE JIG'S UP!!" and then, "QUICK!!! LOOK CUTE!!!"

And the display of grins and gurgles and fluttering of the eyes I was treated to almost ended me. 

I scraped my heart up off the floor and caved in to the merciless onslaught.

Then I started gathering up dust rags and planning out the trophy case.  Because when she wins the Oscar y'all...Mimi wants to be prepared.