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.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday Fixin's


Last night Butterbean decided to show me she could handle a sitting position without any help from me.  She looked like a bobble-head doll with a permanently surprised expression on it's face but she was determined.  She threw vanity to the wind and perservered.

Which means that in about 2.3 seconds she'll be crawling and we all know what that leads to.  Yep...the dreaded teen years.  The point where she will suddenly know everything and yet she will still manage to look utterly confused and dumbfounded when asked to pick her dirty laundry up off the floor.

When that happens she will thereafter be known as Her Mama's Child. 

Until then though she's just Butterbean.

Sitting up means that story time is about to get lots more interesting.  I like the bible I have for her right now, but Butterbean likes to touch and taste EVERYTHING.  So I'd like to get a line on a cloth bible for her that doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

I checked out a few on Amazon and was blown away by how much they cost. this point I know some of you might be thinking, "Geez lady...she's just a BABY for crying out loud.  Why is reading the bible such a big DEAL?  Are you just trying to score brownie points with the Big Man?"

My response to that is...y'all haven't met my church's Junior Bible Quiz team. 

They are ages 6-12 and they are ruthless.  They won the state tournament.  They eat baby bibles for BREAKFAST!!!  So just teaching Butterbean to recite "Jesus wept" isn't gonna cut it with these kids.  She's gotta be ready for them.  And if ol' Mimi has anything to say about it...she will be.  Oh yes, she will be.

Aaaand I'd also like 'Bean to be full of the Word.  So that if she's ever in trouble and needs guidance or wisdom, it will already be her spirit.  Because that's kind of important. 

As for the brownie comment.

I've really been enjoying your comments and swappin' "recipes" on Friday Fixins!  So keep those cards and letters comin' y'all!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Dear Adele...I'm Breaking Up With You

It's true.

It appears that we have been "Rollin' In The Deep" a little longer than we should have.

I realize this break-up will have absolutely no effect on you whatsoever, being as you're busy being the most celebrated female singer in the world and I am nowhere near being in the same universe of famous as you are.  Plus there's the tiny little fact that you have no idea I even exist...but overlooking that, we were sisters of the SOUL, Adele. Sisters of the soul.

You'd been hurt.  You'd been jilted by someone you loved and adored...and you weren't about to take it lying down.  No sir-ree.  Instead of doing what normal people do and updating your status on sat yourself down at a piano and poured every drop of your hurt into some songs and TOLD THE WORLD.

And the world listened.  And sang along.

And oh how I loved to crank up the volume in my car and wail along with you and in my mind think " tell'em sister.  We aren't taking this kind of stuff off anybody EVER AGAIN!"

And I'd feel powerful and goddess-like for a few moments.  Then the cd would end and I'd just be mad.  Again.  Stirred up by all those feelings of angst and disappointment and heartbreak.

Then I would wonder why I was so stressed out.

Truth be told, you're a tiny symptom of a huge problem of mine which I'm only just coming to terms with.  It's called unforgiveness.  Since writing those songs and blowing the world away with your talent, you have probably moved on to bigger and better things.  But me, Adele?  I'm left with all the broken emotions of those songs...and the lyrics which are now in my head for years to come.

A dear friend of mine suggested I read a book called "Total Forgiveness" by R.T. Kendall.  Mr. Kendall posits that true forgiveness means not continuing to stir up those bad feelings and memories.  True forgiveness means not tattle-telling on people who have wronged you.  And no matter how much I admire your gumption, your beauty, and your talent...let's face it Adele...that cd is one big tattletale.

So, it is with great sadness and longing that I must give you up.'t try to say anything. 

Merle Haggard is next and I need my strength for that one.


Mimi Supreme

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Ask God A Stupid Question, And He'll Give You A Great Answer

God and I have quite a few conversations in the car.  Usually when I'm driving home from work and I'm trying to gear up the energy to put my "Mom of Excellence" and "Mimi Supreme" and "Wife Extraordinaire" hats on.

(It's can laugh.  God did too when He heard those titles.)

For some strange reason I was thinking about the day I would stand before God face to face.  I wondered what sort of mistakes would be pointed out to me and whether I would see my sad, crinkled up life lined up against God's "Perfect Plan A."

I thought to myself..."Lord, what is the stuff You'll be mad at me for?"

Quicker than a wink I heard a response in my heart.

He said, "Not the stuff you think it will be."

His answer sort of stopped me in my tracks. (Not literally...I mean I was driving, and mind you I love Jesus but I want to see Him when it's TIME to see Him and not as the result of a 5 car pile-up.)

And for those of you who couldn't read past the thought, "God is mad at me," please understand...I don't really think He's mad at me.  It was just the most relevant word I could think of at the moment.  Truly, the Lord knows my heart and understands where I am coming from...what He was really saying is that I'm paying attention to things that don't have any eternal significance, and ignoring the things that do.

In other words, how much stuff have I worried about that means absolutely nothing in the Kingdom of God?   How much time have I wasted on behavior modification when I should have been submitting myself to a heart transplant?

To be honest, I don't want to know. I think the answer would make me sit down and cry for a long, long time.

Slowly but surely, God is pulling this little girl's fingers out of her ears, and opening her eyes to see that life is not nearly as sad and bitter as the lies she has swallowed.  There are still great times to be had, full of joy and sweetness and new beginnings.

I won't lie to you and say that this new awakening comes easily or without cost. Sometimes it's bloody and hard and a type of death has to occur so that hope can live and breathe freely.

The bible calls this process "renewing my mind," among other things.

All these fruitless concerns are too heavy for me to carry anymore.  I think I'll shrug them off and shift my focus to things that matter to God. Like, loving Him with all my heart, my soul and my might, and loving my neighbor as I love myself.

I think those two ideas are enough to keep me occupied for the rest of my life.

(I realize a lot of this post has some abstract concepts and there's a lot of use of ambiguous words like "things" and "stuff" but that's the best I can describe it without making you want to stab your eyeballs with a spork at the detailed inanity of my existence.)

(You can thank me for sparing you and your eyeballs later.)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Conversation With Butterbean

This summer, my husband and I have been grilling out.  Every night.  We love it because the food is awesome, the temperature in the kitchen doesn't increase to 50,000 degrees, and (added bonus) my husband handles the grill so it's almost like I don't have to do anything.

I don't know why I didn't think of this before.

Butterbean and her mommy stopped by the other night for some of the grilled goodness and 'Bean sat with us at the table.  She and I had a mental conversation that went something like this:

Butterbean: Hiiii Mimi!  Boy, that steak looks good!  How's about letting me try some?
Me: Ummm, well seeing as you still have very few teeth I don't think that's a very good idea.

Butterbean: Silence...pitiful stare...
Me:'s like this...don't look at me like that...I DON'T KNOW ANYTHING!!! ASK YOUR MOTHER!!!
Butterbean: Oh come on! We don't need to involve Mommy in this! We both know who the REAL boss around here is...
Me: Complete silence...chewing nervously...avoiding eye contact.
Butterbean: *In awed voice* Gee sure can shovel it in! 
Me: Alright sister! Thaaat's IT! *Throws down napkin*

At this point...K steps back in:

K: ' know better than to bother Mimi when she's eating...

K: but between you and me dear, that WAS funny...*giggle*
Butterbean: *giggle* Yeah, it was.
Me: *sigh* No respect, none what-so-ever.
Butterbean: I loooove you Mimi!
Me: *sigh* If anyone needs to find me for the next say...eighteen years, give or take...I'll be in my room. 


Monday, June 11, 2012

Merrily, Merrily, Merrily...A.K.A Dear Jesus, Please Don't Let Me Die In An Innertube

Welll...this weekend was LOADS O' FUN.  Yours truly was out in nature, enjoying all of it's splendor and being carelessly rammed into huge boulders in the name of FAMILY TIME.

Honestly, the fault was mine.  Last Thursday I was reading a blog about how few summers I have left with my son and I got all mushy and all I can say is...I claim insanity.

I hopped on the web with determination that we were going to have a GREAT TIME this weekend, and in the words of Clark Griswold...we were gonna have the hap-hap-happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap danced with Danny Kaye.

(If you don't know that movie, I'll say a prayer for you tonight.  Because you are clearly in need of a cinematic education my friend.)

In the midst of the hopping and surfing and all, I came across an advertisement for a company that will allow you to get into a plastic inflated circle of death and roll on down the river.  Yes we could have all ended up as quadraplegics, but hey, it only cost 9 bucks each and if nothing else, we are all about life-threatening injuries for cheap.

Actually, what was on the forefront of my mind, and imminently more frightening (you know, more than my son's well-being and the possibility of his life being cut short) was how I was going to look getting into the stupid tube.  Because y'all...Mimi has put on a leetle poundage since her hey-day as a young and happening hipster.

Yes indeed.

And since the sun hates me, I get the added bonus of having the skin pallor of the undead.

So we rolled into the parking lot and a really bored (and tan) college guy comes out and shoves some paperwork at me that basically says, "BLAH, BLAH, can't sue us even if we're negligent...BLAH, BLAH, BLAH...neither can your kids, or your friends or your friends' kids...sign here and good luck not dying, and if you lose our tube, you owe us twenty bucks."

The concern for the safety and well-being of their customers just rolled off the pages.

We go to the change rooms where I tried not to think about germs and MRSA and whatnot and I squeezed into my bathing suit.  I had a nice breezy black cover-up that didn't quite cover-up what I wanted to for my family's added enjoyment, I put on a pair of blue striped polyester cropped pants.

Quite the fashion plate I am.

We got our tubes and got on the shuttle which drove us to the drop-off point. In what I would term as a minor miracle, I managed to successfully get on my tube with the first try.  I paddled out to the middle of the stream where my husband and son were waiting floating away and tried to follow the rules that our shuttle driver imparted to us, which were a)don't die and b)don't go down the river backwards. 

Oh well, why didn't I think of that?

So naturally out of all the floats that were available I got the broken one, because no matter how hard I tried...I floated backwards.  And it appears that the Holy Spirit may have been trying to tell me something because my float went straight for the biggest boulders in the river.  Every. Time.

My husband tried shouting helpful things to me like, "Don't try to control it!  Just go with it!"

Oh really?  Hi, do you know me?  Your wife of twenty-one years?  Helicopter mom?

Eventually though...his words got through to me.  And there was actually a second where I let myself float and didn't try to steer anything.  And for that one moment I found that it was easier if I just let go and trusted that Jesus was not about to let me die in an innertube.

I'm sure there's a life-lesson in that for me somewhere.

By the time we got to our exit point I had even worked up enough courage to ask the fam if they wanted to go again.  Even though what I really wanted to do was you know...go home.  But they were hungry and were more interested in finding food than tempting God a second time, and honey, when they told me that it was all I could do not to break out in tongues and do the Holy Ghost buck and jive. 

Which I'm sure would have given all the out-of-towners and vacationers who were there with us a lot more sight-seeing than they really wanted.

And everybody said, "Amen."

Friday, June 8, 2012

Friday Fixins

Sometimes, I like to read CNN's Belief Blog.  There are lots of opinions and thoughts about God in the world, and I like to read about what others think.

What I don't like to read are the comments.  Typically they are filled with vitriol and hate speech.  You know, the kind we Christians get accused of more and more often these days?  And usually, as I scroll down through (apparently I'm a glutton for punishment) there's the person who says that anyone who believes in God is simply uneducated and a product of their Bible-belt wielding parents.

I have to chuckle at that one.

I'm a believer. 

But I wasn't raised that way.

My Dad was in the military and we were never home.  We usually lived at the minimum 4-5 hours away from family, and sometimes more.  Like as in, living in a whole different country more.

Although my parents weren't believers, my Dad's parents were.  So the few times we were able to come home and see family, my Papaw would take me to church with him.  And in between times, he would pray for me and my brothers, and my Mom and Dad.  But there was more going on than just the church-going and the praying...there was also the every day living.

1 Corinthians 2:14-17 says this:

"14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. 15 For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; 16 to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things? 17 For we are not like many, peddling the word of God, but as from sincerity, but as from God, we speak in Christ in the sight of God."

Paul didn't know it at the time, but he was writing about my Papaw right there.  The man exuded the aroma of Christ, and us grandkids inhaled it much like the way a drowning man gulps in oxygen.

And so, one night long ago, I knelt down in my backyard underneath a star-studded Texas sky.  And for the first time I understood that God was real.  And I was not alone.  As a result of that tiny awakening, twenty-three years later, I would watch my parents come to Christ.

But I never would have believed, if I hadn't seen faith in action in the life of my Papaw.

The fact that my children have been raised with a firm foundation under them...

The fact that their children after them will be raised with a firm foundation under them...

Started with the prayers of a humble man who often lived thousands of miles from his grand-daughter, and who usually saw her once every two years.

My whole family, and the generations that will come after, is a witness to the power of what one faithful man's testimony can bring about.

Butterbean and I, we rock and sing.  We play with fingers, and tickle tummies, and point at pretty flowers and all the while I tell her Jesus loves her.  But the telling is not enough.  There has to be the living.

My prayer today is that the living and the working and the breathing will fully live up to the task to plant the Eternal once again into new and precious ground. 

So Lord, let the aroma of You flow out of me, and let the dying breathe You in.  As You did for me, do for those I love and come into contact with.  On earth as it is in Heaven, amen.

(How do you exude Christ to your littles?  I'd love to know.  Leave a comment and let's encourage one another.)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Drool Can Be Pretty...At Least That's What I Tell Myself

Ok so SOMEbody around here is busy trying to grow teeth.  And there's lots of slobbers.  Sorry if you're sensitive to that stuff but Butterbean and I made a pact to always keep it real around here.

Two darling little pearly whites have already popped through on the bottom.  And apparently, judging by the amount of saliva being produced....all the rest of them should be coming in at the same time.

In honor of this...and because my mom works for a pediatric dentist...I'm submitting this for your enjoyment.  I hope it works.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Ferlin Husky Must Hate Me


Does anybody recall a song by Ferlin Husky called, "Wings Of A Dove?"  I'm not particularly a fan of Ferlin Huskey but the song title is appropriate for today's post.

And by the way, "Ferlin?"  Really???  It must have been a family name.  Here's a question...why do we as parents do that to our children?   How sick and twisted to do you have to be to give your child a moniker that will almost assuredly doom him or her to suffer daily scorn and torment from other kids?  Why not just hang a big fat juicy pork chop around their neck and dangle them in front of a pack of starving, rabid dogs?  It would be a lot more humane.

Anyways.  Back to ol' Ferlin and his doves.

Butterbean did not come to visit last night (sniffle) and because it was Tuesday, and because I help out a little on the praise team at church, and because Tuesdays are our night to practice, and, and, and...

Well I found myself at church.

Afterwards I stayed behind to chat and catch up with a friend of mine who also helps out on the praise team.  (Ever hear of Kari Jobe?  Yeah..she sounds a bit like her.  Pure, sweet, and anointed.)

We were outside enjoying the nice humidity-free evening griping about our husbands talking about spiritual things when I look up and I notice this beautiful, snowy white dove swooping down in front of us. 

It was just like that scene in the Bible where Jesus is being baptized and the dove came down from Heaven.  Except there was no voice from Heaven and John the Baptist wasn't there, and instead of the Jordan River, we were sitting on the curb of the parking lot at church.

But other than that it was so totally the same.

 I was all "Awww...Jesus sent us a dove!  He must think we're something special!  We must be super-duper spiritual!" Both of us watched in awe as the bird rode the wind, it's gorgeous wings fully spread...gliding, gliding and then...


Right smack dab into one of the windows of the church.

Thankfully it didn't die, but we almost did.  From laughing.

After dazedly walking around for a while the dove flew off.  And we were left to ponder the spiritual magnitude of what we had just witnessed.

We still don't know what it is, and we may never know friends...we may never know.  But somewhere, in the Great Dovecote In The Sky, I'm sure ol' Ferlin is softly crooning to his feathered friends, and perhaps a tear is slowly slipping down his cheek for two lost souls here on earth who nearly wet their pants over one winged creature's misfortune.

All I can say is...sing on, Ferlin.  Sing on.  And hopefully next time, I can catch it on video.

Cause y' was funny.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Wynken, Blynken, and Butterbean

Wynken, Blynken and Butterbean one night
Sailed off in a wooden shoe
Sailed on a river of crystal light
Into a sea of dew...
(my apologies to Eugene Fields for hi-jacking his lovely poem)

Is there anything more wonderful than rocking a baby to sleep? 

To slow down, stop everything and rock back and forth, back and forth, resting your cheek against the top of that soft little head?

I think not.

The stress from the day seems to melt all the way down your arms and out of your fingertips as you stroke the silky skin of one tiny dimpled arm.  You softly hum songs you haven't thought about in an age.  Her breathing slows as a grin spreads across your face while you watch those two heavy little eyelids fight a losing battle to stay open.  They droop down and down until finally, they are closed.

She is asleep. 

The busy little body that is working hard to get her behind up in the air and figure out how to crawl is now limp in your arms.  The tiny little rosebud mouth is slack, and you wonder with quiet awe at the beauty of the creation resting against your breast, thinking how could anyone ever doubt there is a God?

Peace settles deep...into the very marrow of your bones and you know you should lay her down but you just want one more minute...

Because there is nothing as sacred as the type of trust it takes to fall asleep in the arms of another.

I'm guessing that's how God feels when we stop struggling and rest in His arms, cheek pressed against His chest, listening to His heartbeat.  When we stop our endless talking, slow our anxious thoughts and allow our burdens to be eased from our shoulders onto His.

We wake, we begin to stir, but He whispers, "No.  Rest."

"Just one more more..."

Monday, June 4, 2012

Oh Lord, It's Hard To Be Humble...

When I was a young whipper-snapper...there used to be a thing on television called "The Muppet Show."

You may have heard of it.

Being about the age of 9 or 10 years old, and having a real appreciation for slap-stick humor delivered by furry bug-eyed puppets, I was a fan.

 I can remember sitting as close to the television screen as my mother would allow (her warnings of impending blindness that came whenever I sat too close still warm my heart today); my hair damp but squeaky clean from my recent bath, tucking my knees up under my chin so that nothing peeped out from under the ruffle of my Laura Ingalls nightgown except my toes, and waiting in talcum-powder covered wonder for the show to begin.

(Did I mention I was a fan?)

One particularly side-splitting episode involved Mack Davis singing "Hard To Be Humble" to Captain Link Hogthrob of "Pigs in Space" fame.

(Told you I was a fan.)

I loved that song.


All the while during the song, Capt. Hogthrob is sagely nodding his head in perfect understanding. is indeed hard to be humble.

Especially when you think your way is the only way, or your plan is THE VERY BEST PLAN ON THE PLANET and no one, not even The Almighty can do it better.

(Not that I'm like that or anything. This is so totally a hypothetical post. NOT!)

However, the illusion of perfection (ours...not His) is somewhat skewered.  'Cause truly, we don't know what perfection is.  We know WHO it is, but not the How and the Why and the Wherefore, nor the comprehension of His entirety.

In the face of that Perfection, humility is a just and righteous attitude. 

And nothing can teach humility like being completely out of control of a given situation and having no other option than to rip off your "Sunday Morning Hallelujah Smile" and run pell-mell to Jesus., with as much humility as I can muster, I want to encourage you.  If you find yourself face-down in the ashes of your pride, with the smoldering little coals of your plans floating down around you, and feeling the hot tears of helpless-ness running down your cheeks...don't worry.

If you'll look just a little to your left...I'm right there with you.  Snorting and snotting and throwing down my crowns and my "perfection" along with every other true follower of Jesus Christ.

And maybe humming a little Mac Davis tune-age under my breath.  Humbly, of course.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Friday Fixins

So Butterbean and I...we love food. 

In fact, we love food so much we eat it every day. 

Truth be told, she and I have matching fat rolls around the middle.  A visual that I'm sure you didn't particularly want to have this fine Friday afternoon...but my personal motto is "Sharing is Caring."

And I care about y'all a LOT.

All 2 of you.

Right now, 'Bean is a fan of peas and sweet potatos, and I am a fan of pretty much anything.  I can't wait until Butterbean has enough teeth to take on stuff like lasagna and key lime pie, pb&j's washed down with ice cold milk, and my mama's enchiladas.

Mmmm mmmm.

But, beyond stretching 'Bean's palate to take on the miracle that is banana pudding...we're also working on feasting on the Word.

Yes.  Even at this young age.

So following that vein, I thought why not do a weekly theme around here on Fridays?  I'd love to hear some of your suggestions as to how you incorporate the Word into your young grandchildren's, or children's lives.

Currently, Butterbean and I are working on Genesis.  She is enthralled by the pictures of her little bible until she gets distracted by her toes.  Or fingers.  Or whatever catches her eye.

I love snuggling with her and reading the old stories to her.  I love looking into her eyes and telling her that Jesus loves her.  She smiles when I say that.  Every. Time.

So internets...tell me about what good spiritual fixin's you and your family enjoy.  Maybe we could swap a few recipes?