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.