Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Lavish

lavish |ˈlavi sh |
adjective
sumptuously rich, elaborate, or luxurious: a lavish banquet.
• (of a person) very generous or extravagant: he was lavish with his hospitality.
• spent or given in profusion: lavish praise.

verb [ trans. ] ( lavish something on)
bestow something in generous or extravagant quantities upon: the media couldn't lavish enough praise on the film.
• ( lavish something with) cover something thickly or liberally with: she lavished our son with kisses.


So, on our way back from Disneyland we stopped at the Camarillo outlets. We parked, got out of the car, and Nate said, "Oh, look. There's the Coach outlet." It was right next to the Nike outlet where we were headed, and he suggested we pop our heads in there first. I was thinking I would drool a bit and then we'd move on. I mean, it's Coach. The bags are gorgeous... and a fortune. Not like I would ever actually OWN one, unless I found it at Goodwill.

Upon entering and pushing through the massive crowd, we realized they were having a sale. A huge sale. A very ginormous sale. After gasping at how low (but still expensive by my normal purse buying standards) the prices were, Nate asked if I saw anything I want. Seriously? In the Coach store? Do I see anything I WANT??? Then...

THEN...

then...

he told me to pick one out. *Gasp* I turned in a circle looking at all the beautiful handbags I thought I would never own and was overwhelmed. MY husband? Telling me to pick out a COACH PURSE??? Then...

THEN...

then...

he told me to pick out two. "What?" I shrieked with an odd mixture of glee and uncertainty. Nate... MY husband Nate... told me to pick out TWO Coach bags. "Yeah. Why don't you pick out a smaller one and a larger one, that way you can switch when you don't have as much to carry." I. Could. Hardly. Breathe. "Well, you look around. I'm taking the kids to the Nike store to look at the baseball stuff. Call me if you need anything."

And he did. He took all four kids over to the Nike store so I could be overwhelmed in peace.

My thought process: "Oh! My! Gosh! What should I get? Should I be practical? Get something that goes with anything? Get something fun? Something traditional? What do I do? Solid? Pattern? Leather? Canvas? Eeeeeek!

"No. I should just walk out. How silly of me to spend this much money on handbags when there are starving children in Africa, when there are orphans in the Ukraine." By this time I had at least four bags slung over my arm. The crowd was huge, and if you liked something you had to pick it up and carry it around until you decided, or else someone else would.

I suddenly felt awful that I had even considered such a frivolous thing. What if I got my costly designer bag dirty? What if I ruined it? What if someone else looked at me and judged me because I was carrying this expensive bag on my arm instead of sending the money to the less fortunate? Besides, who was I to own a bag like this? What if...

I started to put the bags down.

THEN it hit me like a ton of bricks. (I know it was actually the Holy Spirit, but sometimes He operates that way.) My husband was wanting to bless me with something he knew I would love, and I was about to reject it. He was saying, "Go ahead! Pick whatever you want. I love you. I care about your joy and I know this will mean something to you." He was showing me how much he loved me. He was lavishing his love on me.

I live in the in-between. It's this odd place where I swing between giving away and being blessed and getting and being blessed. It's where I don't want to make my possessions my goal, because then the goal of possessions becomes my idol. It's where I don't want to make giving away my goal, because then the goal of self-sacrifice becomes my idol. I have known people on both ends of the extreme. Those who boast in self-service and those who boast in self-sacrifice. I don't want to be in either place. In fact, I don't want to boast in mySELF at all. So, I swing here in the in-between, holding loosely to the things of this earth, enjoying them for as long as they're in my possession, yet knowing they're not my purpose. And if I were only receiving and never giving, then there would be a problem. And if I were only giving and never receiving, then there would be a problem. Yet, I give and I serve and I love others... and I hunt for good prices, and I do my best to be a good steward of what I have... and I don't do any of this perfectly, but I do my best. (Thank goodness I have a Savior!)

So, I picked out two Coach purses. I received my husband's lavish love, and am so thrilled that he would do something like this. Something that means absolutely nothing to him (Purses? Seriously?). And he has so enjoyed seeing ME enjoy HIS gift!

How often do we reject God's gifts to us, just as I was about to reject Nate's? All too often, this is how we respond. We think we're unworthy, or that someone else is more deserving, or that we won't use the gift right, or that we'll mess something up... and we wind up rejecting what He's trying to lavish on us. Or sometimes we accept it, but reluctantly, as if He was wrong to give it in the first place. But He wants to lavish His love on us. He wants to enjoy US enjoying HIS gift. Because He loves us. Lavishly.





My husband loves me. Lavishly.

My God loves me. Lavishly.
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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

What's Yours?

*Remember to pause my blog music before playing the video.*


Mine:


Insecure, Unsure, Bound to Other's Approval
----------
Confident, Passionate, Freedom in Standing for Truth



...or maybe this...



Ashamed, Pregnant Out of Wedlock
----------
Free From Guilt; God is Freeing Others Through Me!



What's Yours?
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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Happiest Place On Earth


"It's my birthday! And I'm at Disneyland!"






I was just a little nervous about Ian's Autopia driving skills. I'm still here, so I obviously lived through it... barely.


Taylor likes to remind me that in just over three years this will be a common sight. He better hope the car is bigger than this one! (And maybe Gramma will still ride with him.)


Heading into It's A Small World. They redid it, adding in the Disney characters in the different lands. So cool!


"It's a small world after all... it's a small world after all..."


"...it's a small world after all, it's a small, small world."


The kids liked hiding in the fort out on Tom Sawyer's Island... except it's now called Pirate's Lair. They've put in pirate-y stuff. The kids liked the skeleton hand holding the eyeball that popped down and scared you.




Celebrating Ian's 6th birthday at The Plaza restaurant at the end of Main Street. Mickey Mouse cupcake! Oooooooo...


This proves my amazingly awesome HIGH SCORE on Buzz Lightyear! 389,300. That's right. I'm good.


Back on Autopia, Nate decides not to steer at ALL. The ENTIRE ride.


Ian's favorite mode of transportation around the park.


Thinking of something billowy.


Nate gloating that he didn't get wet on Grizzly River Run.


Everyone else did.


Gramma and Brit sporting cool glasses on the new Woody ride in California Adventure.


Brittney was finally big enough to go on Maliboomer! Yes!


Grrr...




Nate bet Ian a whole entire dollar that he couldn't keep his hands up all the way through Space Mountain. Cousin Ben can confirm that Ian, indeed, won that bet.


Family is so much fun! What a blast to enjoy Disneyland together.


Ah, the beauty of America: Father's teaching daughter's to shoot.


Grrr... Bang! Bang!


Girls with guns. "You know I'm bad. I'm bad. You know it."


Waiting in line for Thunder Mountain Railroad. "Goodnight, Ned!"


Awww... parents and son.


Jordan and Mom at the end of the wildest ride in the Wilderness!


Club 33, the great mystery of Disneyland. Someday I'll get in. Someday. (Are you a member? Can you get me in? I'll sing for you!)


Hanging out at The Lego Store in Downtown Disney.


The "R" in California. Soon to be gone, as they're going to a different theme for that park.


Yet again on Buzz. Girls rock!


Determined to spin out of control on the Teacups.


Wheeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!


No puking. NO PUKING!!! At least not on Mom.


Disneyland. A White House favorite. We fit into three days what we normally do in seven to ten. Wonderful exhaustion. I'd go back tomorrow if I could.

(Are you still singing? Let me help. "It's a small world after all... it's a small world after all...")
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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Couldn't have said it better myself

"The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction,
is the first and only object of good government."

— Thomas Jefferson

"(W)hen a strict interpretation of the Constitution ... is abandoned, and the theoretical opinions of individuals are allowed to control its meaning, we have no longer a Constitution; we are under the government of individual men, who for the time being have power to declare what the Constitution is, according to their own views of what it ought to mean."

— Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Curtiss, March 6, 1857, dissenting from the Dred Scott ruling that slaves were property
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There are days...

...when the house is a wreck. You have a few minutes. You should be tidying and cleaning. But the job seems endless. And when you put some things away you only notice more things that need to be put away. And taken back. And scrubbed. And called. And emailed. And washed. And cleaned out.

And the day is already full, and you know you should take this time... THIS TIME... right exactly now... to do all those little things and try to get caught up.

But all you want to do is sit.

And breathe.

And maybe eat chocolate.

And maybe forget about some things.

And maybe post a little blog.
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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

It Has Begun... Again


Notice Nate is the head coach on this team...


...AND on THIS team. It's a balancing act, but it works.


Fun at the ballpark. (That's my buddy Caden.)


Ian's just a LITTLE bit excited about FINALLY playing baseball.


Coach Nate getting the Rangers pumped up!


Ian begged and begged to be catcher... just like his brothers.


Fun dads make fun coaches, and vice versa.


And yummy hot chocolate makes for smiles all around.


My boys. My joy. My goofy, silly joy. Gee, I love baseball.
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Monday, March 9, 2009

Choosing to remain blind

As seen on my news page this morning, this is absolutely horrific. Our president, the majority of the media, and countless americans are choosing to remain blind when it comes to matters of science.

******************************************************************

Many who listened to President Obama’s inaugural address believe he means to spend taxpayer money on research that destroys human embryos. Before he does, I hope somebody brings to his attention the story I’m about to tell.

A few years ago, a Texas teenager named Laura Dominguez lost control of her car when she hit an oil spill on the road. The accident left Laura paralyzed from the neck down. “You’ll never walk again,” doctors told her.

Laura refused to accept this prognosis. She and her mother met with experts on spinal cord injuries. They learned about an exciting new treatment being performed in Portugal. The procedure is known as olfactory mucosa transplantation. Surgeons take adult stem cells found in the nasal region and transplant them into the injured area.

Laura underwent this treatment—and her spinal cord began to heal. She gained upper body agility, and, in time, she learned to walk with the use of braces and outside help. Laura is determined to walk unassisted by her 21st birthday.

Miracles like this have been repeated many times as researchers bend their attention to the uses of adult stem cells. Writer Bradley Hughes describes many of them in his article “Real-World Successes of Adult Stem Cell Treatment.”

To date, Hughes writes, these “miracle cells” are providing hope for patients with Crohn’s disease, lupus, heart disease, blindness, Parkinson’s, and sickle-cell anemia. And according to biotech writer James P. Kelly, umbilical cord blood stem cells are already being used to treat 70 forms of blood and bone marrow cancers.

And just a few days ago, there was a report at Northwestern University. Twenty-one patients with multiple sclerosis were stabilized following treatment with adult stem cells removed from each patient’s bone marrow. In some patients, the disease was reversed.

But because much of the mainstream media refuses to report on this, many Americans remain unaware of it. Ignorance about these cures may be driving the public’s demand for embryonic stem-cell research, which kills human beings at the embryonic stage.

Americans also seems unaware that not a single clinical success has resulted from treatments using embryonic stem cells. None!

So why do researchers and the biotech industry push so hard for public funds for embryo-destructive research? Because science wants science for science’s sake and, incidentally, because they stand to make huge profits through potential patents. It’s potentially far more lucrative than research involving adult stem cells.

You and I need to spread the word about the miracle cures being found through the use of adult stem cells. They’re a far superior alternative to embryonic stem cells—and nobody is killed in the process of retrieving them.

As science demands unfettered research in the future, we need to be encouraging ethically challenged reporters, researchers, and politicians to take a look backwards for a grim reminder of what happens when science is divorced from morality—euthanasia, gas chambers, and Nazi experiments on children.

Do we really want to start down that terrible road again?

*****************************************************************

This is a reprinted Break Point article, by Chuck Colson. For further reading and information, follow the link.
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Friday, March 6, 2009

Fashion Tip Friday: Capris

If they're too long, they'll look like they're pants that are too short.

If they're too short, they'll look like shorts that are too long.

If they're too wide, you'll look like you're wearing a bell and your legs are the little thing inside that makes it ring.

If they're too tight, you'll look like an orange on a toothpick. (Quick! Where's the quote from?)

Capris are difficult. And although they may no longer be at the height of the fashion trend, they're still fully acceptable. Especially in an office setting during the summer.

Just DON'T do this:


(Goodwill is a breeding ground for bad fashion examples.)

I had to try this on and have my wonderfully willing friend take a picture to explain what NOT to do. I see so many women in carpis such as these! Wrong length, wrong cut. Egaads!

*They should fall in a straight line from the widest part of your hip. These cut in at the knee and then flare out again, which makes my hips look wide and my feet look quite awkward. (Okay, my feet look awkward anyway, but this accentuates it.)

*They need to be a few inches shorter. I've heard it said that a capri should cut across the widest part of your calf. While there can be exceptions to this rule, it's a good one to keep in mind.

*Exceptions can be made (see above tip) when you're wearing heels. The higher the heel, the lower the length of a capri you can get away with because your body is visually lengthened by your footwear.

*So it falls to reason that if you're wearing flats, you can't get away with the above. The capris will visually cut off your body wherever the pant stops. They'll make you look shorter and awkward. Likewise, the lower the shoe, the higher the capri.

*If you're pretty darn short, even with heels on, you really need to be wary of capris altogether. You should probably either go with pants or shorts. Capris will tend to do very little to flatter your beautifully petite figure. (Notice I'm saying "really need to be wary" and "probably" and "tend" and "very little" to soften the embedded statement that you just down right shouldn't wear them.)

*Don't think you can get away with putting on those capris for work when your legs are newly emerging from their winter wardrobe without some form of self tanner. Please. Don't scare the children. We make excuses: "Everyone's pale this time of year. It won't matter." Yes, everyone is. But, yes, it does. If you're going to wear the fashion, take responsibility for it... or pray that you suddenly become a different race with a gorgeous, natural, year-round-tan skin tone. Miracles never cease.

My brain is a little gone today, but I didn't want to skip this post, seeing as how I've been negligent the past two weeks. So, I'm cutting the tips short. If you have more, please add them in the comments.

(Man, that picture is really, really bad. I mean REALLY bad. Please, don't ever wear anything like that. Please.)
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Thursday, March 5, 2009

These Shoes


These shoes carry hopes and dreams. They carry potential that can be reached or wasted. At times they skip with laughter and joy and a spring in a step. At times they trudge through rejection and hurt and pain. These shoes can run if they choose. They can bear the weight of others if they choose. They can turn and walk the other way if they choose. They're all different sizes. They're all in different seasons. But they're all cut from the same cloth.

I know these shoes are set apart for something great. Something defining. Vision. Strength. Valor. Integrity. Passion.

Yet, it's not the shoes themselves that are so great. The greatness comes from Whom they choose to walk with.

I see amazing shoes.

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