Monday, March 03, 2014

Firmly Awana Stands

I was an AWANA kid. That means that once a week I put on my AWANA vest, strutted to church and earned a crazy amount of jewels and awards to pin to my vest. One earns awards with Bible verse memorization and a couple of other things I don't remember in AWANA. I earned every single jewel I could. I rocked my Bible memorization/recitation. I was an AWANA super kid.

I was primarily motivated by the jewels...and maybe a little by God's approval.

And then one day it happened. Some teacher/adult/volunteer mentioned that we earned real jewels in Heaven if we led someone to get saved. WHAT?! My heart leaped. Why had I not known this earlier? I immediately started scoping out my friends and family to see if any of them weren't Christians so I could get them saved and earn my awesome real jewel. Unfortunately most of them were...except for one. I wish I could remember her name, but I do know that mom picked her up on our way to AWANA. She didn't go to our church other than that, so I assumed she was one of the "lost."

And my opportunity.

I pounced during AWANA game time.

"So ____________ do you know Jesus?"

"What?"

"You know, Jesus. The God who saves us."

"I don't know."

"Well, are you a Christian?"

"I don't know."


At this point I knew I had her. I had found my "unsaved" and I was dangerously close to victory. I needed to close the deal fast.


"Do you want to be a Christian?"

"I don't know, maybe."

"Well, you should. All you have to do is say this prayer (say something weird about Jesus entering her heart)."

"Okay, but I have to go to the bathroom. I'll do it in the bathroom." (She leaves and goes to the bathroom).

"So did you do it? Did you ask Jesus into your heart in the bathroom and become a Christian."

"Um...yes."


Sweet Lord Jesus! I had done it! I had earned my first Jewel.

I later heard that even though we earned crowns and jewels in Heaven we are going to give them back to Jesus. Fat chance Jesus.


I desperately want to leave my story there because the young superstar AWANA Suzanne is so comedic and sad. She is also very real. I really was that girl. And honestly somedays I still am. Praise Jesus the older I get,the more He works, the more convinced I become that if there truly are crowns and jewels waiting for me in Heaven, I will dead sprint to Him to give them back. I've done nothing. I deserve no jewels. He has done it all.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

denial observed

Sunday: "Hmm, I'm really grumpy and short tempered. Weird, I'm also achy. I must be PMSing."

Monday: "I woke up in a sweat this morning. So strange, my hormones must be wacky. My workout was extra hard too, I just didn't seem to have energy."

"Yeah, I know I don't normally take naps but I was feeling extra lazy today."

Tuesday: "My body still really aches. It must be the yoga I did at home this morning."

"I have about 1 hour before I need to be at school to volunteer, I'll just lay down again-since it's so cold in this house, I should probably keep my coat and boots on."

"Okay, I have 1/2 hour before I need to make dinner and then take J to soccer practice, I think I'll lay down again...why is it so %^&*&# cold in this house! I've got the fire on and 3 layers?!"

(I then lay down)

"I can't get up. Maybe I'm sick."

Wednesday: "I hate this."

Thursday: "Today I must be feeling better."

"Keep going, keep going, keep going." (while attempting laundry)

"Keep going, keep going, keep going." (while putting food in crock pot)

"Keep going, keep going, keep going." (while putting dishes away)

"#$%&%$# I'm done."

Friday: "Today I must be feeling better."

"I have to be better, I'm probably just being lazy because I haven't done work all week and my body has forgotten how."

"Nope."

Saturday (today): "Okay, TODAY I must be feeling better."

"...But why is it still so cold?"

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

I'm a...

There are great articles circling the facebooksphere-actually great articles and greatly ridiculous articles. A decent one has been banging around in my head lately. It was written by a mom telling every other mom in the world to chill out, stop trying to be everything, and celebrate who you are and who others are.

I applaud you outspoken blogger woman who is comfortable in your own skin. Now can you come visit me and let me know what I'm good at? I liked to garden, but then we moved and I had a lot of stairs to get to the backyard, so I stopped liking gardening. Cooking is fun, except this month, and last month...so now I'm questioning the definition of "fun." Health food is a great concept so on occasion I will turn our house into an organic vegetarian paradise, until I get tired and serve ice cream for dinner. I was a working mom so I dressed in fancy work clothes and pretended to be a grown up, but those days are over for now. And the list goes on and on...

The truth is, I don't care. Am I a gardener, am I a health nut, am I a cook, do I rock birthday parties and wow with my fashion sense and personal fitness? I don't know (except about the fashion, I know I don't have great fashion sense) and it takes too much time or energy to think about it. My life and "gifts" seem to change on the daily. A couple of days ago I was crazy clean house mom and yesterday I stared at my laundry while I had a long and embarrassing dance party with the kids.

Thank God what I do does not make me who I am. Thank God that who I am is safe and secure in God's view of me. Otherwise I would spend life trying to achieve things for the sole purpose of proving that I matter. That sounds insanely exhausting, and one thing I do know for certain is I don't have the energy for that.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Dear Jesus take 2

Dear Jesus...sometimes my life feels exhausting, and then you give me delicious wine, the Dick Van Dyke show and an infomercial about a massive light up key chain that helps you find your keys in your death chasm of a purse with only a shake, and life seems amazing again.

Thank you.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Books and Gift Theft

My senior recital at college opened with the line, "I love books." Riveting, I know...but true all the same. Over the past few years, I have mostly stopped reading books. I still love them, they just take too much time away from other things like watching awesome TV. But I am reading a book right now called, "What Every Man Wishes His Father Had Told Him." I realize that I am neither a man nor a father so I actually picked it up flippantly one day because it was on the table and I needed something to do while I was eating my fifth meal of the day. I'm telling you right now...go get this book. Seriously, right now. Don't believe me yet, check out this line, "When we are insecure it's as if we're attempting to cover up that which God uncovered on the cross and finally dealt with. To deny the cross is like stealing our gifts at our own party." I understand where fear, protection, pride, and insecurity all come from. I personally deal with it daily...I'm just sick of it. Why not just come clean about who we are? I'm tired of stealing gifts at my own party. I'm tired of watching others do the same. Geesh...this gospel stuff is crazy. Who knew?

Monday, April 09, 2012

Stop your blubbering

Two days ago Jaden and I were discussing Heaven. I don't remember much of the conversation except for his closing statement of, "Wow, that is so crazy that God has a place for us that is even better than here, because I think this world is pretty amazing."

I immediately had two thoughts.
1. Praise God that my son is still innocent and views this world with so much joy.
2. Will I ever feel that way again?

I do enjoy life, but there are times where life feels...heavy.

Tonight I was sitting downstairs watching a movie with the kids. I knew they wouldn't be able to finish it before bedtime and I warned Jaden about this. Parker was exhausted so she ended up crawling into my lap during the movie and falling asleep about a half and hour before bedtime. When bedtime came so came the drama. The short of it is I turned into "I warned you this was going to happen...so don't give me any crap" mom which did not sit well with my oldest...and my youngest woke up and began wailing because she realized she had slept through the sacred bedtime snack and I turned into "stop crying you are driving me nuts" mom which did not sit well with my youngest.

I sent them to bed feeling like a complete failure. Parker continued to wail uncontrollably and no matter where I was in the house I could hear her. I began to pray for wisdom, guidance, deafness...whatever it took to make this horrible sound go away. I knew that giving her what she wanted (a snack) would only wake her body up and keep her from getting the sleep she so desperately needed. I knew I was making the right choice, but it felt awful. I then had a thought (I'm guessing it was an answer to prayer), that maybe I should go into her room and hold her while she cries. I'm not changing the situation, but I can try and comfort her through it.

I did, and after 20 minutes of crying in my arms she laid back down and went into a deep sleep. I realized I wasn't done. I left her room and went to Jaden's room, kissed him on the forehead, accidentally woke him up, and apologized for my attitude.

Normally I buck at the spiritual wrap-up but this was so blaringly clear to me I couldn't avoid it. Here goes it...

If you are paying attention life is heavy. There is pain, sin, and destruction all around. But we have a God who, even if He chooses not to change the circumstances for reasons beyond our understanding, will lovingly hold us through our sobs and cries of injustice.

I tend to view God as the mom (me) who yells,"Just trust me and stop your blubbering." I'm learning ever so slowly how wrong I am. And that gives me joy in this world.