Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Conversations: Episode 1

I'd like to call the following conversation:

Reasoning with a 5 year old

Last week we had chick-fil-a for dinner. Chick-fil-a is guilt-free fast food.  At least thats how I feel.  All of the "May I help you"'s and "It's my pleasure"'s cancels out the excessive peanut oil and sodium.  Lately if we go to Chick-fil-a we drive-thru.  I haven't told you this yet, but I.LOVE.DRIVE.THRUS.  With 3+ kids your priorities and loyalties change all together.  The minivan is a horse drawn carriage and stumbling on a Chick-fil-a or Starbucks drive thru with NO LINE makes you happier than finding your favorite pair of shoes on the clearance rack.  (I mean the shoe analogy might be a stretch for you, but a shoe sale makes this woman on cloud nine!)

We were at Chick-fil-a and this happened: 

Me:  Okay Daxx, what do you want? 

Daxx:  I want a crabby patty! (<---- what he calls a hamburger with pickles and mustard. only.)

Me:  We are at Chickfila, they don't have crabby patties.  I got you chicken nuggets. 

Daxx: NOOOOOO... I want a crabby patty!!!  (Beginning to flail about in the back seat, voice getting higher pitched by the second....)

Me:  They only have CHICKEN at CHICK.fil.a.  That's why its called "CHICK" fil-a!!  Chicken. Chick.  Get it?! 

Daxx:  (Still frustrated) So.  Are their french-fries like little-chicken-waffles made out of chickens but they taste like potatoes?  I want potato fries, not chicken fries. 

Me:  No.  Their fries are made of potatoes.  Like all the other french fries we eat.

Daxx:  Then your wrong.  They don't ONLY have chicken.

Me: sigh...   

Living and reasoning with a 5 year old is so much fun. So. Much. Fun. 

Reasoning with a 2 year old 

The following conversation is one that I have EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. at nap time. Every. Day.  Did I say everyday?  Okay.  Yea, everyday.  

Me: Zadie, you need to go get in bed for rest time. 

Zadie:  Noooooo.... (beginning to melt her little 3 foot body to the floor)

Me:  Yes.  Come on.  When you get up, you can get a snack! (Snacks are my daughters love language.) 

Zadie:  Okay... (running to her bed!)(<--because I said "snack")

Me:  Don't get up until I come get you. 

Zadie: Okay.  Unless I need to go pee-pee?  

Me:  Yes.  Unless you need to go pee-pee.

Zadie:  Or tee-tee?  Or potty?  Or poop?  Or poop-a-loopers? Or tinkle? 

Me: Yes.  All of those, now 

So.  Everyday she repeats that list.  In that order.  In the same tone of voice.  I figured I could document it here on the blog so someday when she is big and grown and I have forgotten all of her cuteness because we are arguing over the length of her skirt or the amount of fabric on her bathing suit, I can remember once her stubbornness was irresistibly sweet.  

That wraps up "Conversations: Episode 1" 

Thanks for reading.

(Did you like my Mother Gothal look on the pic with Zadie.  I was pretty impressed with my nostral-flair-abilities)

Monday, April 22, 2013


Today I gave my daughter a dirty sock to wipe her nose with... I resign.  Somewhere amongst the mountains of laundry my dignity has been misplaced.  I am no longer fit for childrearing, I need an intervention.  The sock (which was a baby sock, don't call the authorities on me yet! ) was on it's way to the machine-o-washing, so i figured, "Eh, what's the harm?  Sop that snot up missy!".  Then I was a little embarrassed with myself.

I have also eaten an entire plastic container of baby puffs...  I was kinda embarrassed with myself on this account as well.  I don't even remember the context of the story, I only recall looking down into an empty container of puffs and realizing I was the only one left at the table...with an empty container of B.A.B.Y. P.U.F.F.S.!  (sigh)

So.  In order to lift your spirits I will share with you some of my recent #fail moments...

  • I once had a green thumb, but I don't think I have watered this poor plant since the birth of my 3rd baby... let's just be honest.  Yes.  Thats a self watering bulb... it's bone dry.  Yes... that little plastic blue-jay is supposed to sing when my plant is "thirsty"... he stopped chirping a long time ago.  #fail

  • Please don't call animal control on the condition of my fish's living conditions.  Seriously sad about this.  The fish just keeps on swimming, I keep on feeding him... we breed a tough brood in our home.   I am afraid if I try to clean his tank now, he might go into shock.  #fail

  • Midnight... my baby wants a bottle so he can take 5 drinks and go back to sleep.  Little does he know there is gold dust in the formula and it will cost me $2.00 for his 5 little gulps... I think, "let him cry, he will go back to sleep..." but his screaming was so ear piercing that I gave in.   Until tonight I guess... maybe I will try to be strong yet again.  #fail

  • adventure seeker, my curios one, my fearless tiger... was digging around in some cabinets Friday and dropped a leaded glass turkey on his toe.... I don't think it broke, but it was traumatic.  #toedrama #fail (don't mind his raggedy toe nail... another #fail)

  • The couple is coming over at 4:30 to sign a CONTRACT on our home... I try to print the contract at 4:00.... NO INK!!!  I SPEED to Office Depot and thankyouJesus they had my ancient ink... #almostfail  And the buyers never knew...

  • A while ago, Zadie was gifted a babydoll that magically pees on it's own. You feed her water in a bottle, then she pees it out.  Not in a "fancy Baby Alive" sorta way, more like "this baby was bought at Family Dollar" sort of way.  So I designated her as a bath toy.  Daxx decapitated her.  Now her head is used for a cup to drink (only water from the faucet!! I have not gone rouge yet) My kids refer to this tasty beverage as "Baby Milk"... This is a #fail on so many levels.  I don't think I will be moving the baby head to our next house.  (Please don't judge me for this) 

  • On a not-so-fail-note.... we joined a co-op.  We have been getting our veggies from Urban Organics for a few months now and we love it!!  Today is pick up day and I am so excited to see the yumminess we get to enjoy.  One week we had a stow-away... a VERY GREEN grasshopper.  We captured him and let him go outside... I guess the produce was indeed pesticide free.  (smiles)  #win

Okay, so hopefully on this windy monday you can feel a little better about the things you look at in your life and shake your head at... Life is messy and unpredictable... that's okay!  

Also.  We sold our house. I will update you more on that story in due time.  I don't want to be premature in telling you how incredible of a story it is.  Waiting for inspections and appraisals before I dance any jigs!!  But, woooohooo!!! 

Friday, April 19, 2013

The year I got Easter all wrong

We sat at the kitchen table on a sunny April afternoon, I had made sandwiches for lunch to accompany our crisp slices of granny smith apples.  Daxx, Zadie and I sat around the round kitchen table talking, enjoying the streams of sunlight and fresh spring air; just an average afternoon.  Daxx took a bite of his sandwich and with shreds of crust rolling out of the corners of his mouth, he mumbled, "Mom, we sure eat Jesus's body a lot, don't we?".  I nearly spewed my lemonade all over the dining room table.  Wiping my face, astonishment radiating from my protruding eyeballs, I asked him, "Why, why would you say something like that?". "Well, Jesus said his body is the bread, right..."

OH.MY.GRACIOUS.  Talk about taking the Eucharist to a whole new level, people!  We finished our lunch, I put Zadie down for a nap, and then Daxx and I downloaded the movie HOP from Itunes and brushed up on our "American Easter Traditions".

That was the year I got Easter all wrong.

I am 30, I am still figuring this faith thing out myself.  I have not arrived.  Probably never will, thats okay.  Katherine Willis Pershey says it best in her blog on, "My faith is a messy amalgam of feisty conviction and quiet doubt, liberal tendencies and orthodox leanings. I believe and don’t believe in the same things at the same time. I don’t pray nearly as often as I should, and nowhere near ceaselessly. I don’t walk the walk; I fumble the fumble."... YES... I fumble the fumble too!!! 

As I try to navigate my own path in faith, I must forge a way for my little children to follow behind, and sometimes thats not an easy road to pave.  A few years back my pendulum swung severely to ONE side, questioning all of the "normal" traditions that come with religious celebrations like Christmas and Easter.  Were the bunnies and egg hunts distracting from the real meaning of Easter?  The death and resurrection of Christ, the most vital part of the gospel... are they looked over because of cultural traditions rooted in paganisms?

Well this year, the year my son thought he was eating Jesus with every bite of bread he took (and he eats a lot of bread), I decided to give my 3 year old son a real dose of "Easter".  I bought books.  I bought Resurrection Eggs.  I bought Easter CDs and we checked out the Veggie Tale Easter DVD from the library.  By-golly my three year old was gonna know the meaning of Easter!!  Chest puffed up and head held high, we read the books, we watched the DVDs, we hunted Resurrection Eggs... and then, like I said, my kid said he was eating JESUS... SO... mission failed.

I realized that we when kids are 3 they barely know the difference between red and blue, they are not going to master the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, and guess what, some adults don't even "get it"... Often times we place so much pressure on our children to understand things that are far beyond their grasp.  (At least I do.)

In reality, when I look back on my own memories of childhood that annual egg hunt did not make me deny the true meaning of Easter.  Dying eggs, hunting them, waking up to Easter treats, and wearing new clothes made me anticipate such a special day.  It set the stage for celebration, an atmosphere of rejoicing and a highlighted the true meaning of Easter, new life because of Christ.  Never did I confuse the two; the Easter Bunny and Christ.  I was always aware of the true reason we celebrated, but the other things were a way of coming together in fellowship.

The terrain might be messy in leading our families on a path of faith; sand, rocks, lush valleys, rugged mountain paths lead you onward each day, and you never know what you are to encounter, especially while (we) the adults are hashing things out along the way.  I guess thats why God gives parents grace those first few years, when their little memories are few. :)

One of my most favorite scriptures is Deuteronomy 11:11 when Joshua is leading the Israelites into the promised land.  Moses is about to die and the Israelites are perched atop a mountain looking over the land they are about to claim...

"The land you are entering is a land of mountains and of valleys, that drinks rain from heaven."

This is the verse that God has laid on my heart for my journey as a parent... yup, there will be mountains, there will be valleys... but for the rain from heaven.  The rain that nourishes my soul, that gives me hope, that gives me peace, that cleans me, the very water that quenches my thirst and gives me the energy to wake up and do it all again tomorrow. The rain from heaven.

Mistakes happen when it comes to parenting, sometimes we can tighten the reigns just a little to tight, take our job a little too seriously and turn up the pressure a few notches too high... but realizing that, laughing about it, and adjusting is all we can do.  Don't worry, I will tell my grandchildren (and then hopefully their children) about Daxx "Eating Jesus's body" for lunch that day.  Its classic Daxx.  Our children can be such a great barometer for our level of parenting.  Obviously this instance proved to be so. :)

Thanks for reading.

Here are some pics from the Easter mentioned above.  Just a reason to reminisce.

This was a picture of Zadie and I from Easter 2012... you can't tell, but I have a big ole pregnant belly holding her up. 

Daxx in the middle with his friends at the egg hunt... fun times.... makes me miss some special people. 

I had to add this picture of Laurel painting Daxx's face at the Egg Hunt... obviously he takes his spiderman face painting seriously.  She did better than I could have. 

Again... just too cute. 

The egg hunt at Denver's grandparents house... 

Zadie Bug circa 2012

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Standing in the Gap

Ezekiel is a pretty crazy book of the Bible y'all.  I am pretty sure I have never sat down and read through Ezekiel until this month.  Just a little back story...I have committed to "study" through the Bible, and it's taken me a while, it's been 2 years and I am only on Ezekiel, but did you know that's 1/2 way through the Bible.  (Yeah!!)  I have my whole life to get to the end, and I like to savor scripture... I am not a quick reader, and when I study something it takes time for me to mull it over.  At the ripe old age of 30 I have accepted this fact and if others read through the Bible in a year... yeah for them... my poor little mommy-of-three-brain just can't take in that much.

So.  Ezekiel.

Did you know that Jewish tradition would not allow a person to read Ezekiel until they were 30 years of age?  Me neither.  (At least that's what my Matthew Henry Commentary told me.)  It's probably because the first half of the book is a mash-up of Revelation and "Its a Wonderful Life".  Visions of God, his throne, his four-headed-six-winged-creature-beings (plus) God picking up Ezekiel by the HAIR, flying him through the air and showing him the inner sins of the priests, elders and people of Jerusalem...  Read it, then tell me if you don't think I am a genius.  Revelation/Its a Wonderful Life're welcome.
Have I lost you?  I have to admit my mind is a little scattered this morning, but I just have to tell you what I have learned this week in Ezekiel.  I just have to.
So... God basically is allowing Judah to be taken captive because of rampant idolatry.  He has chosen Ezekiel to be the prophet to captive Israel.

In chapter 22:30 God says...
30 “I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land [Israel] so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one.  (so... he destroyed them (as a nation))

After I read this potion the wheels began to turn.  God.  In his omnipresent ways, with his omniscient power searched for someone to "stand before him in the gap on behalf of the land [Israel]".  (And this is where my process of mulling starts)  As if God branded this scripture on my heart this week, I could NOT stop thinking about it.  I have always heard this phrase from the pulpit, on t-shirts or in old songs, but finally I understood it..."standing in the gap".  I am pretty sure there was a big "G.A.P." fashion movement... In the late 90's "God. Answers. Prayers." donned bracelets, t-shirts, posters, hats... probably even underwear... and I am pretty sure all this merchandise was located in the back of Mardel.
Back to my point... reel it in Heather...
In psalm 106: 23
23 23 So he said he would destroy them—
    had not Moses, his chosen one,
stood in the breach [gap] before him
    to keep his wrath from destroying them.

And guess what, when the Israelites were at the bottom of the mountain, singing, celebrating and consecrating the golden calf they had made, God was going to destroy every last one of them, but Moses braved God and stood in the gap.  He went before the holy God and pleaded on their behalf.... and God changed his mind.   Moses's petition was heard, and it literally says "So the Lord changed His mind about the harm which He said He would do to His people,". (Ex. 32:14)

Who has stood in the gap for me?  My parents, my grandmother, women and men of influence in my life, and possibly even my friends.  People who have approached the father on my behalf because I was unable.  To them I say thank you.  

Then through his Holy Spirit, God gently said to me, "Now Heather, I want you to stand in the gap for these...", and he brought to mind several people in my life that I am to pray for daily.  I wrote them down, in a place I will see everyday and I have devoted myself in prayer to those friends who have sick children, who are separated, who have turmoil in their home, who are struggling through addiction, who have fallen from Christ, who need peace...  I may not be able to solve their problems or undo what has been done, but I can stand in the gap, and plead to Holy God to have mercy and see them through.

There will be times when my knees grow weak from standing in that gap for my children or for their children, and time will pass when I will never see that marriage restored, or that child healed.  I know this, yet I still pray.  Prayer is so mysterious.  Jesus himself even prayed.  In the stillness he communed with his father through prayer, just as I do today.  Each prayer heard, each petition considered... Even with Jesus, there were times when the listless body stood up and walked and the sealed eyes were opened wide, but there were times when God was silent and allowed the harm to come.  We just have to have faith that His ways are not our own, but they are higher and mightier.

Please.  Stand in the gap for someone today.  Choose 1 person or 2 people, or a situation and commit to pray for a continued period of time.  Maybe God has searched their "land" and YOU were the chosen one to stand before Him.  Sometimes we experience seasons of life where we are unable to come before the Father ourselves, and when someone else does it for us, it's the greatest act of love.

Thanks for reading friends.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Earthquakes, Pink Eye, Teeth and 10-Second-Abs

Was anyone else jolted awake last night because of the Oklahoma earthquake??  

Or was it just me?  

I felt the earth jerk and came flying out of my sleep only to wake up my poor husband with a big fat slap in the face.  Needless to say, he wasn't excited to wake up in such a manner.  I asked him, "Did you feel that?" he said "Feel what?  That giant slap in the face?" then I said "Oh, sorry." 

2 thoughts ran through my mind. 
1: Was it another bomb?- "No... didn't hear a 'boom'." 
2:  Was it the rapture?- "If it was I didn't make the cut, I better get some rest before I face some sleepless nights ahead of me."

Then I rolled over and went back to sleep, only to be woken up at 6:04 by my son begging to play Subway Surfer on my husbands iPhone... 

What is with my son waking up at 6:04 AM wanting to play a GAME!?!?  That is earlier than he wakes up on Christmas morning?  Maybe I should just download a new game on Christmas instead of spending his college fund on presents (<---I kid). (And before you have any preconceived notions or pass judgement.. he really doesn't play games very often, he was just introduced to this game last night thanks to his lovely auntie.) 

Now...EYE want to update you all on the "Pink Eye" situation around our house. 

Fact 1:
Pink Eye Is Socially Unacceptable.

If you ever want to be ostracized from your kids school, your church, or your group of BEST friends... get pink eye.  

"Hey we had a play date today, but we didn't call you because you all have pink eye." 
(Gee, thanks for at least being honest ... It's not like I was sitting at home teaching my kids how to give your kids butterfly kisses {or maybe I was?})  
I kid.  Again.  I love my friends.  Too much.  The fact that they could be openly honest and blunt with me about their disgust for me is kinda heartwarming.  I wear it as a badge of honor.  True friendships will withstand pink eye, lice and ring worm! 

Fact 2: 
Pink Eye Is Disgusting

If you ever want to look like Quasimodo sans the giant hump on the back, have pink eye.  Not only is your eye gross all day long from watering and booger-ing, when you wake up in the morning it is swollen shut... or crusted shut, depending on the shade of pinkness.  Are you ready to vomit yet?

Fact 3:
Post Pink Eye Aftermath is ALL Consuming

Would you like an excuse to launder every washable item in your house?  Good, I have your answer... get pink eye.  Our house is squeaky clean, thanks to conjunctivitis.  I have washed ALL sheets, comforters, pillowcases, blankies, towels, clothing.... EVEN the shower curtain for crying out loud... I witnessed my son wiping his eye with it, then I hid in the corner and cried.  The following pic was taken from the TOP bunk of my children's room... a mountain of laundry one.bunk.high.  Sigh.  

Fact 4: 
When You Have Pink Eye.... THROW AWAY ALLL EYE MAKEUP THAT HAS TOUCHED YOUR EYE IN THE LAST MONTH.... Or you will get Pink Eye again!! 

Yes.  I am ashamed to admit.  I reinfected myself due to my own stupidity and stubbornness. Dumb. 

Sunday- "Surely this eye-liner will be okay if I sharpen it really well..."
Monday- "Well, good morning Quasimodo, so nice of you to greet me this Monday morning...."   

Fact Five: 
Pink Eye < Lice

I am going to go ahead and concede.  Anyone with a child who has had lice (cough, friend Katie) your ramifications exponentially exceed those of a household with Pink Eye.  "Eye.Am.Not.Worthy."

Now, on to my favorite subject, TEETH! (Well, maybe not my favorite, but it's better than talking about Pink Eye.)

If you didn't know... I have been through dental school, but I wasn't old enough to get a degree. ;)  No, but seriously, my Mom and Dad went to Dental School when I was in 6,7,8 and 9th grade.  I spent many hours roaming the halls of OU's College of Dentistry in my pre-teen years.  I know what a typodont is, I have an explorer in my bathroom drawer and I have heard the words "distal cusp" more than anyone who is NOT in the dental profession.  (Random Facts...)

Lately... Zadie has been obsessed over this dentist play-dough toy.  I am really hoping none of you have a mouth like this patient.  Good-golly this poor guy needs a real dentist.  Ouch.

Dutch has been teething, so (for today) I hate teeth.  His top tooth poked through this week... I am not allowing Zadie near him with her dentist tools, but she does enjoy photo-bombing in her spare time.

Now.  I am signing off with 2 things... 

First... If I had all the money in the world I would track this item down and do a blog-review on it, just because I laughed for a solid 10 minutes after seeing this on Facebook today.  If YOU have ever used one, will you let me know if it's worth my money?  I would invest in one for the summer or to use before my kids swimming lessons... the other mom's would be talking about my abs for weeks... 

Second.  I started a FB page for the blog, so find me on Facebook HERE and "LIKE" my page!  Because of ministry, because I have moved more times than many annnnnnd because I am so cool (not) I figured having ONE place to update those who are interested in my blog would be a good idea.  

Thanks for reading, friends.  :) 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Because He Lives: Faith, Motherhood and Bombings

On days like today, with the news of the Boston Marathon bombings I have no words.  They escape my mind and a fog of confusion enters, where the questions exceed the answers.

These moments are the ones where my faith acts as the safety net in my tight rope walk of life.  Alone I navigate the rope, high above, wind blowing me about.   I know that net will catch me, but the quivering of my feet, the fluttering of my heart and the staggering of my body are much more exaggerated on days like today.  Even more terrifying is the truth that I do not venture through this life alone, instead I have three children, 3 souls, 3 innocent spirits toppled on my back making my journey that much more laborious, I feel the pressure to buckle that much greater. The crushing weight of news like bombings, murders, genocide, famine, slavery... how will I make it to the other side of the wire?

I may not know the answer, but I do know the net that lies beneath me can bare my weight.  It can catch my children, it can catch my family.  HE alone is greater than I, and HE knows all things.

I may not understand.
I may be inclined to fear.
I may hug my children tighter tonight.
My heart may race a few beats faster.
My throat may tighten.
My temperature may rise.
But I know justice is God's to seek.
But I know power is given to me in authority of Jesus the Christ.
But I know my faith exceeds my confusion.

In times like today I rely on the truth sang in this old hymn.

God sent His son, they called Him Jesus

He came to love, heal, and forgive.

He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.

Because He lives, All fear is gone.

Because I know He holds the future,

And life is worth the living just because He lives.

How sweet to hold a newborn baby,

And feel the pride and joy he gives.

But greater still the calm assurance,
This child can face uncertain days because He lives.
Words: Bill & Gloria Gaither 

This post is linked up to 

Thanks for reading. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Fleshing Out God's Call, Family Style....

So.  Today I am speaking for a BIG 10 Minutes to a small group of people about my involvement with The Spero Project.  (A local non-profit ministering to the under-resourced populations in Oklahoma City).  I got this text from Kim, the co-founder, she was really specific with her request and asked me to speak on:

"What the crafting co-op has meant to me and what I've learned."



(I was unsure where to begin. So I sat down to hash is out on the key board.  (I like the sound of myself typing much more than the sound of myself talking!)  Plus many of you know I am involved with Spero, but don't know how I initially got involved.) 

I thought I would start off by telling you how it all began.

3 years ago, Denver played a show for an organization called Keep It Local, here in Oklahoma City to benefit a "new" local non-profit, The Spero Project.  I was invited through Facebook to attend.  When I clicked on the "event" page to confirm my attendance, I saw a link posted for The Spero Project.  So.  I clicked.  Curiously, I surfed around the site, and instantly my heart was drawn to their mission.

"Confronting injustice and oppression by mobilizing the Church to fully engage in a Biblical response to under-resourced populations."

At the time I was in a strange point in my faith.  I was currently in a Bible study at church, and really digging into scripture with a group of amazing women.  We were knee deep in the old testament and I felt spiritually saturated, as if I needed to wring myself out... I visited another Bible Study (out of curiosity).  They were studying Isaiah.  This Bible study group was well known for digging into the word, and picking apart scripture, I was excited because I felt like I needed something "deeper".  After attending for 3-4 weeks I realized this was NOT the "deeper" I anticipated.  Yes, it was an in-depth study on Isaiah, but my discerning spirit kept nudging me, telling me this is not the place I was to be.  

I remember sitting in a circle and looking around the room the women.  We all looked alike, we all probably shopped at the mall, we all probably ate at Chick-fil-a, we all probably attended church, we all probably went to college, we all probably drove mini-vans... We sat there, in that circle discussing the following verse: 

Isaiah 1:17- 
"Take your evil deeds
out of my sight!
Stop doing wrong, 
learn to do what is right!
Seek justice
encourage the oppressed.
Defend the cause of the fatherless, 
plead the cause of the widow."

Out of no where I felt disgust ripping through my chest.  My eyes went blank and I mentally removed myself from the conversation that was going on within the circle I sat.  Suddenly, I found myself begging the questions:  WHY are we sitting in this million dollar building, talking about these issues, and why are we NOT doing them?!!?!  All of these women are 20, 30, 40 years old... WHY are we still talking about seeking justice, encouraging the oppressed, defending the fatherless and pleading for the widow????  WHY are we talking and WHY we are NOT DOING?!?!?! WHY?!?!  

I left Bible study that day feeling so unsure, convicted, repentant, burdened, overwhelmed... I had no means of articulating the emotions rising up in me that were spurred by this one small verse.  

I drove home, went on with life, but this inner rage never left.  It was as if God opened my heart and mind to things unseen and I could no longer look away, my soul scarred from the Holy Spirits prodding. (I have learned that  when true conviction sets in by the means of the Holy Spirit, you may run, you may try to hide, but He will seek you out, at all cost.)

God and I conversed continuously over those few weeks. I countered His calling with statements and questions like: How do I live this way; seeking, encouraging, defending, pleading?  My kids are too small (2 and 6 mo at the time). I have no money to donate.  I cannot drop my family and move to an orphanage in Africa, God.  I have children to care for, a husband to love, a family to build, how do I have time for this commissioning you have put on my heart??  He kept gently responding with, "I know, Heather.  Trust me.  Give ME the reigns to your life."  In our conversation I kept yanking those reigns tighter, claiming ownership to the life He gave me.  I came up with every excuse in the book, and God kept nodding, confirming that He knew my current situation, and the life He created for me did not discount the call he placed in my life.... Then, I had a revelation... God's Call and My Life are not mutually exclusive... They are instead harmonious, and when blended into ONE they are a beautiful display of sacrificial living.  

The lightbulb clicked on, shining a light on the fact that my life was caged by the excuses I was uttering.  I set up fences, gates, doors, barriers, walls because I had children who were growing and I had a marriage that was thriving... 

Thoughts started taking over my mind.  What would it look like if I sought justice with my children by my side?  What would it look like if my husband, children and I encouraged the oppressed in our neighborhood?  How could the family God gave me defend the fatherless?  Hand in hand, could we serve the widow?   

I had come to  point where I was willing to let the fence I built around my life fall.  Letting go of security and ownership of my own family I was willing to say "Yes" to the Holy Spirits nudge.  At the time I was unsure of what I was saying yes to.  I didn't know of the ugly tears that I would cry or how parched my soul had become, and no destination was set in front  of me.  I was simply saying yes to obedience. 

One morning, I happened to run an errand for my husband and I stopped in a local store, Shop Good to buy some tickets to a Charlie Hall cd release show.  I walked in, lugging my giant infant carseat, ready to buy 2 tickets, when I met Audrey, one of the owners of Shop Good.  We instantly hit it off (only because we were meant to be friends) she began telling me about The Spero Project.  Every purchase made in Shop Good gives back locally or internationally, and the local non-profit they were currently supporting was The Spero Project.  I knew that rang a bell, because Denver was playing a benefit show for them coming up... so she gave me more and more info on what they did and gave me an e-mail of one of the girls who helps coordinate volunteers.

I left Shop Good that warm morning, with e-mail in hand... not knowing the repercussions of that encounter.  Later that day, I e-mailed Kelly (the name on the card) and met up with her the next week.

As we sat in a crowded Starbucks on a crowded Friday morning she asked:

Kelly: "Do you know what a refugee is?"

Me:  "Do we have refugees in Oklahoma!?"

Kelly:  "Yes.  Do you know where Burma is?"

Me: "Wait....We. Have. Refugees. In. Oklahoma. ?"

Kelly: "Yes...from Burma, Russia, Iraq, Afganistan, the Congo, Kenya, Jordan, Iran..... Can you come next week to our crafting co-op?  Wednesday night at 7:00." 

Thoughts started pouring into my head (Wait, Wednesday night?  I will have my kids.  Alone.  And...7:00... that's around way. can. I. do. this.)

Me: "Can I bring my kids?"

Kelly: "They would LOVE for you to bring your kids"

Me: "I will be there...." 

I got into the car that morning, unsure of what I had committed to, but I knew it was right.  The next week I met the women and community that would change my life.  An entire community full of families: men, women, and children affected by war, genocide, religious persecution... within 10 miles from my doorstep. I saw families who had children snatched out of their homes to fight war; families that spent years in the jungle displaced because of war; families that had to pack 1 suitcase in a matter of minutes to leave the only life they ever knew because of war...  Families who were oppressed, children who were fatherless, women who were widowed... because of injustice. Isaiah 1:17 fleshed out.

I began to be involved in the refugee crafting co-operative through The Spero Project.  Women, sitting in a circle, on the floor, sewing, cutting, gluing, crafting... And through the work of our hands relationships were forged that went deeper than language, a love was developed that was carved in my heart so hard it will never leave, a respect grew that exceeds all the mountains in my life, and friendship that knows no cultural boundaries.  I am humbled by these women who I have sat with for 3 years, women from Burma, from Thailand, from Jordan, from Russia.  I am thankful for their children, who have played with my children, who have held my babies, who have braided my daughters hair and made my sons laugh.

After having my 3rd baby, the girls insisted I have a native Burmese wrap to carry my babies in.   I have yet to master the native art of "baby wearing" but Zadie sure enjoys it! 

As I reflect on the question "What the crafting co-op has meant to me, and what I have learned" words cannot express rapid beating in my heart, the swelling of my soul and the tingling in my eyes.  The tears shed, the nights I have lied in bed asking "why God?" on their behalf, the embarrassment I have bore because of our self-absorbed American culture, and the indignation I have felt towards a church that have looked over this population... no words can express these emotions that rise up in me.  No words can express the gratitude rooted in my soul, or the joy I feel after being with my community.

I did it because I was called, I do it because I love

Kim-chee is from Burma.  She came to our most recent Christmas craft co-operative.  She has been in the US for  under a year. 

War Gay is Karen, she is from Burma and has been doing work for the crafting co-op  since it's creation.  Her work is meticulous and all hand done.  She embroiders most of the clothing and Tom's that we have done.
Today I read Ezekiel 17:22-24

22 “‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will take a shoot from the very top of a cedar and plant it; I will break off a tender sprig from its topmost shoots and plant it on a high and lofty mountain. 23 On the mountain heights of Israel I will plant it; it will produce branches and bear fruit and become a splendid cedar. Birds of every kind will nest in it; they will find shelter in the shade of its branches. 24 All the trees of the forest will know that I the Lord bring down the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall. I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish.
“‘I the Lord have spoken, and I will do it.

Birds of every kind will nest in it; they will find shelter in the shade of it's branches.  Yes.  Yes, they will.

I encourage you to say yes to obedience, and let that direct your path.  Your path will not be my own.  Maybe it is allowing your widowed grandmother to live with your family, serving the homeless, visiting a nursing home or helping a non-profit in your local church community.  Whatever it is be sensitive to the Holy Spirit's nudge, and don't allow your family to be an excuse, but invite your children to serve alongside you.  Hold their hand, walk with them into ministry, talk about needs of people in front of your children, encourage their questions, and give them SAFE and controlled opportunities to serve.  Sometimes their innocence, laughter and their smile can break barriers and bring peace to those in need the most.

Here are some projects our co-op has done through the years.

We have hand embroidered over 500 pairs of Toms for Blue 7 here in Oklahoma City.  We have done mustache Toms, Scissor Tail Toms (shown below), Thunder Toms, OK Toms, Redbud Toms ... 

And we thank the staff at Blue 7  for supporting the refugee co-op in this way.   
(You can purchase our TOMS at Blue 7) 

We have done a variety of Oklahoma themed canvases that we have sold at SHOP GOOD in Oklahoma City.  

Throughout the years we have done a variety of handmade custom jewelry and accessories.  We have done necklaces, earring, pins, headbands, and clips.  These are just a few that I have pictures of.  We sell our custom jewelry at SHOP GOOD 

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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Reciving Grace on the Horrible-No-Good-Very-Bad Days of Motherhood

Its a hard job living out your faith.  It's an even harder job to train up your children in a household of faith; especially when it's run by sinners, mistake-makers, yellers, temper-losers, and just-trying-to get-by-ers.

Yesterday was one of those horrible-no-good-very-bad-days that come to pass in Mommyhood.  By 8:29 am (Because I actually looked and the clock when this thought entered my mind.) I had already had enough.  I had enough "Mommy, will you (insert demand)",  "Mommy, she (insert tattle)", "Mommy, get me (insert any inanimate object of your choice {I have heard them all})"... I was already tired of the name MOMMY before 8:30 had ticked by.   It didn't help that my oldest was home from school with pink eye AND I had to start him on eye drops 5 times a day for 5 days, AND my other two children had to participate for precautionary measure... (after the math, that will total 75 eye drops for the next 5 days... knowing I had this task ahead of me I was already ticked off  because I was now aware that I will be fighting the ominous "Battle Eye Drop" for the next 5 about a Debbie Downer on your Monday Morning!!! BOOOOO for Eye Drops!)  

So, needless to say I started my day off on the wrong foot.  I took that little tangible piece of justified self pity and let it form a cloud over my day that set the forecast for gloom.

Because of my passive aggressive rebellion against the eye drops I was a woman on a mission.  A mission to make everyone else's day as miserable as mine.  Since the mother is considered the "thermostat to her household" let's say I set the temp low... bone chilling low... and my children followed suit.  There was impatient moments, there were tears, there was frustration acted out in aggression, and then there were more tears.

My favorite line from yesterday's chaos...

Zadie: "Daxx pushed me!"

Me: "Daxx did you push your sister?"

Daxx:  "Well, no.  At least not with my hand." (That's okay because pushing with other appendages or objets is acceptable. not.)

(Have you ever had days like this, or am I alone?)

Since steam was already shooting from both ears before noon, both the littles were in bed for their naps at 11:30... which was an hour and a half earlier than normal.  I had all of 2 minutes of peace and quiet until that plan backfired and I had crying coming from one room and the other getting out of her bed every other minute...  (My blood is boiling just typing this!!  I loathe spoiled nap times.) 

So.  What do you do when it's 12:00 and you aren't sure if you can survive until BEDTIME?

I couldn't go back to bed.
I couldn't leave the house.
I couldn't lock myself in the bathroom.

In this weeks reading in our Mom's group at church the author talked about 4 crucial cultivation tools in parenting:

  • Modeling
  • Teaching
  • Training
  • Grace
I read that last night, after my horrible-no-good-very-bad-day and I was totally convicted, yet at the same time totally thankful. I love that the author added GRACE in her list.  Because guess what, that's what I need, as a parent, the most.  Grace. 

After my husband came home from work yesterday I took 20 minutes in my room by myself to regroup.  I needed to come out of that room a different woman.  So.  I made conscious decision to get through the rest of the night and wake up tomorrow and start over.  Freely receiving the grace to do so. 

After I came out, I cooked dinner, we ate at the table.  At the table we reflected on our day.  

Me: "Mommy did not have a good day today did she?"

Daxx: "No, none of us had a good day...but Mom we can start over tomorrow."

And that's what we will do.  We will start over tomorrow, receiving Grace for today, teaching our children to make amends where they need to be made and modeling how to do so.  Hopefully yesterday I taught my kids that we all make mistakes, we all have bad days, but it doesn't give us permission to treat others around us poorly.  Its is okay to apologize and it's okay to receive grace and start over new each day.  Isn't it cool that God gives us "days and nights" as a point of reference to start anew?  Thank.You.Jesus.  

Thanks for Reading!

This post is Linked Up to Doing You Well Wednesday #12 at "Prowess and Pearls"

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Baby Fingernails: The Deadliest Edged Weapons Ever

Last night Denver was holding our 9 month old son who was trying to grab his nose over.over.over and over again.  He looks at me and says:

Denver:"I wish we could declaw our baby."

Me: "You mean like how they declaw cats?"

Denver: "Yes."

Me: "That would be so cool.  You would be helping out the parents and the babies.  Think about all those babies with cuts on their faces because of their razor sharp nails, and think of the anxiety a parent has because they have to cut their paper thin nails...this could be the best idea you have ever had!"

Denver: "I bet some people would think it was inhumane"

Me:  "Obviously they have never been cut with tiny baby-samurai-sword-finger-nails. THAT. Is inhumane."

Baby fingernails are the worst.  They come into the world with weapons of mass destruction.

I am sure you have seen this chart before, but it is so hilarious I had to share again!

I love it when some tells you to "bite them off"... YEAH RIGHT!?!  Have you ever tried putting a week old infant's finger into your mouth... you feel like your teeth are as big as a brontosaurus' and you could possibly take off their entire first knuckle, also known as a distal phalanges.

Then someone says..."You should file them"... Um. No.  My least favorite part of getting a manicure if when they break out the sandpaper and saw my nails off.... OUCH!  So, no.  I cannot do that to my infant.  I just cannot. No. Way.  I might as well run their fingernails across the proverbial chalk board to solve my problem.

Okay.  Then push comes to shove.  Your baby looks like they have been mauled by a pack of stray cats and they have self-inflicted microscopic battle wounds all over their face and YOU HAVE TO DO SOMETHING... So you break out the clippers.  You can be brave and use regular sized clippers... but no... we can't settle for something so simple, can we Mothers?  The "baby-marketers" have invented 47 different types of clippers.  Clippers with a magnifying glass (which don't work), clippers with a long handle (which don't work), clippers with safety guards (which don't work), and my VERY FAVORITE clippers with a flash light!!!! (which I haven't tried, but plus they are only $4.99... they might be worth it because they are so.stinking.awesome.) 

Okay.  Then there is the battle on WHEN to cut them.

"Cut them when they are sleeping."  This is what people tell you, but in reality it works for the first 4 days of the babies life.  Plus, if your baby is sleeping, cutting their nails is not on your priority list.  Hello!!  First things first, like napping, showering, eating, or just sitting in a silent room with the lights off regaining sanity?!!?  Remembering to cut teensy flimsy nails is not at the top of my list when I have a free moment.  Plus, the thought still makes me break out into a cold sweat.

Here is my theory: I give them a good trim when they least expect it. While they are playing with their toys, I just gently grab a hand and clip away.  Yup, they will be uneven, maybe even jagged, but at least they can't grow a crop of potatoes under them in the next week.  Bonus!!

And IF I HAVE ANY ENTREPRENEURS READING MY BLOG... Listen up.  If people are willing to sit at a kiosk in the middle of a mall and get their eyebrows "threaded"  I guar-an-tee you they would pay $5, maybe even $10 for a "Baby Finger Nail Clipping" service.  New Mom's have NO SHAME. AND... it might even be a trend.  This is my business plan.

  • Competitors:  NONE, you HAVE NO COMPETITION because this idea is ahead of it's time... SO POUNCE. Now!  
  • Placement: Right outside of Baby Gap in the mall hallway... or in the front area of a local TARGET... both are hip places to be "seen" with your baby strapped to your bosom tucked sweetly in their snug Ergo carrier, or strolling in the tandem B.O.B.
  • Target Audience: New Mothers. First timers, Second timers... heck... even this "third timer" would give it a try!  
  • Marketing:Make them believe that they will "DE-PHALANGE" their child if they attempt this dangerous task on their own. Place giant blown up pictures of babies crying with bandaged fingertips on one side, then next to it, a baby with cute manicured fingers and a smile, wearing a onesie with awesome-chevron-logo of course (Because all new Mom's love Chevron...while your at it make the Chevron Gray because all Mom's love gray too)...  
(See,  I have done all the hard work for you...) 

So.  There is my fingernail rant.  They are sharp, they are dangerous, you can't escape them, they will never disappear, the more you cut them-the faster they grow dun, dun duuuun..... BABY FINGERNAILS!!!

So... do you think society would find it acceptable to "Declaw" babies?  I think we have a good argument...? ;) (I kid, don't worry) 
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