Fall 2013-dark leaves

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Been Too Grumpy

Wow, my posts have been grumpy lately.  Here's some of the good:

Last night we had a wonderful date night:  happy hour at PFChang's, shoe shopping for Brian's trip, dessert at Trader Joe's, and a Karen Choi concert at The Wolf Pub with lots of friends around.

Today Patrick has a birthday party and wants to have a friend over.  I'm going to help Lillian and Catherine clean their room, Sarah Frances is getting her long-awaited haircut with her dad, and I am meeting a friend for coffee at 2.

At the swim meet this past Tuesday, Catherine's free relay set a team record!  And Sarah Frances is the fastest 9yo in most of her races.  She's begging to start swimming year round.  Patrick is still mostly interested in what the other swimmers are doing while he's racing.

Lillian is learning how to get along pretty well in the pool.  She's not the strongest swimmer, but she can propel herself from point A to point B as long as it's not more than 2 breath's distance.

Brian painted a fence this week; I called him Tom Sawyer.  He's also been more available to play with us since he's not in class.  We all went to see Brave yesterday for a huge treat, and to stay out of the 108 heat.

I've been taking lots of naps lately.  The kids are doing summer reading for prizes, and when they go up for silent reading time, I go down for a nap.  It's been a very, very nice break from the busyness of school days.

So, yay for the good!  I'll try to share more of that.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Swim Diapers

For years the kids have sat down in life jackets to be supported in the water from the bottom up (no pun intended), keeping their hands free to play.  They call them swim diapers.  Apparently it works well in the pool too.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Don't Hate the Hard

I've been working since Christmas on Eric Metaxas's bio on Bonhoeffer.  I'm not half-way through yet, but this morning I read something that hit home.  He was preaching on Jeremiah, a sermon I'd love to read in its entirety because it seems that I too am wrestling with God a lot these days.  And the way Metaxas describes Bonhoeffer's wrestling as Bonhoeffer compared it with Jeremiah's wrestling, resonates with me and my own current wrestling.

"He (Bonhoeffer) was beginning to understand that he was God's prisoner, that like the prophets of old, he was called to suffer and to be oppressed--and in that defeat and the acceptance of that defeat, there was victory." p. 210

And from Bonhoeffer's sermon: "The triumphal procession of truth and justice, the triumphal procession of God and his Scriptures through the world, drags in the wake of the chariot of victory a train of prisoners in chains.  May he at the last bind us to his triumphal carriage so that, although in bonds and oppressed, we may participate in his victory!"

These days God is leading a processional of reality and truth straight through the heart of my being, awakening a deep internal struggle within me, making me wrestle with Him as he breaks down false supports and lies that I've leaned on for too long.  He is stripping away everything that is not of Him, orchestrating hard, sin-tainted events to show me the brokenness of those supports, leaving me nothing strong enough but him to lean on.  Tearing down my idols.  Elevating himself to his rightful place.

It is right for him to do this.  And good of him to love me so much.  And oh so very painful and hard to experience.  I don't know if any of this makes sense to anyone but me, but I do know it's worth the wrestling.  Isn't it?  Yes, it is.  It's worth the sacrificing of things that are already broken to be closer to him who is perfect.  It's a more real place to be--accepting the defeat of myself and my brokenness and the brokenness of others to lean on the one true God.  But, damn, if it doesn't hurt to be so broken and see the brokenness of it all.

Have I said it before?  It's not supposed to be this way.  Sin is so. very... wrong.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Uncle Eddie

Brian's uncle is on his way to heaven.  Eddie has been very sick for a very long time.  He's in the hospital right now, where they're trying to get his oxygen regulated, then they're sending him home with 24hr. hospice, expecting him to make it a couple of weeks.

We're praying for mercy for him and for his wife, Mary.  They have three grown children with spouses and seven grandchildren, as well as Eddie's 2 siblings who live in town, and all their children and grandchildren.  Only 2 families out of all these people don't live in Birmingham, including us.

From our side, pray for timing.  That sounds awful, but Brian's three semester hour class is over next Friday.  He really can't miss any classes nor likely postpone the final which is on the last day of class.  But we'll go for the funeral.  I say we'll go.  I'm assuming we'll all go.  I guess we'll see...

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Pulling Away

Marne and her oldest 3 kids were here this week for a visit.  They moved to Birmingham about this time last year, and we've missed them a ton.  It was a blast to have them stay with us.  The kids had fun together, they invited other friends here, we went with them to another friends' house, and Thurs. night Marne organized a girls' night out.  Liluma got more than they expect from this ladies group of six!

They just left this morning to head back to Bham, but with more people than they arrived with.  My youngest two caught a ride to visit their grandparents in Alabama.  They'll spend a handful of days with my parents, then swap out to be with the Browns for a bit.  But the total number of days is killing me.  I'm not going to see my babies for ELEVEN more days!  That is way too long.  Maybe the time will pass more quickly than I expect right now, because right now my heart hurts.

Now, when I walked back into the house after they pulled away, I looked right at the girls, threw my hands up in the air, and yelled, "PARTY!"  I told them it's what we do every time any of them leave.  Then I hugged them tight and told them I was teasing.  A little bit. ;)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Mercy? Not this time.

Later than I wanted to be leaving for swim team this morning. Rolled through the stop sign just around the corner from my house. Got pulled over. Begged the Lord for mercy. The cop gave me a ticket. Had a total breakdown/panic attack for the next 30 minutes. Not my best day.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Goin' Gray Gracefully

I got a haircut this week.  First one in 15 months, if you don't count the trim I gave myself 5 months ago.  It was LONG and a very different color at the ends than at my scalp, although I've never colored it.  It was just that dead and lightened from summers of pool play.

Now it's at my shoulders.  The light hair is gone.  The layers have returned.  Guess--just guess--what they've revealed.  TONS of gray hair.  I mean, I knew it was coming.  It's pretty significant at the corners of my forehead, but as revealed by the new haircut, it's much worse than I knew.

I say worse.  I don't really mean that.  I don't really mind them.  Brian says he actually likes them, and I believe him.  Proverbs 16:31 says gray hair is a crown of glory.  I just didn't realize how quickly my crown was coming in.