Tuesday, April 29, 2008

How To Extract Top Secret Info from Spies

How to Extract Top Secret Information From Spies

I can tell you in one step. Put a 2 year old hopped up on cough medicine in the bed with them.

Let me explain how I acquired this information. This past weekend was LONG. It was mostly super fun stuff but there was no time to stop and by the time Sunday night rolled around we couldn't wait to get into bed. Immediately after putting the girls to bed we got in our bed, turned on the TV and began to zone out. My husband was asleep by 9:30 and I was asleep by about 10:00. About an hour later we woke up to our 2 year old coughing incessantly and decided to give her some cough medicine. Wait...let me back up a minute.

On Saturday morning at around 8:00am, Little Sister was really hacking and had a pretty stuffy nose so my husband went to the kid's medicine cabinet. He found these neat little cough & cold strips that you just stick on their tongues and the strips just melt away. Sounds brilliant, right? If you've ever tried to give an irritated toddler cough medicine you know why this sounded like a Pulitzer prize winner. We have a nighttime version and a daytime version so he wisely gave her the daytime version. When I came into the kitchen he proudly told me how Little Sister was coughing but he'd taken care of it and given her one of the strips. This is how the conversation went from there:

Me: A WHOLE strip?
Him: (Eyes wide now) Yeah...why?
Me: (Eyes also wide) They're for ages 6 and up.
Him: Why are they in with the other kid medicine?
Me: I don't know, I bought the wrong thing and I didn't want to throw them away. They were expensive. Why didn't you read the label? (I know...this was a stupid question)
Him: Why would I read the label? You take out a strip, you put it on the kid's tongue, what else is there? Is she going to be okay?
Me: I guess. I don't know. We probably just need to watch her.

So that's what we did all day. We watched her. We watched her stumble around. We watched her stare into space. We watched as she asked, "Can.......I.......have.....anana?" And then we watched as she stared with intensity at that banana. Basically, the girl was hammered. For about 5 hours. It looked very similar to this experience. She went down for a nap (easily of course) and woke up fine and dandy but still with a cough and yucky nose. We threw away the other medicine and got some age appropriate medicine. The non-drowsy kind. Which brings me back to the perfect means of torturing spies for information.

So Sunday night we give her the "new" cough medicine at 11:00pm. Little did we know that "non-drowsy" really meant "get ready 'cause this kid is about to kick your $@#!!". Never mind that we actually woke up this ticked off toddler to force the medicine into her body...so we could sleep. Oh the irony. About an hour later I woke up to little sister staring me in the face. I picked her up, carried her upstairs, put her in her bed, told her to stay there, and went back to bed. About ten minutes after that she was back. I repeated the above steps two more times and then she started going to Daddy's side of the bed. Daddy was asleep. No comment. The next time I caught her on the stairs and gave her some discipline before leaving her in her bed. Less than ten minutes later I heard movement again. I went upstairs to find her completely naked and headed out to do heaven knows what. That's when I gave up. I figured better to have her in my bed and know that she was diapered, clothed, and safe. That's when the REAL torture began.

For the next several hours she waited until I began to drift and would then proceed to poke me in the eye and say with all cheeriness, "EYES!" Sometimes she would stand up and start jumping on the bed, sometimes she would kick me in the kidney, sometimes she would try to sit on my head, sometimes she would say over and over, "Whas sat?" (What's that?) At about 1:30am Daddy left to sleep on the couch. I am telling you, in all seriousness, that by 3:00am I would have told the enemy anything they wanted to know if they would just GET THIS KID OUT OF MY BED AND LET ME SLEEP! I actually thought about digging that other cough medicine out of the trash at one point. I thought to myself, "I'll just let her kick me and poke me because I'm so tired I think I can maybe sleep through it." No such luck. The child finally collapsed into a deep snoring slumber at exactly 4:33am. Exactly 4:33am. I know. I looked. I'm a stay-at-home mom and it would have been tolerable if I could have slept in the next morning. Unfortunately, Big Sister usually gets up shortly after 6:00am.

Well, I made it through that night and the next Monday without killing anyone, with cough medicine or otherwise. Needless to say, we let the child cough the next night. She was pretty much over it by then anyway. What's the moral of the story?

Read the label.
If you bought the wrong thing, get rid of it.
Read the label.
Understand what the label means.
Read the label again and then let them cough anyway, especially if they are asleep.

I'd love to hear your one-liners.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Infant Baptism

A while back, my friend Carrie posted some questions about infant baptism. I am the daughter of a PCA pastor. My dad grew up baptist and went to Master's Seminary headed up by John MacArthur which teaches believers baptism. It's a long story how he came to be a PCA pastor but I think you might find a recent teaching of his on infant baptism interesting. I have to admit I've never really understood it before now. I h aven't had my girls baptized and it's never been an issue between us but I was challenged by his Wednesday night service on April 9th. Now I don't know what to think at this point but I found it interesting and thought you might too. This isn't an attempt to get you to concur (I'm not sure I do) but just to help you understand why they do it. I think that's where we may have been misled. We haven't properly understood the "why". For some reason I couldn't get it directly in this post but you can click HERE and then look for 04/09/2008 Pastor Roy Carter, Sacrement of Baptism, Wednesday Night. Let me know if you have any thoughts you want to share.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Long Day

This is what you get when you play outside ALL day and don't get a nap.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

We're Breaking Up

I was walking/running last night and I have to admit that it is getting a little better. A little. For the most part I still don’t enjoy it but I do have to admit that it burns more calories much faster. I loaded my iPod with what I thought would inspire me to keep going and it seems to help. Here’s my running playlist.

Queen – We Will Rock You

Survivor – Eye of the Tiger

Kelly Clarkson – Since You Been Gone

Destiny’s Child – Survivor

Christina Aguilera – Fighter

Britney Spears – Hit Me Baby One More Time

NSync – It’s Gonna Be Me

Backstreet Boys – Bye Bye Bye

Pat Benetar – Hit Me With Your Best Shot

Gloria Gaynor - I Will Survive

Heart – Never

Indigo Girls – Midnight Train to Georgia

KC and the Sunshine Band – Boogie Shoes

Elton John – Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me

I know, it’s not very spiritual. Somehow praise music has the opposite effect on me. It makes me want to stop in my tracks. I’m one of those people who can barely sing in church because I just cry the whole time. But I realized while I was running last night that I have a lot of angry breakup music in the lineup. I’m not sure why this music pumps me up so much. I mean there’s a little bit of fun stuff but what’s the deal with the breakup songs? And then I realized.

It’s over. We’re done for good. I’m breaking up with my big butt. I have broken up with my big butt before only to reunite with it again a few months later. It always lured me back with sugary sweets and fatty fried foods and I just haven’t seemed to be able to get it out of my life for good. Well, it’s done me wrong long enough. I’m mad and I’m breaking things off for the last time. I even wrote it a Dear John letter.

Dear Big Butt,
I know we’ve been together a long time. We know each other so well but there’s never really been love between us. In fact, I've never loved you and I never will. You make me unhappy. You make me feel bad about myself. You’re weighing me down. And this time I’m serious. Don’t come around anymore because I’m not taking you back. You need to just go and take all your fat pants with you. No one likes you. Your dimples haven’t been cute since I was about 3 years old. There’s no room for you here anymore so please quit following me around. You’re not the butt God intends for me to spend my life with so I’m breaking up with you. Goodbye.

P.S. Leave my friends and family alone too because they don’t want anything to do with you either.

So, what’s in your iPod lineup?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Building a Marriage

My husband is home after his mission trip in Brazil and boy does he have stories to tell. The girls and I missed him so much. This is the longest we’ve been apart, EVER. Of course it got me thinking about how much I love him. They were in Brazil building a church brick by brick and it reminded me of one of the turning points in our relationship. The year I learned how to build a marriage.

Our second and third years were definitely the hardest. That first year we truly were just in that honeymoon period where you ignore the stuff that’s not working. The second year, the frustration set in. I didn’t realize it but going into marriage I had a lot of expectations. I wanted the perfect Christian marriage that I imagined so many others had. Most days we didn’t line up with those expectations and I didn’t like it one bit. My husband began to withdraw to a place where he was accepted just as he was and encouraged for doing things right, his work. The more he withdrew, the worse it got, and the vicious cycle continued. Thankfully, I would soon learn that the “perfect” marriage doesn’t exist. When things between us were at their worst, a good friend intervened and gave me a talking to that I’ll never forget.

Our friend used a great analogy. He said that it was as if I had these blueprints for the perfect marriage but the problem was my husband didn’t have access to them. Every time he put a brick in the wrong place so to speak, I was frustrated, disappointed, and just downright disrespectful. He said that building a marriage was like deciding together each day where we would lay a brick. That it was only at the end of our days that we would look back and see the beautiful one-of-a-kind marriage we had. Somehow that made sense to me.

I threw out the blueprints after that. I embraced the idea that our marriage wouldn’t look like anyone else’s as a good thing. We began to figure out what worked best for us. We started getting to know each other again. And most importantly, we put our trust in God to be the architect and builder. It took some time but we began to build something that by God’s grace would last. I think we’ve got some interesting and wonderful and unique design elements to our marriage.

Eight years later, I was delighted to see a similar analogy in the Beth Moore Bible study we just finished called Stepping Up. Remembering that Jesus was a carpenter by trade she says, “Keep in mind that Christ is a custom builder...Let Him tell you how He wants your house to look instead of the other way around. He alone has the blueprints.” Wow, I knew exactly what she was talking about.

The church they built in Brazil is a very basic, one room structure, but one day during a lunchtime devotion, they felt the Holy Spirit fall on that place. In that same way, I want the Holy Spirit to be our guide and work in us to build a marriage that honors and glorifies Him. That would be…well…perfect.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

I Might Be Weird

Well, I'm back from visiting my sister and boy did I miss blogging! There are so many things to write about but I'm going to start with the dumbest. While I was there, I discovered something...I might be weird. I really think of myself as a pretty normal person but those late night girl talks after dealing with three high maintenance screaming little girls revealed some weird things about me. I've kept them mostly to myself but it's time to come clean...mostly out of a desire to find out if you might be weird too. Here it is.


I dream all through the night and I almost always remember my dreams. Sometimes I wake up tired because I felt like I didn't sleep at all. When I have nightmares, I always wake up on my back and have to actually turn on my side to be able to go back to sleep without continuing to have bad dreams. My most common bad dream is that I am driving a car at night on a windy road and the headlights keep going out. I can't see where I'm going and I can't stop the car. One of my favorite dreams is flying. This is not so weird, however, my other favorite dream is where I am stretching and I'm super flexible. In my dreams I can sometimes look in a mirror and decide I want my hair to be longer, my body to be thinner, I want to wear something different, etc. and make the change happen immediately. Just imagine what I can do! I have discovered that the often circulated idea that if you dream you're falling and you land, you will die is not true. I dreamt once that I fell off a building and then hit the sidewalk. In my dream it didn't hurt, I just couldn't move and I felt like I was pancake thin. And obviously I didn't die but maybe it did make me weird.

I love to eat something dry and salty that really makes you thirsty and then having something cold and refreshing to drink. Just to do it. Somehow creating that desperate thirst and then satisfying it feels so good. I also like drinking water with no ice. That way I'm able to drink more of it and I don't get that brain freeze. I always eat peanut butter on my waffles. No butter, just peanut butter and then once the peanut butter gets all melty I put the syrup on. YUM! I like dipping my pizza in mustard but only when it's frozen or homemade. Somehow, when it's delivery (not DiGiorno), it's good enough on it's own.

I constantly trace things with my eyes. When I'm driving or riding in a car I am constantly tracing signs, the back window of the car in front of me, the billboards. All lines. When I watch TV I'm totally tuned into the program but I'm always tracing the letters of any words that appear on the screen, collars on shirts, jawlines, hairlines, everything. It's always best when it's something symmetrical. And it's always best if I can trace something in one continuous line. Again, I'm not thinking about it really while I'm doing it, it's just sort of something going on in the background all the time. When it occurs to me that I'm doing it I get really irritated and try to stop but before I know it, I'm doing it again. Does this mean I'm cuckoo? Maybe it means I'm a genius! No, probably cuckoo. I just discovered on this last long road trip that when I am actively listening to music, like singing along, I don't trace things.

So now that you're a little scared I have to ask. Am I weird or does anyone else do these things? What secret weirdness are you hiding? And don't feel bad, hey, maybe weird is the new normal.

Fear - Part 2

The last time my husband went out of town I had one of my battles with fear. I can't really put my finger on it but I had some weird dreams that last night before he came home and I woke up feeling...weird. I couldn't even remember what I dreamed but I just had that sense of foreboding. For some unknown reason, I started to be afraid that my husband was never coming home. I almost felt sick. I had such a hard time shaking that feeling. It was like other very realistic dreams I've had. Have you ever dreamt your husband cheated or that you had a big fight, and then woken up mad at him? Have you ever been snappy in the morning because, how dare he and he's like, "What did I do?" and you're like, "I dreamed that I saw you having dinner with your old girlfriend," and he's like, "What? You're mad at me because of something I did in a dream?" Anyway, it was kind of like that only I couldn't remember the dream and I was not mad, I was afraid. It would have been better if I could have remembered the dream because then I could just remind myself it wasn't real. But instead I was just left with this bad feeling.

I used to be the kind of person who would worry myself to death by thinking through every possible horrible scenario ahead of time. I used the excuse that this way, I'd be prepared for whatever happened. Then nothing would happen and I'd think about all that time I wasted. I remember one time specifically trying to do 2 Corinthians 10:5 which says,
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

I was trying to take captive these worrisome thoughts but I just kept thinking that it was better to "be prepared". Then the Lord spoke to my heart words that were as loud as any time I have ever had the Lord speak to me...My grace is sufficient for your unpreparedness. BAM! It smacked me right in the face. Just two short chapters later in 2 Corinthians 12: 9 is another verse.
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

I'd heard that verse a thousand times and would try to meditate on it in times of trouble but for the first time the Lord spoke it into my heart in a very personal way. My grace is sufficient for your unpreparedness...my grace is sufficient for your failures as a parent...my grace is sufficient for your unemployment...my grace is sufficient for your sickness...and on and on.

I think one of my favorite passages in William P. Young's The Shack articulates this struggle with fear and the reason for it really well. In this particular passage, the main character, Mack, is having a conversation with Jesus about how people spend too much time in their minds in the future, mostly fear of the future. Jesus says, "You try and play God, imagining the evil that you fear becoming reality, and then you try and make plans and contingencies to avoid what you fear." Boy could I relate to that. And the reason? "Because you don't believe...To the degree that those fears have a place in your life, you neither believe I am good nor know deep in your heart that I love you. You sing about it; you talk about it, but you don't know it."

You know, I'm not afraid of my husband physically hurting me. I'm not afraid that he'll run off with another woman tomorrow. I'm not afraid he'll gamble away our paycheck each month. Why? Because I know him. Now he's not perfect and we're certainly not immune to these things but I think you get my point. I'm not afraid because I know him better than I know anybody. It's easy to trust him in these things each day because of my personal relationship with him, the time I've spent with him. And so I got to thinking...maybe this is my problem. Maybe I have fear because I don't know God. Not the way I want to know Him. Not as well as I know Jeff. I know God loves me but maybe I don't really know how much He loves me. Knowledge may not equal depth...but in some sense I think it does equal trust. And I want to trust God completely, without fear. Now don't get me wrong, I'm still going to set the alarm, check the kids before going to bed, and pray. But I'm going to try to remember that God is present in the reality of today, not my imaginations of tomorrow. And that His grace is sufficient, period.